Landscape fabric has been used by professionals or amateurs alike to help them combat their weed problem. I’ve rounded up best products in May 2018 for you, compared them side by side in our comparison table and then wrote what is the best landscape fabric reviews.
I’ve also given you a buyer’s guide so you know exactly what to look for in your next purchase as well as to why you should consider using it. Let’s check who makes the landscape fabric worth buying.
The Top Five Landscape Fabric in 2018
|Landmaster Pro-Tough||DeWitt 12YR450||Mutual WF200||Flarmor||DeWitt SBLT4300|
|Item Dimensions||4’ x 300’||4’ x 50’||6’ x 300’||3’ x 300’||4’ x 300’|
|Item Weight||24 pounds||6 pounds||43 pounds||12 pounds||29 pounds|
|Warranty||25 years||12 years||n/a||12 years||5 years|
|Spheres to Use||Any areas, including heavy traffic spaces like decks, walkways||Smaller flower beds or areas that don't get a lot of heavy traffic||Any areas including stone paths or pavers||Under artificial grass, driveways, for vegetable patches||For greenhouses, outdoor use|
|Landscape Staples to Use With||AshmanOnline||The 5 Star Collection||Sandbaggy||Pinnacle Mercantile||Pinnacle Mercantile|
1. Landmaster Pro-Tough – Best Overall Landscape Cloth
I recommend this product for anyone who has flower beds or areas and who wants a durable weed barrier that will still allow for nutrients to get to the plant’s roots.
2. Dewitt 4-Foot by 50-Foot 12-Year Weed Barrier – Lightweight Landscape Fabric
I recommend this lightweight landscape fabric to anyone who has smaller flower beds or areas that doesn’t get a lot of heavy traffic because it lets nutrients through but it won’t withstand heavy traffic without damage.
3. Mutual WF200 – Heavy Duty Landscape Fabric
I recommend this product for people who have a lot of stone paths or pavers because it’ll stop them from settling into the soil and provide an even barrier for weed control.
4. Flarmor Landscape Ground Cover – Best Quality Landscape Fabric
We recommend this product for light gardening, including vegetable spots, green borders and allotments. It is perfect to underlay for artificial grass. However, the product can be used under rocks as well.
5. DeWitt SBLT4300 Sunbelt Ground Cover Weed Barrier – Large Area Product
I recommend this product for landscapers or gardeners who have large areas that they’d like to cover for weed control. It’s too thick for areas with plants or flowers to grow so open areas work best.
Now that I’ve reviewed and compared our top picks for the best landscape cloth, I’ll go over why you would want it in the first place. I’ll also give you several criteria to look for when you purchase your next lot of landscape fabric and go over a few frequently asked questions.
What is Landscape Fabric?
Instead of trying to keep up with weeds as they grow or resort to herbicides, many landscapers are turning to landscaping cloth. Wikipedia gives us quite poor explanation. It acts as a barrier and blocks out the sunlight, water, and oxygen to prevent them from getting into the weeds and enabling them to grow.
You can usually find landscaping membrane at garden stores or nurseries in rolls, and it is usually made out of woven geotextile material. Some landscape fabrics are thinner and come laminated with a layer of black textile material. The material is traditionally black because this helps to block the light by darkening the soil.
Mesh landscape fabric allows for more air and water flow, and this prevents damage to the underlying earth. You usually cut holes in this cloth around your plants or shrubs, but one of the downsides is that it tends to be more expensive and it can develop holes quickly.
The most common landscape fabric is a tightly woven plastic material because this is more durable and sustainable. It also works better to block weed growth because it stops air, water, and sunlight from reaching the weeds. You can usually get a few years of use out of one application of this type of landscape fabric.
The Difference Between Woven and Non-Woven Landscape Fabric
When you look at weed barrier material, you’ll notice that you can choose from woven or non-woven fabrics. So, what is the best type of landscape fabric?
Non-Woven Landscape Fabric
This type of barrier fabric is traditionally made out of materials like polyester or polypropylene, and they’re an excellent choice for anyone who wants a more long-term solution to their weed problem. They’re not recommended for flower beds because they don’t allow for much air flow or water movement, and it can suffocate your plant’s root system. It works best for gravel or rock landscaping because it won’t allow weeds to grow and overrun your area, and the gravel won’t settle down into the soil because there is a barrier.
Woven Landscape Fabric
This type of landscape fabric comes with very small holes, and it is traditionally made out of materials like linen or polypropylene. The small holes in the fabric allow for good air, water, and nutrient exchange between the soil and the surrounding environment. This type of fabric works well for gardens, flower beds, and shrubbery but you have to till up the earth before you apply it. You can cut holes in the fabric for your plants, and you won’t have to worry about them not being able to get water or nutrients from this particular fabric.
Advantages to Using Landscape Fabric
When you’re trying to choose between more traditional chemical sprays and landscape fabric, there are a few advantages you should know about that comes with using landscape fabric oversprays.
Decorative Stonework and Mulch Lasts Longer – If you have decorative stonework or mulch, you’ll extend its life cycle with a landscape fabric barrier between it and the ground. Your mulch won’t deteriorate as quick, and you won’t have to replace it as frequently.
Environmental Impact – Sprays contain chemicals to help kill the weeds, but they’re also bad for the surrounding environment. They soak in and contaminate the soil and water. On the other hand, landscape fabric doesn’t contaminate the environment, and there are no chemicals in it.
Layers of Protection – If you have an animal that is prone to digging up your new flower beds or gardens, the landscape fabric provides another layer of protection for your plants. It’s more difficult to dig through, and many animals give up before they can damage the actual plant.
Less Competition for Your Plants – Your landscape fabric quickly and effectively kills any weeds that may grow in and around your plants. These weeds are competing for the same nutrients your plants are, so by killing them with this barrier, you’re allowing your plants to grow without competition.
Moisture Retention – Your landscape fabric is permeable, and this means that it allows for oxygen, nutrients, and moisture to filter through and sink into the soil and nourish the surrounding plants. This allows the ground itself to get a steady supply of moisture that it retains and you have to water less.
Protects Against Soil Erosion – Anyone who has hillsides or embankments knows how hard it can be to keep the soil where you want it, especially if it rains frequently. The landscape fabric will help to hold the soil in place until your ground cover grows and holds it where you want it.
Which landscape fabric is best?
By now you’ve most likely realized that there are hundreds of different landscape fabrics available in a variety of textiles and sizes. But, there are a few points you want to consider when you’re purchasing your next landscape fabric roll.
Allows for Air and Water Movement
Your landscape fabric shouldn’t be air or watertight, and you want it to allow for free air and water flow. The soil below the landscape fabric is important, and you don’t want to starve it for air or nutrients for years because this will create an unhealthy environment for any plants you decide to place there.
Durable and Long Lasting
You may be tempted to spend less on your landscape fabric, but it doesn’t pay to cut corners and buy a cheaper product because you’ll replace it quicker. Ideally, your landscape fabric should last for at least one season, but two or three would be better. Look for fabric that is resistant to wear and tear rot, and deterioration.
Easy to Use and Install
Some landscape fabric and be very heavy, bulky, and difficult for a single person to install. The last thing that you want to do is call someone and pay them to install it because it’s too difficult. Look for landscape fabric in rolls that is light enough to maneuver easily and that installs with simply cutting and placing it.
You want to pick a landscape fabric that is safe for the environment and any surrounding plants or vegetation. You decided not to use chemical sprays, but it won’t help if your landscape fabric is harming the environment as well so look for an environmentally-friendly fabric.
If you intend to have your landscape fabric exposed to the elements and the sunlight on a regular basis, choosing a fabric that has a layer or UV protection is a good idea. The last thing you want is for your fabric to break down because it gets weakened by routine exposure to UV rays.
Tips for Laying Landscaping Fabric
Once you’ve found the landscape fabric that suits your needs, you’ll want to ensure that you prepare the soil and lay it out correctly to stop any complications from arising down the line.
Tip One: Start with a Weed Free Area
You may be tempted to lay your landscape fabric down right over the tops of any existing weeds you have, but this isn’t a good idea. You want to take time and pull or rake up any existing weeds to start with a clean surface.
Tip Two: Turn the Soil
Prior to laying down your landscape fabric, it is a good idea to till or turn the soil up. Also, if you plan on adding plants or shrubbery to the area, now is the time to work in any fertilizer or compost so you won’t have to rip up your fabric and do it later.
Tip Three: Remove any Debris
It is a good idea to rake the area where you’re going to lay the landscape fabric relatively flat (unless you’re trying for raised beds or hills). You also want to take this time and remove any large debris like rocks, roots, or sticks that may hinder how well your fabric holds up.
Tip Four: Carefully Measure and Lay Our Your Fabric Before You Cut
Although you might want to guess and cut your fabric to what you think is the correct size, it’ll pay to roll or lay it out and get exact measurements. You want to start at one edge of your area and lay it out lengthwise, only cutting when you’re sure it fits correctly. This will allow for fewer cracks for weeds to grow.
Tip Five: Don’t Forget to Secure Your Landscape Fabric
You do want to secure your landscape fabric to ensure that it stays where you want it to stay. You can do this quickly and easily by pushing landscape staples through the fabric every few feet. It’s a good idea to pay close attention to any overlapping areas, corners, or edges in your fabric because these are all perfect areas for weeds to sneak through.
Landscape Fabric Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need different landscape fabric for different projects?
Yes, it is important that you match the type of landscape fabric to the project you want to use it for. As we mentioned before, heavier and thicker landscape fabric works better for stonework or for holding your gravel in place. Lighter landscape fabric allows for air, water, and nutrients to reach the soil and they’re better for gardening or areas with plants.
Should the landscape fabric have UV protection?
If it’s possible, you want your landscape fabric to have a built-in layer of UV protection even if it’s going to be under mulch or gravel. The chances are that it will eventually get exposure to sunlight, and you want to stand up and last for more than one season. UV protection can help create a more durable fabric.
Doing your research and choosing the landscape fabric to use is very important when it comes to how well the fabric will actually work for you. Our top five picks and our buyer’s guide give you a good starting point so you know what to look for and what is important in your next landscape fabric purchase.