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What Is The Best Weed Barrier Fabric?

Posted by Jordan Hamasaki on

Weed barrier fabric can be a game-changer for keeping your garden tidy and under control. But with a variety of options on the market, how do you pick the right one? Here's 5 things you want to consider:

  1. type of fabric
  2. coverage
  3. UV Resistance
  4. Weight / Thickness
  5. Material

Product Considerations

Types Of Fabric

The simplest way to determine if you need a woven or a non-woven weed barrier fabric will depend on if you need the fabric to be water permeable.

  • Woven Fabric: The most common type of landscape fabric, it has traditional plastic "tarp" like feel, and is non water permeable.
  • Nonwoven Fabric: A water permeable fabric (use when drainage is needed), to identify this type of fabric it will have a felt-like look and appearance.
  • Biodegradable: Best for short term applications, these types of fabric are generally made of paper, and are the most eco-friendly. They even have the added benefit of becoming compost for your soil.

Coverage

Typically 3-6 ft wide rolls are the most common sizes of landscape fabric, though landscape fabric can be sold in sizes 15+ ft. They are easy to handle, yet large enough to cover a wide area.

Need help deciding how much landscape fabric to buy? Check out our landscape fabric calculator.

Lifespan / Quality

To ensure your are getting a high quality weed barrier, here are some things to look for.

  • UV Resistance: Look for fabrics with UV stabilizers added to the fabric to ensure they are able to last for your desired timeframe under heavy sunlight. Check how long each supplier claims that their fabric lasts under the sun.
  • Weight / Thickness: Fabric thickness is typically measured in ounces. To ensure you are getting a heavy duty fabric (much heavier than stuff from your local hardware store), make sure your fabric is at least 3 oz/sq yard. Most hardware stores sell fabric that is 1.2 oz/sq yard or less.
  • Material: Make sure your products are constructed from 100% virgin resin, this means the materials used in your fabric aren't recycled.
  • Meets ASTM Standards* (if applicable): If your fabric meets ASTM standards that means it truly is a high quality fabric.

Picking the Perfect Fabric for Your Project

Here's Sandbaggy recommendations for the best fabric for specific use cases.

Always keep in mind the uses for woven vs non woven fabrics. Woven landscape fabrics are stronger but are not water permeable, while non-woven fabrics allow water to pass through.

The thicker the fabric, the more commercial grade and heavy duty it's going to be. But also look out for specs to ensure the fabrics heavy dutiness.

Under Gravel / Rocks

Opt for an extremely thick fabric, we recommend fabrics that are more than 3 oz thick to ensure they won't tear, like our 6 oz woven landscape fabric. This fabric is so strong it comes with a 365 weed free guarantee!

6 ft Heavy Duty Landscape Fabric

  • 365 Weed Free Guarantee
  • 2x thicker (6 oz) than standard woven landscape fabrics.
  • Lasts 50+ Yrs*

Vegetable Gardens / Flower Beds

Opt for our 8 oz Non Woven fabric that allows water to permeable through the fabric! Plus it's extremely tough! It even allows trucks to roll over it and it won't break!

8 oz Non Woven Geotextile Landscape Fabric

  • Made in the USA
  • 2x thicker (8 oz) than standard non-woven fabrics.
  • Lasts 50+ Yrs*
  • Safe For Organic Farming

Eco-Friendly

Go with a biodegradable or even a recycled landscape fabric. Biodegradable landscape fabrics are made from materials that should decompose naturally, and act as compost for your soil.

This Biodegradable Landscape Fabric is made from 100% recycled cardboard boxes and is 100% biodegradable.

Biodegradable Landscape Fabric

  • Made in the USA
  • Breaks down and enriches your soil.
  • Made from 100% recycled cardboard boxes. Zero Plastic!
  • Safe For Organic Farming

Most Economical

For the most general weed barrier applications, the best rule of thumb is to use a woven landscape fabric that is at least 3 oz thick and is UV protected.

For this we recommend our 3 ft landscape fabric, which starts at just $30/roll.

3 ft Landscape Fabric

  • 3x thicker (3 oz) than Home Depot Vigoro Fabric
  • Lasts 40+ Yrs*
  • Safe For Organic Farming

Best Practices

How To Install

  1. Prepare the area: Remove weeds and debris to ensure a smooth surface.
  2. Lay and cut the fabric: Unroll the fabric and use a utility knife to cut it to size. Overlap the edges for better coverage.
  3. Secure the fabric: Use landscape staples to hold the fabric in place and prevent windblown edges.
  4. Make planting holes: Cut slits in the fabric to create planting holes for your desired plants.
  5. Apply mulch: Cover the fabric with a layer of mulch for a clean and finished look, while suppressing any remaining weeds.

Where To Put It

Weed barrier fabric is best suited for areas with established plantings like flower beds, around trees and shrubs, or under gravel walkways.

When To Use It

Consider using weed barrier fabric in areas where weeds are persistent or difficult to control manually. It can also be a time-saver in large landscaping projects.

By understanding the different types of weed barrier fabric and their functionalities, you can make an informed decision for your specific gardening needs. With proper installation, weed barrier fabric can be a valuable tool to keep your garden thriving and under control.


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