Weeds can quickly and easily ruin a beautiful lawn or garden costing you money and countless wasted hours getting rid of them. Using weed control fabric can help protect your plants from the non-stop encroachment of weeds which is safer than the chemical based weed sprays. Here is a useful buyer’s guide that gives you tips on what to look for in the weed control fabric and a few reviews to help you start shopping.
The Top Five Weed Control Fabric Reviews
|Sunbelt Weed Barrier||DeWitt 12YR450||DeWitt P3||DeWitt Weed Barrier PRO||ECOgardener|
|Item Dimensions||4’ x 300’||4’ x 300’||4’ x 300’||4’ x 300’||4’ x 300’|
|Item Weight||29 pounds||26 pounds||8 pounds||34 pounds||8|
|Warranty||5 years||12 years||n/a||12 years||n/a|
|Spheres to Use||For greenhouse and outdoor use||Smaller flower beds or areas that doesn't get a lot of heavy traffic||Yards and gardens||Garden centers, contractors, and professional landscapers||For gardens or lawn|
|Landscape Staples to Use With||AshmanOnline||The 5 Star Collection||Pinnacle Mercantile||The 5 Star Collection||Pinnacle Mercantile|
1. DeWitt Sunbelt Weed Barrier – All-round Weed Control Fabric
The DeWitt Sunbelt Weed Barrier has a five-year guarantee for outdoor and greenhouse use in direct sunlight. This weed blocker comes in a 300-foot length and is four feet wide for easy application.
2. Dewitt 12-Year Weed Barrier – Top rated Garden Weed Block
If you looking for an environmentally safe and easy to use weed block, the DeWitt Weed-Barrier 12 Year easily controls weed before they even start to grow. With a unique design, the Dewitt 12-Year Weed Barrier gives you several benefits over other weed barrier products on the market. This is a great solution for long-term landscapes and, since this product was made using the spun-bond method, it can sandwich material that was melt-blown to create a strong three-ply layer of protection against weeds.
This is a great product for those that live where sunlight does a lot of damage to weed barriers as this is a fully UV-resistant product so weeds can’t absorb needed UV light for photosynthesis. The thickness of the materials is also a plus since grass and weeds aren’t able to penetrate the barrier’s membrane. The DeWitt Weed Barrier 12 Year was created to be a long-lasting barrier in your garden and comes with a 12-year guaranty which is more than enough time to be used in most gardens.
3. Dewitt P3 Pro 5 Weed Barrier Fabric – Effective Weed Control Membrane for Commercial Use
One of the best weed control membranes on the market for commercial and professional use, the Pro-5 Weed- Barrier is a woven and needle-punched polypropylene fabric that has been approved by most government agencies and leading landscape architects. With the Pro-5, you will not only conserve soil moisture but also increase growth and stop weeds from germinating. It also features 12-inch spaced color striped lines that make it easy to align your plants.
This is a great option for anyone looking to prevent weeds, and it is very easy to cut and install and features a treatment that allows water to seep through it. It is also thick enough to stop any UV penetration which is great for those that have issues with sunlight damaging your weed barriers. This puncture resistant product creates a heavy-duty barrier that you will get several years use out of. The Pro-5 Weed Barrier comes in bulk rolls that can be purchased through your landscape supply firm or professional distributor.
4. Dewitt Weed Barrier Pro Landscape Fabric – Most Versatile for Weed Control
Available in brown, white, and black, the DeWitt Weed Barrier Pro was created for garden centers, contractors, and professional landscapers. It offers a color for every type of stone or mulch application and was specifically created to be used as a garden and landscape fabric for weed control. It is also hydrophilic and UV treated to allow for water and nutrient permeability.
5. ECOgardener Pro Garden Weed Barrier – Weed Control Fabric of Professional Grade
For an eco-friendly and durable weed barrier product for weeds, the ECOgardener Pro Garden Weed Barrier is a professional tool that is an important part of the success of any garden or lawn. By investing in a premium product like ECOgardener Pro Garden, you can save yourself time and money over a long period of time. This product was created to protect your plants from weeds and help your soil keep its value.
It combines the benefits of both non-woven and woven weed barrier fabric to create the most advanced, eco-friendly, and strongest weed barrier for your garden. It uses the strength found in the heavy-duty, woven fabric and the moisture retention that you love in non-woven fabric to give you a product the conserves moisture in the soil while providing you with extreme weed control. This is a professional level weed barrier cloth that is very durable because of the thickness of the high-quality materials.
Since it was designed to give you incredible weed control, this fabric for weeds will increase your efficiency and productivity with easy installation that is heavy enough to keep your garden protected. It was designed to let in water and air allowing your soil to retain its moisture and value and with its sturdy design, it will last you for years to come and help you reduce the number of chemicals that you use.
Alright, so you are ready to buy and know what you want. Wait. Before before you start making any purchases, there are a few things you need to keep in mind and look out for. Here are a few points to ponder.
Gauges are standardized from 1 to 40. It can be a counterintuitive concept, but the higher the gauge number the thinner the wire. It is numbered this way because of the way wire is manufactured. The machines used work somewhat like a pasta machine. The wire is drawn and pulled using the widest die and goes through multiple passes until it reaches the desired thickness. A slender wire has had more draws (pulls through a die with holes) than a heavy-duty one.
Resist the temptation to skimp when laying down weeding fabric or securing fencing. Gaps can be easily exploited by weeds and storms can lift and rip fabric between pins too widely spaced. Be generous with the seam overlaps, too. Although 3 inches will work, an 8-12 inch seam overlap (depending on the size of the project) will be a better safeguard.
For the best results, landscaping fabric should be placed with staples placed in intervals appropriate for the soil type. For most applications, 12-16 inches apart is average. Staggering staples can add some added staying power. Remember to secure the seams and not just around the outside edge.
Around the perimeter 8-10 inches is sufficient for average soils, and in the center line 12 inches works well. Uneven ground or loose soils may require tighter spacing in some areas.
If soil is compacted or rocky, start by pushing the staples in by hand to feel for the right spot then push them in all the way with a foot or rubber mallet. around the perimeter with staples. In hard soil, start the staples by hand and then push them in with your foot.
It’s better to overestimate than underestimate. To calculate a ballpark value for the number of staples needed for a project, first determine how many overlaps there will be. At minimum, the pins or staples must go around the perimeter and along the seams, however, cut holes for plants often also require staples.
For any size area with a slight overestimate to account for breakage, follow the following steps:
1. Convert the project perimeter to inches: (width in feet) x 12 and (length in feet) x 12
2. Determine number of seams to achieve appropriate overlap
3. Determine pin intervals based upon soil type: 6-10 inches for soft; 12-16 inches for average; 24-36 inches for hard soil
4. Calculate total inches thus:
(width in inches) x (2) + (length in inches) x (2 + number of seams)
5. Calculate number of pins: (total inches) divided by (interval inches)
Project: 5 x 10 foot with 1 seam and a 12-inch overlap
width = 5 (12) = 60 inches
length = 10 (12) = 120 inches
Total Inches Calculation: (60 x 2) + (120 x 3) = 120 + 360 = 480 inches
Staple Calculation (12 inch spacing): 480 / 12 = 40 staples
The example project would require approximately 40 staples and a slightly bigger project of 5 x 20 would require around 70.
Purchasing a package of 50 wouldn’t have many spares for the first example and would likely be more expensive than a box of 100. In addition, if the size the area was changed spontaneously to the second example, the pin count would fall far short with a small package.
For a circular area, use the following steps for an estimate:
1. Measure the diameter, convert to inches, and multiply by 3 for the circumference
2. Determine the number of seams
3. Calculate total inches: (circumference inches) + (diameter inches x number of seams)
4. Number of staples: Total inches divided by interval length
Circular area with a diameter of 6 feet, 1 seam, with 8-inch intervals
Diameter inches = (6 x 12) = 72 inches
Circumference = (72 x 3) = 216 inches
Total inches = (216) + (72 * 1 seam) = 288 inches
Number of staples = 288 inches / 8 inches = 36 staples
The answer above is a rough estimate with a couple of extras.
A low-end estimate including buffer staples in our examples doesn’t take into account miscalculating the soil density which requires closer spacing.
When in doubt, it is practical to buy a larger box and have more than enough leftovers.
The more bought at once, often the lower the cost. Because the stakes can be used for many other projects, extra won’t go to waste. Finally, when calculating amount per stake, don’t forget to figure in shipping costs.
To Galvanize or Not to Galvanize
A zinc coating placed upon iron and steel to deter rust is called galvanization. The are a few different processes used to coat metals this way such as hot dipping. No matter the method, the purpose is to slow down the corrosion by protecting the iron or steel with a zinc layer that will wear away first. Eventually, however, all metal rusts. The coating delays but does not eliminate this natural process.
Whether corrosion takes years or decades depends on the thickness of the zinc and how fast the elements degrade it. Higher exposure to the elements, soil, winter road salting, and proximity to sea water accelerates the process. A reaction with certain salty and acidic conditions turns the zinc to a form that is easily washed away.
However, in inland areas with calmer weather conditions, galvanized metals can last a lifetime.
If the goal is not to save the stakes or staples or if biodegradability is desired, metals that are not galvanized have the advantage. Because they breakdown over time, there is no need to pull them up. If the plan is to replace or re-till an area after a few years, then thin wire that degrades is a better option.
Landscape staples come with rounded or square styles. Square tops work well with plastic or fabric and sod because the flat top creates small bunches at the point of contact which reduces wind tearing. This is also advantageous on the soil level because the stakes sink better into the ground.
If the tarp or fabric has good ground contact, it is harder for wind to get underneath and tear it away. In addition, proper installation means less work and faster retardation of weeds.
Although weeds may sprout on the top of the fabric, using staples with good grip that creates good ground contact can prevent weeds from popping up between seams. It is harder to pull plants that have grown from underneath and wiggled through a narrow, unsecured gap than it is to pull a few from the surface layer.
Round tops have an arch more suited for drip hoses, irrigation tubes, rounded wire fencing, and narrow PVC pipes.
What’s the Point?
Depending on your needs, the best stake is the one that can stay in ground, won’t bend easily, and has a sharp chisel tip. Look for stakes that have very little, leftover lubricant.
Too much oil or grease from the manufacturing process can harm soil, and this is especially important when it comes to edible gardens. Quality staples that are stored with care by the manufacturer don’t need excess additives to deter rust before sale.
Four-inch pegs might be okay in mild weather but are too short for a workout and soft soils. Stakes 9-12 inches are required for deep penetration in soft dirt. In high traffic or areas of high winds six inches is the minimum for a solid grip in other soil types.
Longer lengths are also suitable for holding holiday decorations, pots, arbors, and some tents because they can both be sunk deep in ground and have a good profile above for tying or anchoring.
In soft soils, stakes with blunt ends are not a problem. However, in clay or rocky soils a well constructed chisel tip will ease installation. In addition, exceptionally thick weed barriers or geotextiles can’t be penetrated by any of the stakes in the guide.
Watch the dollar signs. When it comes to items like nails and stakes, bulk brings down the price. Landscaping staples are far more cost-effective when bought by the box rather than the packages of 25-50. Good metal pins that are at least six inches long cost, on average, between 5 and 10 cents each when bought in higher quantities. Plan to add about 50 cents per square foot for a project.
Galvanized staples will always fetch a higher price than untreated iron or steel. Rust is inevitable, especially with permanent contact with moisture. Treated metal slows down the process but will not eliminate it. However, rust is not necessarily an undesired feature in a fabric staple.
Because stakes are versatile and can be used for numerous applications other than holding gardening fabric, the big box is worth having around. With the money saved, labor saving tools such as a staple setter can be purchased to ease the burden of manual installation if a large area needs a lot of fastening.
What’s the Bottom Line?
When deciding on what to order, factor in breakage, installation losses, and unforeseen hiccups that may require more staples or stakes. Remember to match the right staple type with the project needs: budget, soil density, fabric type, and plant holes. Having an ample number of spares will come in handy for repairs after storms, unplanned expansions, and future projects.