Man putting landscape fabric on his garden
ECO gardener

Thinking of installing a landscape fabric in your vegetable garden? If you’ve had it with stubborn weeds, then you will love how effective landscape fabrics are in controlling weed growth. It makes gardening easier and less back-breaking for folks with mobility issues!

The thing we love most about landscape fabrics is that these will extend the growing season of your favorite crops. We’re talking about harvesting late-season bounty or starting early in the season to get the most out of your garden.

Caring for the landscape fabric you’ve painstakingly installed in your garden is important because it will extend the life of the material. Now that you know how to install weed barrier cloth around shrubs, let’s talk about installing more for your vegetable garden.

Can I use landscape fabric in my vegetable garden?

Tomato garden using landscape fabric

Although some growers tend to avoid using landscape fabric because the crops have to be replanted every growing season, you can use this product for different purposes. And yes, it’s safe to use landscape fabric in a vegetable garden as long as it is installed correctly.

Some growers use it to warm up the soil, so temperature-sensitive crops can grow and bear fruits beyond the growing season, while others do it to start the growing season early. In early spring, the soil is typically cold, compacted, and hard to work with. By laying landscape fabric over the soil, the earth becomes warmer and more ideal for growing vegetables.

How do you plant a vegetable garden with landscape fabric?

Landscape fabric helps block weeds from sprouting and competing with your crops for food. Usually, once the landscape fabric has been installed, it shouldn’t be removed for months. So if you are growing vegetables of any kind, there should be enough space to plant and replant your crops. That means cutting holes in the landscape fabric so you can plant, harvest, and replant your vegetables easily.

To install the landscape fabric, here is a step by step guide: Landcape Installation

Things to remember after installation:

Once you’re ready to roll the landscape fabric, lay the fabric parallel to any side of the garden. Secure the ends with rocks to set them in place, then anchor with the metal staples. There shouldn’t be gaps in between the landscape fabric sheets. Overlap the material by about 2 inches in between sheets, then staple the fabric pieces in place.

Cut the area where the crops are planted, so the plants have room to grow. Use a very sharp utility knife or scissors, so you don’t end up ripping the fabric into shreds. The landscape fabric shouldn’t inhibit the exchange of water, air, and nutrients between the soil and the surroundings. Once that’s done, finish up with a 2 to 3-inch layer of organic mulch.

If used in a container vegetable garden, the crops should be set in rows with the landscape fabric on top of the plants (you’ll have to cut holes in the material to do this). Leave appropriate space between the crops, about 2 to 3 feet, depending on the vegetable you’re growing.

Safe Landscape Fabric for Vegetable Gardens and Raised Beds

Woman installing Raised bed and landscape fabric

While easy to install, some growers might end up making avoidable mistakes that could potentially affect the health of the crops. If you’re installing landscape fabric for the first time, it’s essential to know the many factors about using the product to ensure an impressive yield at the end of the growing season. These factors are:

Thickness of the landscape fabric: Thickness of the landscape fabric: The weight and the thickness of the landscape fabric are the first things that you need to consider when shopping around. For a Raised bed, where durability and longevity are key, opting for thick, heavy duty landscape fabric can be beneficial, lasting years - sometimes decades. However, ensure that the material allows for sufficient space for plant growth to prevent choking the vegetation. Thin landscape fabric is porous, but its lifespan is much shorter, about two years or so.

Size of the Vegetable Garden: The actual area to cover is another vital factor that you should keep in mind before installing the landscape fabric. Be sure that the fabric you bought will be enough to cover the entire space plus a slight excess, so there are no gaps in between the fabric sheets. Also, the fabric will be stapled in place, so the trims should have a surplus of several inches.

Permeability: How porous do you need the landscape fabric to be? If you are using the landscape fabric for a vegetable garden, be sure that the material won’t inhibit the exchange of air, water, and nutrients; otherwise, the crops could choke! Depending on the brand, landscape fabric has different levels of permeability. The thicker and more heavy duty the landscape fabric is, the less porous the material. Fabrics made from traditional polyethylene may be too thick for a vegetable garden, so those made with polypropylene are your best bet.

To learn more, check out our blog: Smart Usage for Landscape Fabric

Protecting crops from weeds, invasive plants, and some pests is easier using landscape fabric. Landscape fabric is safe to use in a vegetable garden as long as the crops have room to grow and the fabric does not disrupt the exchange of air, nutrients, and water in the soil. That said, the fabric might restrict the movement of particular soil mixing organisms, like earthworms, beneficial insects, and bacterial fungi. It’s not a perfect system, but it gets the job done when it comes to suppressing weed growth.

Buy landscape fabric.

Shopping for landscape fabric? Elevate the look of your vegetable garden by installing landscape fabric. Shop now and get amazing deals for weed barrier landscape fabric!

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