What is Landscape Fabric? A Complete Guide

Perhaps, the question arrives in mind when gardeners see weeds growing beside the targeted plants. And these weeds suck up all the nutrients from the soil. As a result, the hard work becomes a failure. But setting up landscape fabric can prevent these awkward situations.

What is landscape fabric

So, what is landscape fabric?

Well, “Landscape fabric” may sound like one type of regular fabric. But it is literally different from the concept we have about fabric. It is a breathable, flexible, and long-lasting material that most gardeners use in the field and some people use it to make grow bags. They place it over the soil top to allow water and fertilizer to reach the roots. This gardening fabric prevents weeds or grasses from growing that are harmful to gardening.

Usually, these landscape fabrics cover plants giving full sun coverage. In this article, we define the standard queries about landscape fabric relevant to the matter.

What is Landscape Fabric?

Landscape fabric is also known as “Weed fabric” or “Soil fabric”. These fabrics look like a solid sheet with perforated holes through which the water soaks into the soil.

Landscape Fabric

You can find them coiled as rolls at the hardware and gardening tools stores. They are a minimum of 3’ wide and 50-200’ on average by length. Also, they are thin, lightweight, and waterproof in nature. You can screen out weed germination with these fabrics while letting water pass through them.

For many years, people have used the landscape fabric in areas where grasses are not entirely welcomed. After setting them up, they control the erosion and discourage unnecessary plant (weed) growth.

What is Landscape Fabric Made of?

Now, you may wonder “what landscape fabric is of”. Well, this fabric is made from woven fibers, polypropylene, or polyethylene. It is a stronger material than regular garden fabrics.

What is Landscape Fabric Made of

Once you install them, they do not break down when they are exposed to the elements. Additionally, they remain unchanged when you want to plant new flowers and plants in the crop beds.

Some landscape fabrics are biodegradable, offering a friendly environment. Besides, the materials used to make these things are chemical-free. So, they are safe for covering the plants.

Different types of Landscape fabric

If you want to shade your garden, you can choose several types of landscape fabric. Basically, the selection depends on the type of plant and its requirements for light. Keeping this in mind, you can determine the thickness and mesh sizes of the fabric.

Different types of Landscape fabric

There are disparities of landscape fabric available depending on their quality, features. Among them, these below variations are most popular:

Woven Landscape Fabric:

You can find it as a common gardening tool in the stores. Manufacturers use polypropylene or linen fibers to produce this fabric. They weave the ingredients together and produce a long-lasting, semi-permeable product.

This type of fabric for landscaping has tiny holes. These holes permit the water and fertilizers to pass through and reach the soil. But no need to worry about weeds as the fabric prohibits their growth. Besides, the targeted plants grow well as it has UV-resistant feature.

Most gardeners use woven fabric around the trees or shrubs. Also, these fabrics are effective in perennials. You may find them in versatile colors like black, green, or natural burlap (brown).

Pricing: The woven weed fabric rolls cost from $35 (low-end 3’x100’ roll) to $280 ( 10’x300’) in average.

Non-Woven Landscape Fabric:

If you see weeds growing in rock or gravel paths or flower beds, you can pick up the non-woven landscape fabrics.

These fabrics are made from polyester or polypropylene have lesser holes than their woven counterparts. As a result, water and fertilizers cannot reach the soil for plantation.

These soil fabrics provide enhanced stability while no stone can sink into the soil. Some professional-grade items are installed beneath stone pavers (that you use for the driveway too).

Pricing: The non-woven landscape fabric rolls cost from $20 (3’x50’) to $180 (10’x300’) on average.

Spun Landscape Fabric:

Spun fabrics are quite similar to non-woven fabrics. But the structure is a bit different. Bonded polyester fibers are used to make this fabric for better longevity. You may find it as the most heavy-duty fabric for gardening.

Tearing or ripping off the spun fabric is very difficult. However, you may find it with different thicknesses for versatile applications. For example, a thinner model appears as permeable fabric to allow water and air besides toughness. It works as a weed barrier and protective border to discourage weed growth, pests or insects.

Thicker spun fabrics don’t allow water easily. You can use them in irrigation, drainage, and other similar applications while warding off roots and not seeping through.

Pricing: Thin spun fabric rolls cost $20 (3’x100’), and thicker ones cost $30 for the same dimensions. Premium quality rolls may cost from $300 (6’x100’).

Perforated Landscape Fabric:

If you want affordable landscape fabrics, choose the perforated models. These fabrics are lightweight, offering pre-cut perforations or holes to adjust your garden. Indeed, there won’t be any suffocation of roots.

Usually, gardeners use these fabrics where they change the plants quite often. A great example of using these fabrics is visible in vegetable gardens. Therefore, you should not use them in high-traffic areas.

Pricing: You can purchase these fabrics as sheets ranging less than $10 (4’x8’) and as rolls ranging from $80 (3’x300’) on average.

What is Landscape Fabric Used for?

Landscape fabric is very common gardening stuff. You may see the usages of this fabric at plant fields, lawn gardens, or even near the path you walk. When you install the weed fabric in your garden, it will help control erosion.

What is Landscape Fabric Used for

It can discourage weed growth as it holds the soil in the right place. So, you can easily grow your favorite plants without having tension about unnecessary grasses or weeds. It can save your time and money to purchase weed removers or cutters.

Should I Use Landscape Fabric?

So, you may be thinking of using landscape fabric for plantation purposes. Yes, you should use the fabric to get multiple benefits. These items can allow the plant to grow well while getting the right amount of fertilizers, water, and soil ingredients.

Should I Use Landscape Fabric

If you have the least time for gardening, you can take this as a primary tool. It is easy to install and helps water the plants in simple ways. Also, you can replace or remove them anytime for better plantation.

Pros and Cons of Landscape Fabric

Many farmers and gardeners, including the experts, recommend using landscape fabrics, especially in home gardening. You can use them all year round. However, it has both advantages and disadvantages that you consider before installing them to your lawn garden.

Pros and Cons of Landscape Fabric

Pros of Landscape Fabric

Most gardeners opine that you should place the landscape fabric around shrubs and trees. You can install and top it with quality mulch that may last for a long time. As you leave the fabric alone in the place, you should install it in vegetation or flower plantation fields.

  • Helps to prevent inorganic mulches and unnecessary debris from settling into the same soil of the targeted harvest.

If you chip and shred the mulches like recycled rubber, it may get you some benefits. But when you layer them around the tree or shrub base, they will never decompose. In such case, landscape fabric will stop them from mixing into the soil.

  • Makes weed seeds inactive in the soil offering proper sprouting.

We all know that seedlings grow well when they get ample light and air. But weed seeds share them with the targeted seedlings. When you use landscape fabric, weed seeds will germinate below its layer. It prevents them from getting the sun rays, and slowly they die. Thus, sprouts appear well and stronger.

  • Reduces the applications of weed control herbicides.

The less we use herbicides containing chemical ingredients, the more we get healthy production. Likewise, most gardeners don’t like to use them in huge quantities in the garden borders and flowerbeds. Again, there can be pets or kids who come across the area. In this case, landscape fabric will help to limit the need to use chemical herbicides.

  • Improves the soil moisture while reduces evaporation.

Extreme heat and wind can increase the evaporation that makes the soil dry. As a result, plants get least food from the soil. But installing the weed fabrics over the soil top can help improve the soil’s moisture quality.

  • Protects the slopes from washout due to heavy rainfall while offering erosion control.

Using semi-permeable soil fabric in your field or garden allows moisture to penetrate through it. But it can protect water flow that causes erosion to the soil.

Cons of Landscape Fabric

Everything has the same and opposite impact on our lives. Likewise, installing landscaping fabric has some negative outcomes in gardening. You may install the best landscape fabric, but it also has these impacts.

  • Reduces the reproduction of helpful earthworms for better production.

Earthworms are friendly stuff to maintain proper nutrients in the soil. When you install landscape fabric, earthworms cannot stay in the right number under it. Thus, the soil becomes unhealthy to the plants.

  • Organic mulches cannot refill the soil nutrients as you install fabric as a barrier.

Fallen leaves in the garden, pinecones help to boost the nutrients of the soil. But when you prefer installing soil fabric, these mulches blend slowly and biodegrade with the soil. So, there is a lack of soil nutrients eventually happens.

  • Chances of weed seeds to sprout in the mulch that you use to shed the fabric still remains.

It is natural that fabrics prevent the weed seeds from sprouting. But some fabrics can allow their roots to adhere to the holes. You cannot pull them out alone. Instead, you may need to remove the entire fabric from the garden to deal with them. If you don’t remove them, they will degrade soon and become redundant to regular plant productions.

  • It may be an additional cost to plantations.

Ordinary landscape fabrics may save you money. But if you want a better result, you should install premium quality weed fabrics. They are thicker than regular fabrics as they have UV barriers and some other unique features. But it costs more money which can be beyond your plan of the gardening project.

  • Reseeding appears tough when you set up landscape fabric.

Suppose you love to grow favorite plants naturally by reseeding. But fabrics for landscaping may disappoint you. Because the seeds cannot penetrate the fabric like the sprouts.

  • It may appear tough to remove while you want to change the gardening plants.

Usually, landscape fabrics need to cover with rubber, wood chips, pebbles. Replacinng or removing the fabric, you will need to shovel or rake these chips or pebbles first. Thus, it kills your precious time.

How Much is Landscape Fabric?

Grass control fabrics are available in bulk quantity or as rolls. Additionally, you get a factory warrant and sometimes a money-back guarantee with the product. However, these facilities depend on any damages that happen due to transport or ineffective applications.

How Much is Landscape Fabric

When you want to buy landscape fabric, you may consider the weather conditions of your area. Many experts suggest not to use them in heavy rainfall areas. Besides, you should prefer breathable soil fabric instead of full impervious material.

The cost of soil fabric is $45-$80 per square foot on average, depending on the brand and thickness you choose. The thicker you choose, the longer they will last.

When you pick the item, you may need to have landscape pins too. These pins help to secure the fabric to the soil. You may need to pay $0.1 per pin. Also, $.5 per square foot may need as an additional cost.

Where to Buy Landscape Fabric?

The first thing we do while buying something is search online. The same thing you can do for buying landscape fabrics. They are available at retailer garden tool stores.

Where to Buy Landscape Fabric

If you are a gardener, you can contact them over the phone or meet them physically for better ideas. Then, they will offer you purchasing items in bulk amounts or by rolls. However, the quantity depends on the garden size, weather conditions of your area.

What Can I Use Instead of Landscape Fabric?

You can use black plastic mulch before thinking about using the landscape fabric. It can cover a huge area and prevent weed growth sufficiently. But it does not block water from seeping through. Also, there is no chance of growing mold and mildews. This is the reason why you don’t need to replace in wet seasons as weed fabrics need.

What Can I Use Instead of Landscape Fabric

These are some landscape alternatives:

  • Cardboard: Biodegradable & earthworm-friendly, affordable alternative.
  • Newspaper: Least costly, biodegradable, and helpful to increase soil nutrients.
  • Burlap: Close to landscape fabric, biodegradable.
  • Ground cover plants: Most natural way, better weed control.
  • Herbicides: Using mulches can provide long-term weed control.

Final Words:

Everybody loves to see a green & healthy garden full of plants, flowers, and fruits. A useful gardening tool like landscape fabric can be a great asset to a healthy garden. It can prevent weeds from growing or even vanishing them for a long time till it gets damaged or you remove them.

In this article, we have gone through possible connected or relevant queries about gardening landscape fabrics. We hope it can be a good source of increasing your knowledge on the particular fabric topic.

Happy Gardening!

Hello there! I’m Jessica, I'm a textile engineer and mom of two little boys. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for Fabrichow.

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