Sunday, June 5, 2011

Landscape Fabric

Forgive the hose, but if you look at the photo, you'll see a pile of rocks that I've placed in a weird little nook in My Father's Garden.  I didn't want to have to weed this area or tend to it or anything so I laid inches upon inches of newspaper and laid rocks I dug up while planting over the newspaper.  Good thing, right?  Except now, the newspaper is breaking down and the first teeny weeny weed is coming through.

I want to recreate this same thing in the Japanese Garden.  I don't want traditional mulch as I think rocks would look so much better and I have more rocks than I know what to do with around here.

I've spoken with landscape designers and architects, gardeners, nursery owners, and have read countless blogs about this over the past three weeks or so.

Pros and cons exist with each option but I've decided to go the landscape fabric (commercial grade) route.  I've heard every single negative comment possible about using this stuff (doesn't work, pain in the ass to remove, weeds still come through, etc.) and I think that people who are so unhappy with this are using it in the wrong application.

I think landscape fabric is a bad choice in a perennial garden where shredded mulch is being used.  Weeds will grow in mulch, so all you're doing is preventing weed seeds beneath the fabric to come through.  But you're not preventing weed seeds on the mulch from growing.

For me to use newspaper, I think would be a bad, bad option as all I'm doing is creating an organically-rich medium for weed seeds.

The trick here will be to keep dirt from falling between the rocks where seeds may be able to grow.

I hope it works.  I don't want to think about removing ALL those rocks to have to start over.


  1. We've used it under rocks and still had weeds. However, that may be because it's on a slope and some soil does wash down the hill unto the stones. Lee has at times shoveled the stones up and removed the dirt, but I'm not sure he's put down more landscape fabric before replacing the stones. Regardless, it's impossible to avoid weeds completely.

  2. I suppose you're right, Heather. Weeds are here to stay. :-( Lee is a Miracle Husband, you know that? I know you do. Shoveling stones up a hill is truly a labor of love. You're blessed!

  3. I guess it would be better to just weed them out. It would be a great form of exercise, right. But if you really don’t have time to weed out, it is better to use newspaper or landscape fabric.

  4. Replies
    1. It's an organic garden, Ben. Roundup is not an option.



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