Landscape fabric is woven from a synthetic product, most often polypropylene, a plastic. The tighter the weave, the more effective the fabric is as a barrier. Woven landscape fabric allows sun and moisture to reach the soil but shields the soil from direct sunlight, thus preventing the germination of weeds and other unwanted plants in your garden bed. Available in retail garden centers, landscape fabric allows you to protect your plants and soil from weeds and invasive plants.
Clear the area in which you intend to plant. Remove any existing grasses, weeds and rock. Add any amendments you may need for your soil and smooth the surface with a rake.
Measure the width and length of the cleared area. Woven landscape fabric comes in rolls in a variety of sizes. Purchase rolls that are suitable to the size of your area. You will overlap at the seams, so purchase enough fabric to allow for extra material.
Unroll the fabric and cut to fit the length of the cleared area. You may need to cut several lengths to fit across the area. Place the first length along the edge. Use rocks or bricks on each end of the fabric to hold it in place.
Loosely prop the fabric against existing plants as you place the fabric. You will return to cut the fabric around the plants.
Cut the fabric from the edge to the middle to accommodate existing plants. Tuck the cut edges around the bases of the plants. Keep the cuts as small as possible.
Lay the next length of woven landscape fabric alongside the first length of fabric. Overlap the first length by 3 inches. Secure each end and cut to accommodate existing plants.
Use anchor pins or landscaping staples to secure the ends of the fabrics laid lengthwise across the garden area. Secure the seams with the pins or staples, placing them every 3 to 5 feet. Secure the cuts around the plants.
Cut an X shape in the fabric where you wish to add new plants. Keep the cuts as small as possible. Install the new plants and secure the landscape fabric around them with pins or staples.
Install a drip irrigation system, directing the irrigation heads to drip only at the bases of the plants.
Trim any excess landscape fabric from around the edge of your garden bed. Add a layer of mulch over the area, covering the landscape fabric. Regularly check the condition of the fabric and replace every few years as needed.