There is a lot of hype right now whether or not weed barrier is worth the money to fight weeds in your landscaping. Over the years I have heard many options on whether the fabric actually keeps out weeds or is it just a money maker for the big box stores.
Well, everyone has given their opinion now I am going to give mine. About ten years ago I bought a house that had not a bit of landscaping. I immediately started cleaning up and landscaping. Granted, I was just married so money was tight but I knew if I was going to live here I was going to have plants. Just like anyone else I hate to weed landscaping beds. Its a time consuming task that not only gives you back pain but your weekends are spent pulling weed after weed. Especially, if you have an area as big as I do.
So before I started I took this into account. I looked at many of the weed barriers they have to offer. There is a residential and a commercial grade available. Commercial offered much more protection such as puncture resistant, long UV protection and heavy weight but the price was a little heftier than I really wanted to spend. Like I said earlier money was tight so I went with the residential. The residential grade wasn’t bad at all. There was actually different thickness between the 10 and 20 year protection.
To me at the time 10 years seemed a long time so that is what I went with. Laying the barrier out was a little difficult because it was so light. Just a small gust of wind would blow it all over the place. That was the first thumbs down. I had to gather rocks around the property to place on the edges to hold it down. After finally getting the barrier down I started to plant some 1gallon bushes I bought.
So what come next? Well the first couple of season everything went well. No weeds, or grass grew in the beds all summer long. I thought I had made the best decision on controlling weeds. The barrier started breaking down after about 3 years. Weeds started making their way through the barrier and before I knew it weeds were every where. What happened is the mulch I had put down over the couple of seasons had broken down making soil on top of the weed barrier. Weed seeds were blown in and next thing you know weeds are appearing. They begin to break down the barrier and that allows room for more WEEDS!
Weeds are difficult the control but if you are buying a barrier I would go with a heavy duty commercial grade. It will last much longer but eventually, it will break down. Weeds always find a way.
Every time I cut grass I always end up with weed barrier in my yard either from the lawnmower or the weed eater. If I had it to do again, I would edge with a spade around the bed first then just keep a barrier of pine straw or bark in the landscaping bed about 2-3 inches thick. Wedding by hand or spraying a weed killer would be the best idea to keeping weeds out. Just think, by putting a barrier down you may get by with a couple of years but eventually you will be weeding by hand.