How to Install Landscape Fabric for a Flower Bed
Weeds are quite stubborn, seemingly sprouting even after you’ve cleared the garden. For a persistent problem like weeds, you’ll need long-term solutions. And no, we’re not talking about spraying herbicide all over the property because chemicals could leach into the soil and harm you and your family.
A safe yet effective solution to weeds is landscape fabric. The landscape fabric will block the sunlight, inhibiting the weeds’ seeds from growing. Heavy-duty landscape fabric products, in particular, do a great job of suppressing weed growth. The maintenance work is minimal too.
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Should you use landscape fabric in flower beds?
If you’re tired of spending hours clearing weeds in your precious flower beds then yes, you should give landscape fabric a try. Aside from using weed barrier cloth around shrubs or bushes, you can also install landscape fabric under raised beds. If you have landscape fabric in your raised garden bed or around a flower bed, it will:
- Prevent weeds from sprouting
- Stop burrowing pests from ruining your plants
- Minimizes the need to use herbicidal weed products
- Protects from soil erosion
- Maintains soil heat and moisture
For maximum protection from weeds, top the landscape fabric with 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch like lava rocks, gravel, wood chips, or tree bark. These mulch materials will also block out the sun and prevent weeds from sprouting. On top of that, a layer of mulch will make your flower beds look even better.
How do you put landscape fabric in a flower bed?
Installing landscape fabric around flower beds can be done on your own or with the help of a professional. If you are doing this on your own, installing the landscape fabric is pretty simple. Here are the steps:
You will need:
- Work gloves
- Garden fork
- Garden rake
- Landscape fabric
- Landscape fabric pins or staples
- Sharp utility scissors or knife
- Measuring tape
- Hammer or mallet
Step 1: The area being covered should be weed-free so wear your work gloves and start pulling the weeds until the flower beds are cleared. Use a hoe to dig the areas with large bunches of weeds.
Step 2: Start amending the soil because you won’t be able to do this once you’ve installed the landscape fabric. Use a tiller or garden fork to work the compost into the earth.
Once the soil has been amended, grab the rake and start leveling the soil. The rake will also clear the area of unwanted debris like small rocks, dead leaves, twigs, and materials that could otherwise puncture a hole in the landscape fabric. By the time you’re done raking the soil, the area should be leveled so the landscape fabric can be laid down evenly.
Step 3: Get your tape measure and measure the area being covered by the landscape fabric. You’ll need the right amount of landscape fabric to cover the area + a little excess in case certain areas need more coverage.
Unroll the landscape fabric and lay it on the area lengthwise on the flower beds, starting at one edge and then working your way across. Grab your utility scissors and cut the landscape fabric to the right size. Cut additional pieces when covering a large area so the pieces overlap by 12 inches to prevent gaps.
Step 4: Cut the landscape fabric to accommodate existing plants in the area you are covering. The slits should fit around the stems of the flowering plants. Smooth the fabric over the soil to get rid of air pockets or bumps. Grab your mallet or hammer and start setting the landscape fabric to place with the staples or pins.
As for the spacing of the staples, install one staple every foot if your garden has soft soil. For hard soil, install a pin every 5 feet. For normal soil, install one staple every 3 feet. The joints where two sheets of the fabric meet should also be stapled in place.
Step 5: The last step is adding mulch on top of the landscape fabric. Apply a 2 to 3-inch layer of mulch and level it gently with the rake. When placing the mulch around the flowering plants, be sure that these do not pile against the plant stems.
Should landscape fabric go under a flower bed?
Yes, you should install the landscape fabric under a flower bed to suppress weed growth and also to block burrowing pests from destroying your flowering plants.
But the one thing to remember when installing landscape fabric for a flower bed is the kind of flowering plants you have in your garden. Are your flower beds composed of annuals or perennials?
Annual plants die in the winter season. This means annual flowering plants have to be replanted every year. If you've installed landscape fabric around annuals, you'll have to rip portions or the entire fabric, which will make replanting even more taxing.
On the other hand, perennials won’t die in winter, they always grow back. This means maintaining the landscape fabric is easier because you don’t have to replant, re-install the landscape fabric, and replace the mulch after.
Installing Landscape Fabric on Flower Beds
As you can see, installing landscape fabric on flower beds is so easy, almost anyone can do it. We suggest checking out online tutorials just to make sure you’ve got the steps right the first time. Also, if you want to extend the life of the material and avoid frequent re-installations, use heavy duty landscape fabric.
Remember, landscape fabric is supposed to make a grower’s life easier, never harder. There are several types of landscape fabric products in our shop, have a look to see which one is suitable for your outdoor space.