Home Improvements

How to Use Landscape Fabric to Control Weeds

Weeds are a silent threat. These persistent intruders can quickly take over your green space and ruin the beauty of your carefully designed garden. However, a reliable tool in the horticulturist’s toolbox, landscape fabric acts as a strong wall against these unwanted invaders.

When used properly, this cloth not only reduces the growth of weeds but also creates an atmosphere that allows air, water, and essential nutrients to freely penetrate and nourish your lush treasures.

This guide will explain how to use landscape fabric as effectively as possible so that your garden beds continue to be a living example of the orderly splendour of nature.

Prepare the Soil

Getting the soil ready is very important to help keep weeds away and let plants grow well. Take out the unwanted plants, rocks, and trash from the place where you want to plant. Use a garden fork or a tiller to break up the soil – this helps water flow better and lets air in.

Enhance the soil by putting in organic matter, like compost or aged manure, to make it richer and nicer for plants to grow. Finally, smooth the terrain with a rake, crafting a level foundation upon which the landscape fabric will rest.

Choose the Right Type of Landscape Fabric

Landscape fabric is rich with diversity and requires a discerning choice to suit your particular requirements. Seek out landscape fabric renowned for its robustness, permeability, and resilience against ultraviolet rays to ensure enduring weed control.

Consider the fabric’s thickness and weight, as more substantial fabrics generally provide superior weed suppression. Furthermore, choose landscape fabric with pre-made planting holes or perforations to make installation easier and to enable proper drainage and ventilation.

Measure and Cut the Landscape Fabric

To begin, measure the precise dimensions of your garden bed and meticulously cut the landscape fabric to fit. Ensure you leave a generous margin of a few inches on all sides. This extra length is crucial for overlapping the edges, thereby guaranteeing comprehensive coverage.

Employ sharp scissors or a utility knife to achieve precise, straight cuts. Should you have multiple pieces of fabric, ensure they overlap by a few inches. Secure these seams firmly with landscape fabric staples or robust adhesive tape to thwart weed growth through the interstices.

Install the Landscape Fabric

With the soil meticulously prepped and the fabric precisely cut, it’s time to position it over your garden bed. Drape the fabric uniformly over the soil. Make sure it covers the area entirely, leaving no gaps or creases. Gently smooth out any wrinkles or folds, aiming for a flawless, even surface. To anchor the fabric firmly, fasten the edges with landscape staples or use hefty stones, ensuring the material stays put and resists any movement or wind disturbance.

Secure the Edges

To maintain an orderly and weed-free garden, utilizing landscape fabric can prove transformative. Once the fabric is laid, ensuring its secure placement is paramount for optimal functionality. Landscape fabric pins or staples serve as ideal implements for this purpose. Strategically position them at intervals along the edges and where the fabric pieces overlap. This not only prevents shifting but also increases its weed-suppressing capabilities. By securing the fabric in this manner, a robust barrier is established, promoting cleanliness and aesthetics in your outdoor environment while mitigating the need for frequent upkeep.

Plant Through the Fabric

You must plant through the landscape fabric, whether you’re using it in a garden bed with plants already there or intending to add more. Begin by carefully cutting X-shaped openings using a utility knife. Ensure these openings are sufficiently large to accommodate the root ball of each plant. Below each opening, excavate a hole in the soil and gently fold back the fabric. Plant your chosen flora in these holes, then gently compress the soil around their roots. Secure the fabric in place, ensuring it covers the planting areas adequately.

Mulch Over the Fabric

To make landscape fabric work better and look nicer, put a layer of natural mulch like bark, wood bits, or leaf pieces on top. Apply a thick layer of mulch, usually 2 to 3 inches deep, making sure the textile is well covered. By blocking sunlight and keeping moisture in the soil, mulch helps to further inhibit the growth of undesirable plants. It also moderates soil temperature, insulates plant roots, and gives garden beds a polished look.

Maintain the Landscape Fabric

Maintaining landscape fabric and maximising its ability to suppress weeds require regular maintenance.  Periodically inspect the fabric for any signs of wear, tear, or damage, promptly addressing any issues. Remove any weeds that may emerge through the fabric manually or using appropriate garden tools. Minimise unnecessary disturbance to the fabric to maintain its integrity and durability over time. By maintaining landscape fabric properly, you can ensure prolonged weed control and maintain a tidy appearance for your garden beds.

Replace as needed

Over time, the fabric covering landscapes endures natural deterioration from exposure to sunlight and routine gardening activities. This gradual process can compromise its efficacy in suppressing weeds. Therefore, it is prudent to closely monitor the fabric’s condition. If you detect indications of significant damage, such as frayed edges or conspicuous holes, it is advisable to promptly replace those affected areas.

This proactive approach ensures that your garden beds continue to benefit from the fabric’s weed-controlling properties, maintaining a tidy and well-kept appearance throughout every season. Regular inspection and timely replacement will ultimately extend the overall usefulness of your landscape fabric installation, saving you both time and effort in the long term.


Landscape fabric proves invaluable in managing unwanted vegetation and upholding an organised, low-effort garden. Through meticulous soil preparation, selecting the appropriate landscape fabric variant, precise measurement and cutting, proper installation, planting through the fabric, applying mulch over it, and consistent maintenance, you can effectively hinder weed proliferation and maintain the pristine appearance of your garden beds.

Integrate landscape fabric seamlessly into your garden layout for the year-round enjoyment of immaculate, weed-free garden beds!