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How to Put Down a Weed Barrier

By Elizabeth Knoll ; Updated September 21, 2017

A weed barrier, which is also known as landscape fabric, prevents weeds from growing through the mulch in your garden beds. It works by blocking sunlight from reaching the soil and also forms a physical barrier that prevents weed seeds and roots from growing. Moisture is still able to penetrate the barrier and reach the plants you desire to keep in your garden bed. Installing this weed barrier requires only a few simple tools and a little bit of time.

Rake your garden bed smooth and remove any debris and rock from the soil.

Unroll the weed barrier and cut it to the length of your garden bed. Since the rolls are only so wide, you may need to unroll multiple lengths to cover the entire width of your bed.

Trim the edge of the weed barrier with scissors to match any curves or angles in your garden bed.

Slit your weed barrier to line up with existing plants and slide it into place. Cut circles in the weed barrier where the main plants will be to prevent the fabric from pushing up on the plants when it is in place.

Secure the weed barrier to the ground with landscape staples. Overlap any slits you made slightly and secure these together to the ground. Install enough staples to prevent it from blowing away in the wind.

Spread 2 to 3 inches of mulch over your weed barrier. Rake smooth with your garden rake.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Garden rake
  • Tape measure
  • Weed barrier (landscape fabric)
  • Scissors
  • Landscape staples
  • Mulch

Tip

  • If you have not planted your bed yet, you can first lay the weed barrier down and then cut an "X" wherever you intend to place a plant. Plant your plants and then trim the fabric as necessary to fit around the plant.

Warning

  • Landscape fabric and weed barriers can interrupt the natural ecological balance and may disturb the life cycle of insects, birds and natural composting of organic matter. It can also slow the rate of water evaporation, which may lead to mold growth. Use it only if absolutely needed.