Our gardens are an expression of our need to bring beautiful life to our homes, but weeds can really ruin a garden and make it look wild and unruly. It’s no secret that weeds will make your current plants weaker due to the leeching of nutrients that weeds are famous for. Additionally, the root structures of weeds can virtually strangle your beautiful begonias if you aren’t careful.
Fortunately, there are weed barriers that will protect your plants from the ever-encroaching weeds.
In this guide, we are going to take a look at five weed barrier products so that you can know which is the best weed barrier for your money. Additionally, we also will have a buyer’s guide so that you can know what to look for.
Best Weed Barriers 2018
These products can save your garden. They will last at least ten years in most cases and you can even place things like rocks, gravel, compost, mulch, and additional soil atop them so that your garden still looks attractive.
|3 x 250ft ||25 years||5.0oz|
|Agfabric Woven Weed Block||5 x 100ft - 6.5 x 330ft||12 years||3.2oz|
|UST PRO Series||4 x 225ft||20+ years||2.0oz|
|Scotts Landscape Fabric||3 x 150ft||25 years||1.5oz|
|Dewitt 12YR-450||4 x 50ft||12 years||3.0oz|
1. Dewitt PRO-5 – Best Weed Barrier for Garden
The Dewitt PRO-5 is an excellent option for those looking to protect their gardens from weed growth. It’s very easy to cut and install when you need to establish a good sizing for your garden. And it also is treated so that rain water and water from your watering can is able to seep through the weed barrier. Additionally, it’s also thick enough to prevent all UV penetration.
If you have problems with sunlight causing damage to your barrier, then this is a good option because it’s treated to be resistant to UV light.
This is quite the perfect weed barrier. After a few year’s worth of use, this barrier can still resist weeds and even grass.
The Dewitt PRO-5 is a good polypropylene sheet that can really provide protection for your garden. While it doesn’t last forever, it is a great way to keep your plants moist and healthy while inhibiting the growth of weeds.
2. Agfabric Woven Weed Block – Best Weed Barrier under Rock, Gravel and Mulch
Planning out your garden is much easier with this Agfabric weed barrier. This is a woven product, which means that there are plenty of entry points for water to seep in so that the soil remains healthy and moist. This weed barrier also employs soil erosion control, which is great for areas that experience a lot of annual rainfall. Additionally, the fabric of this barrier is very environmentally safe: in fact, it is fully biodegradable after years of use.
Anything that can help you plan your garden is a major boon.
Unfortunately, if you are planning to grow larger plants, the lines don’t quite work as well. Also, after you cut this product, it does have a tendency to fray, which can look very unattractive. In addition, after the material has been cut, the frayed areas can break off, which means that the barrier will eventually wear down, and you’ll find yourself constantly sweeping up the frayed bits.
While this is a great option for those that need to plan out a garden, its tendency to fray is somewhat of a letdown. Despite this, this weed barrier is a very effective option for inhibiting the growth of weeds on your property and its woven nature lets water into the soil very easily. You will just have to clean around your garden from time to time.
3. UST PRO Series – Best Landscape Fabric
This is also a cost-effective selection as it provides 225 feet of weed control at a very inexpensive price. For those that need a nice amount of longevity and reliability, this is a good option.
For an inexpensive option for weed reduction, the Pro Series landscape fabric is a nice semi-professional option for most gardeners. It absorbs water well and can also lock in moisture so that your garden will look nice and healthy.
4. Scotts Landscape Fabric – Best Weed Block for Flower Beds
If you live in an area that has hardy weed species that can shred standard weed barriers, then the Scotts 25-Year Pro fabric barrier may be a good choice for you. Part of the reason for this is the fact that it’s rated to last for nearly a quarter century; this means that it’s durable and developed for longevity. It even has a lightweight design so that you can take it anywhere; just be sure to pin it down with garden staples.
You can’t beat the 25-year guarantee that Scotts offers on this product. This lets you set down your barrier and simply maintain its positioning for a very long time without the need to think about a replacement. Unfortunately, some of the hardiest species of weed can find ways through, but this will be a rare occurrence.
5. Dewitt 12YR-450 – Best Weed Control Membrane
Our second Dewitt product is a great selection for those that live in areas where the sun can do a lot of damage to a typical weed barrier. This particular product is treated to be fully UV-resistant and will minimize its penetration so that weeds can’t absorb UV light for photosynthesis. The material is also very thick so that weeds and grass won’t be able to penetrate the membrane of the barrier.
This weed barrier fabric roll is designed to last for a long time in your garden.
When you need a long-term solution to weeds, this is a great option because it has a three-ply layer of weed protection that will keep your garden weed-free for years.
This is a thicker product, so make sure that you have a good pair of shears or a very sharp knife with you when it’s time to cut. This is also a very lightweight weed barrier, so you’ll have to ensure that it is stapled in well or else it can blow away.
This Dewitt product is designed to last for a full 12 years, which is a feature that is firmly backed by the manufacturer so that you can rely on this barrier. Its ability to resist direct sunlight is also very useful for people that live in sunny areas.
Best Weed Barriers – Buyer’s Guide. How Weed Suppressing Fabric and Barriers Work
Weed barriers ensure that your weeds are cut off from the sunlight that they crave. Additionally, these products also prevent new growth from occurring as it will not allow airborne weed seeds to take hold in the soil itself.
There are quite a few advantages to using a dedicated weed barrier. The primary advantage is how easy they are to put down in your garden or flower bed, but there are other advantages as well:
1. It’s Chemical-Free
While herbicide weed killers are easy to use and fairly effective, their environmental impact isn’t so good. First, some herbicides have been known to kill off beneficial insects and plant species. Secondly, the chemicals can work their way into other water sources, which isn’t great for the environment.
2. Locks in Moisture
Sunlight will dry out your soil very quickly, especially during the warmer, sunnier months. Weed barriers effectively block out the sun from the soil so that there is a reduced rate of evaporation. The result is that your growing plants will have more water to absorb through their roots.
3. Water Can Pass Through
Not only do weed suppressing fabrics and barriers keep water in the soil underneath the barrier from evaporating in the sun, they also allow water to pass through them as well. When you’ve placed down your barrier over your flower bed or garden, you can water your plants as normal. The water will pass through pores in the material or flow down into the holes that you’ve established for your plants. This means that you’ll be feeding your plants valuable water without encouraging weed growth.
4. Provides a Barrier that Weeds Can’t Grow Through
While the soil will be moist and nourishing for intended plant life, uninvited guests will find it to be very inhospitable. First, the barrier is very hard for weeds to grow through. Second, weed formation is greatly inhibited because airborne weed seeds won’t have anything to latch onto. Conversely, if you use organic mulch on top of the barrier, seeds may be able to take root, but there won’t be a lot of nutrients in that thin layer for them to damage your growing things.
5. Prevents Weeds from Getting Sunlight
Any weeds that are able to come up will find that sunlight has become inaccessible due to the barrier. This means that the weeds will quickly die.
How to Install Weed Barrier
The application of a weed barrier is very important because you really don’t want to provide any space for weeds to flourish inside of your garden. With this in mind, it’s important to precisely measure out your weed fabric and secure it tightly in the soil.
Next, rake your area so that you can remove any excess weeds. Additionally, you can use your rake to level the area.
After this is completed, lay down your weed barrier. For a weed barrier, no side is specifically up (except for some brands – check manual carefully), so just set it down where you need it. To secure your weed barrier, you can purchase gardening staples that you should pound into the soil with a hammer at the corners of the weed barrier. The barrier should be tight against your soil, but it should still have some slack to it as well.
Finally, using a knife, cut a cross into the material at the position that you want to grow your plants. Then, scoop out the soil, plant, and recover the plant with the removed soil and you’re done. If you want a secure fit, use your remaining staples to secure your barrier in place around your growing plants.
What is the Best Weed Barrier to Use: Fabric versus Plastic
Plastic sheets are something of a mixed bag.
While plastic sheets can definitely be very effective, the chief problem lies in sheets that are too thin and let some sunlight through. The best way to test this is to put the plastic sheet up to the sun and see if ANY light shines through. If it does, then the plastic sheet may not 100 percent kill off growing weeds like hardy brambles. Also, unless they are perforated, plastic sheets can block water from making it to the soil.
- Visual Appeal. One of the biggest drawbacks of a weed barrier is that they have a tendency to be very unattractive. Even if you use mulch, stone, compost, or soil to hide the presence of weed barriers, it’s almost inevitable that some aspect of the material will poke its way out. While these products make gardening more convenient, you’ll still have to maintain your yard’s appearance.
- Effect on Other Plants. Not every plant that a weed barrier kills is a weed. When your plants germinate, their offspring can grow up under the barrier, which will kill them similarly to a weed.
- Some Weeds Can Still Poke Through. One of the chief reasons why weeds are so annoying is because they are so hardy! This means that even with weed barriers, you might find that some life is “finding a way.” This is especially a weakness of perforated plastic barriers; weeds can absolutely find a way to grow through the little holes. In this situation, you’ll have to pull just like you would have without the weed barrier.
Weeds can absolutely ruin a beautiful garden, but chemical options seem more like the nuclear option for some homeowners. There are not good for your plants, and if you have herb or vegetables in your garden, the chemicals can be hazardous to your health. Fortunately, weed barriers can provide an effective deterrent for weed growth and can revitalize your garden. The products that we’ve covered here are all excellent and will provide years of protection for your plants.