Landscape Fabric: A Case Study Against — 4 Comments

    • Thanks for your comment, Billie. I agree that weeding is easier done if the weeds are only in the upper mulch. And if one does the chore of weeding regularly, that is where they are picking them from—the top mulch—before they’ve established roots into deeper soil.

      Here are 4 more reasons I’m not a fan of geotextile in the garden:
      1) It is not natural;
      2) It prevents the improvement one’s soil because it keeps the mulch/compost layer from merging with the lower soil—a job worms and other tiny critters do quite efficiently when given the chance;
      3) It prevents any chance of creating a sustainable landscape by merit of putting the kibosh on Mother Nature’s ways of creating good soil;
      4) It prevents a garden from growing with creeping ground cover (or spreading bulbs) or other plants that would make a lush, textural appearance, and cover the earth completely thus choking or shading out weeds in the first place.

      I am all about creating soil that feeds the plant rather than use of chemical fertilizers. I’m also about not using chemicals to kill weeds (all except in the most heinous situations)—though I do regularly use vinegar. My example showed how vastly fewer weeds grew in my well-compost-mulched bed compared to one with not enough mulch and geotextile weed barrier. The weeds in the latter bed were coming up THROUGH the geotextile as well as on top. Why would I want to lay geotextile in that good garden without weeds in the first place?

      With all of that said, I do heartily endorse the main reason why geotextile was invented—to keep stone/rock material from merging with soil. This is absolutely essential when building rock walls or patios or walkways or ponds, etc. Mother Nature does try to blend materials. This is a good thing in the garden, but it’s a bad thing for hardscape.

      I visited your website, Billie, and see in your FAQ section that you describe use of your product with hardscape elements. YES! I’m all for that.

      I’ll come short of endorsing this product because I’ve not worked with this retailer before or seen their product. But if you, my readers, are doing a hardscape project, maybe you will give Geotextile Fabrics a try and report back here to let my people know if you like the product and the buying experience.

      Just remember, all weeds are not created equal in all parts of the country. What may work in your neck of the woods may not work in mine. My blog and advice is specifically tailored for gardeners in the Pacific Northwest. If you are gardening elsewhere, please seek out local knowledge.

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  2. Honestly, I am not a fan of using landscape fabric. But when I start and finish reading your article, I am interested with the effects of using it. Anyway, in my own opinion, I’m so glad they were able to really use landscape fabric in a way that was appropriate to your goals. It can be useful if you know what you’re doing and use it right. Keep it up!