Landscape Fabric: Purpose, Types & Benefits | eden (2023)

However, using landscape fabric does not come without controversy for several pros and cons. It is crucial to explore the same. This article discusses the purpose and benefits of using benefits and the types. Now, let us begin by understanding landscape fabric and its and the other topics. Let’s begin:

What is Purpose of Landscape Fabric?

It is a material developed only to restrict the physical barrier found between sun and soil. It often connects over the woven or non-woven material. These are also known as weed fabric or barrier and landscape fabric. These prevent the weed seeds from germinating without getting any sunlight. Also, it keeps down the requirement for herbicidal weed control.

What are the benefits and demerits of using Landscape Fabric?

Using landscape fabric has both pros and cons, let us check the following:


Using landscape fabric can offer you a wide range of benefits.

(Video) Weed Barrier Fabric | When and Where You Should Use It (Landscape Fabric)

  • These include keeping weeds away from the garden beds. It has sun-blocking abilities, which allow the soil to retain moisture with the help of reducing evaporation.
  • The fabric is known to add the stability element apart from acting as a preventive measurement for preventing erosion in places prone to washing away the soil with heavy rains.
  • It also plays a vital role in hardscaping by preventing inorganic mulch like pea gravel and rocks from the soil.


If you plan to use landscape fabric, it is always crucial to check a few demerits of the same. How about checking a few:

  • Firstly, landscape fabric is not the ultimate solution to reducing weeds by 100 percent. It may prevent the growth of weed seeds, yet the roots can get over the mulch allowing its germination in your lawn.
  • The organic wood chips can decompose with time, developing compost that remains suitable for weeds to take any root. All you require is a pre-emergent herbicide to stop this.
  • Also, you can find the landscaping fabric that prevents nutrients developed with the help of decomposing any organic matter and preventing it from reaching below the soil.

If you find these demerits overshadowing the benefits, you can have alternatives to use landscape fabric, including cardboard, burlap and newspaper, to name a few. However, the benefits can outweigh the demerits of trying different types of landscape fabric. You can have the one that suits the best as per your requirements. We will now discuss the choice.

What are the Types of Landscape Fabrics?

There are different types of landscape fabrics, however, when it comes to choosing, consider the best material. Experts recommend trying for

When it comes to landscape fabrics, material matters. While it might seem like a good idea to go for a cheap, plastic weed barrier for any application, you’ll be better served picking the right fabric for your gardening or lawn project.

Here’s a look at some of the types of landscape fabrics:

(Video) How to: Select the Correct Landscape Fabric


The woven landscaping fabric is among the most common fabrics used in yards. It is usually made of linen fibres and polypropylene, which are woven together to develop a strong and semi-permeable material.

The small holes of the woven landscaping fabric will help move both the nutrients and water to enter the soil while preventing the weeds from growing towards the sun. It is an ideal weed control fabric around shrubs and trees, as seen over the flower beds with the plants that are changed too often. The woven fabrics are generally black, brown, green, or any natural burlap color.

Generally speaking, most homeowners use innate UV resistance or any other option that treats UV stabilized so that it can easily hold in an open sky. The cost for woven landscape fabrics can vary as per the quality. It comes as $35 -$280 for the low (10 ft) and high-end quality (300 ft), respectively.


These are typically made through fabrics like polypropylene or polyester, which are primarily suitable for controlling weed growth amid gravel, rock paths, or beds. The non-woven landscape fabrics are not permeable when compared to the woven options. Hence these affect the nutrients and water from getting beneath the soil.

These fabrics are known for their stability and stop the stones from sinking into the soil. There are professional-grade versions that are often used under the stone pavers and also in large-scale hardscaping. The cost can range from $20 per for 3 feet roll to $180 for a 300 ft roll.


It falls under the non-woven fabric, which is made from bonded polyester fibres, thus making it highly durable. It is a heavy-duty kind of landscaping fabric that remains tough to tear or rip. The thickness of any spun fabric varies widely and thus makes it a feasible choice for many homeowners.

(Video) Woven vs Nonwoven Geotextile Fabric | Choosing the Correct Geotextile for Your Project

You can also find the thinner versions of this landscape fabric, which come with a spun-bonded nature of the material. In this way, it leaves it permeable to air and water, which remains durable and strong. All these features make it highly durable. It works exceptionally well with the weed barrier over the beds and also under the rocks. These also secure the border for discouraging insects, invasive grasses and insects.

The thicker fabric remains strong and durable, making it suitable for other purposes like drainage, irrigation and retaining the wall applications for preventing issues like seepage and securing roots. The cost of a 1.5-ounce roll will be 3 feet by 100 feet for $20, while a highly durable 8-ounce 6ft by 100 ft comes to around $300.


These fabrics are often very lightweight and inexpensive, with pre-cut holes of perforations where the plants are kept. As we see, the perforated landscape fabrics do not suffocate, remaining easily replaceable. Generally, these are mainly used for garden applications where plants are changed frequently and kept evenly. For instance, you can find vegetable gardens lined up with these fabrics’ help.

As these are easy to manage and lightweight, experts recommend not using them at places with heavy foot traffic, sizable roots and animal activity. The cost of these fabrics is $10 for a small sheet of 4ft x 8 ft, while for a large size – 3ft x 300 ft is $80.

When should you Use Landscape Fabric?

These fabrics are often used under the mulch areas close to shrubs, bushes and trees. These fabrics are put over soil, and then mulch is added as a layer on the fabric. These fabrics often work under the rock, hardscaping or rock. You can use it under the flower beds and ground cover to reduce the weeds for weed control requirements. As a caution, you need to avoid using these fabrics below the vegetable gardens or flower beds comprising annuals, as replanting is daunting.

What is the best landscape fabric?

One of the best fabrics you choose often depends upon the way you are going to use it. Are you using it like a weed barrier, shrubs, or making inexpensive and minimal maintenance beds? You can choose woven landscaping fabric as it works the best. For better stability and weed blocking under any gravel or rock, you can opt for non-woven landscape fabrics.

(Video) Landscape Fabric Pros & Cons Finding an Alternative thru Sheet Mulching for Weed Control

Which is better: landscape fabric or plastic?

You can find a few affordable conditions where landscape plastic can prove a worthy choice, while landscape fabric has several other applications and proves to be a decent choice for your lawn.

When to Call a Landscaping Professional

There are several factors to consider when deciding on a suitable landscaping fabric. You need a fair understanding of the fabrics, which is only possible when you belong to the landscaping domain. Calling an expert is always a practical solution as it helps install the landscape fabric technically correct, or you may not get the benefits from the same.

In conclusion, landscape fabric has several benefits to offer. There are different types of l landscape fabric, and you can consider the one which suits your yard. Hiring a competent group like Eden can help you choose the suitable fabric and install the best to benefit the most. Contact Eden for more.

(Video) The Pros and Cons of using Weed Control Fabric (Landscape Fabric)


What type of landscape fabric is best? ›

The Best Landscape Fabric for Weed Prevention
  • 1 ECOgardener Premium Landscape Fabric.
  • 2 Mutual Polyethylene Woven Landscape Fabric.
  • 3 Agfabric 3×100 Ft Landscape Fabric.
  • 4 Amagabeli Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric.
  • 5 GDNaid Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric.
  • 6 GardenMate Woven Weed Landscape Fabric.
  • 7 AGTEK Landscape Fabric.
26 Nov 2022

What do you use landscaping fabric for? ›

Landscape fabric is a geotextile typically made of polyester, linen, polypropylene, or recycled materials. It's primarily used around vegetable gardens, flower gardens, shrubs, and trees to block weed growth while still allowing water and air to pass through to the soil.

What is the best landscape fabric to use under gravel? ›

Non-Woven. Typically made from polyester or polypropylene, non-woven landscape fabrics are best suited for preventing weed growth in rock or gravel paths or beds. Non-woven landscape fabrics are less permeable than woven options, so they will prevent water and nutrients from getting to the soil below.

Which is better black plastic or landscape fabric? ›

However, if you want to use this product under mulch like gravel, rocks, or other hardscaping material, you're better off sticking to landscape fabric. Black plastic is only meant to be used for a few weeks or so; it will break down faster when exposed to the elements under mulch.

Are there different grades of landscape fabric? ›

You can use it to prevent soil erosion and control water flows. Landscape fabric comes in different grades; some are more durable than others because of the tighter weaves. The best landscaping fabric for your garden will depend on many factors.

What is better than landscaping fabric? ›

Pine needles, grass clippings, and shredded leaves are free alternatives to landscape fabric. They're also environmentally friendly and easy to spread in your garden and flower beds. Pine needles, mulched leaves, and recycled grass clippings prevent soil erosion, hold onto moisture, and enrich the soil with nitrogen.

Will water drain through landscaping fabric? ›

Landscape Fabric is Better Than Plastic

Landscape fabric strategically contains small pores that allow water to reach plant roots. Plastic does not contain these pores, making it so that water can only make it through the plastic in the holes made for plants.

Does water go through landscape fabric? ›

Permeability - At the store, landscape fabric usually can be found in two forms: 1) a woven fabric created by weaving thin strips of plastic and 2) a spun fabric created using polyester fibers. These landscape fabrics are somewhat porous in both cases, meaning they allow water and air to move through.

Is there a right and wrong side to landscape fabric? ›

Landscape cloth is like a thin rug. The slightly shiny side is meant to face up; the duller fuzzy side to face down, because that adheres well to the soil.

What are the cons of landscape fabric? ›

The cons of landscape fabric

Landscape fabric requires regular maintenance and replacement. Many of landscape fabric's benefits, such as allowing air and water into the soil, will worsen over time. Soil and weed seeds from neighboring lawns and gardens can accumulate above the landscape fabric.

Can I put rocks on top of landscape fabric? ›

Spread the rock mulch on top of the fabric by hand or with your garden rake. Cover the whole area with rock –– you don't want any landscape fabric playing peek-a-boo! The rock layer should not exceed more than 2 inches thick.

What holds down landscaping fabric? ›

Use garden stakes, also known as garden staples or stakes, to stake and secure the landscape fabric into the ground at every 1-3-inches, depending on how big your yard is. Tip: Use a hammer and thicker stakes for denser gardens.

Can I use a tarp instead of landscape fabric? ›

A tarp that is completely waterproof is best for water gardens. For traditional gardens, most tarps will work, but you need to cover them with stones or mulch for aesthetics and drainage.

What to put under rocks to stop weeds? ›

The most effective way to stop weeds from growing in rocks is to lay a layer of water-permeable landscape fabric beneath the rocks and create 3-to-4-inch steel or wood edging borders around the rock beds. In addition, use hand weeding, herbicides, and weed flamers to kill existing weeds effectively.

How do you keep weeds from growing in landscape fabric? ›

Layer mulch or rocks on top to weigh down the landscape fabric, keeping it in place. The barriers prevent weed seeds from getting to the ground to root and deters weeds from achieving photosynthesis and further growth.

What are the 2 main categories types of fabric? ›

There are two types: natural and synthetic. Natural fibers are obtained from plants and animals. For example, cotton comes from plants while silk comes from silkworms. Synthetic fibers, on the other hand, are made entirely synthetic matter created by man.

Is all landscape fabric the same? ›

From your stone pathway to your vegetable garden, there's a specific type of landscape fabric most ideal for your outdoor project. Let's discover which kind will serve your needs best between woven, non-woven, spun, and perforated garden fabric.

Does landscape fabric attract termites? ›

Placing landscaping fabric down before you install the decorative rocks creates a less suitable environment for termites. Subterranean termites build tunnels from the dirt to nearby buildings.

How long will landscaping fabric last? ›

But it's normal to change landscape fabric every 2 to 3 years. Newer products have reinforced materials so that these landscape products could last for decades with proper care. If the area is looking chaotic with lots of weeds sprouting, the landscape needs to be replaced.

Can I use an old sheet instead of landscape fabric? ›

A free, biodegradable alternative to landscape fabric is to use simple old cardboard. The idea is derived from the concept of sheet mulching. In permaculture, sheet mulching can be done to reclaim an area of land that might have been weedy or even covered with grass.

Do professional landscapers use fabric? ›

Landscape fabric, otherwise endearingly known as weed fabric is one of those things that get us landscape professionals up in arms. Yes, it does prevent weeds (but only for a time).

Does landscape fabric stop tree roots? ›

Many gardeners use the heavy-duty fabric as a physical barrier around the gardens' borders to deter pests and invasive grass. It's useful underneath rock mulches and behind retaining walls to help prevent soil and roots from reaching the cracks.

Does fertilizer go through landscape fabric? ›

Spray the liquid fertilizer over the entire area, being careful to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Properly installed landscape fabric will allow the liquid to soak through, providing both water and nutrients to the plants in the area.

Can you use cardboard instead of landscape fabric? ›

Landscaping fabric lasts longer than cardboard, but it prevents plant roots from properly penetrating the soil. Cardboard breaks down, but it only acts as a temporary base layer for mulch beds. A better alternative to both of these options is using a 4″ layer of mulch throughout your garden.

Do you put mulch on top of landscape fabric? ›

Our answer – No. We do not recommend putting landscape fabric underneath your mulch for the simple reason that it usually causes more problems than any benefit it provides. For one, the fabric blocks the transfer of beneficial microorganisms from passing through that layer of soil.

Should you put sand under landscape fabric? ›

Most people find landscape fabric very beneficial to their garden. When they lay it down underneath decorative elements like sand and rocks, they don't have to worry about weeds growing up for years. The key to preventing weed growth on top is to keep the rock or sand clean.

How much should you overlap landscape fabric? ›

Spread the material so that each sheet has a 6- to 12-inch overlap. Having little to no overlap provides the perfect opportunity for weed seeds to sprout. Remember to leave an extra few inches of fabric along the edges. Read the instructions that come with your landscape fabric to see which side faces the ground.

Do you have to use staples with landscape fabric? ›

Anchor the landscape fabric at the seams and around the perimeter of the space with the staples. If you cannot push the staples by hand, use your foot or drive the staples into compacted soil. Landscape staples are essential when installing landscape fabric.

How long does landscape fabric last underground? ›

Landscape fabric might last for many years underground, but its benefits begin to decline after one to two years. If you don't replace your landscape fabric, it could prove detrimental to your plants.

Should I use landscape fabric around trees? ›

Yes – Gardeners who use landscape fabric use it to stop rock mulch from sinking or disappearing into the soil, prevent soil erosion, and dramatically reduce weeds.

What size rock is best for landscaping? ›

One- to two-inch rocks are considered to be the perfect size for many different purposes. At this size, they can easily be piled into areas to create rock gardens and to use as an alternative to grassy ground cover.

What do you put down before rocks for landscaping? ›

Tamp Down Loose Soil
  1. Borrow or renting a compactor to help you firmly and evenly compact your topsoil.
  2. Tamp down all the soil in the area where you plan to be laying your river rock.
  3. Then, spread a five-inch layer of fine gravel on top of this area.
24 Jan 2021

Should landscape fabric go under gravel? ›

A good landscape fabric beneath a layer of pebbles or gravel goes a long way in preventing weed seed germination. Even the best landscape fabric won't stop 100% of the weeds. Some seeds will inevitably germinate and sprout, however having a weed block barrier will keep the roots from getting a foothold in the soil.

Does landscape cloth stop weeds? ›

Effective Weed Control

When used correctly, landscaping fabric is an effective solution for persistent weeds that spread all over the garden. It discourages weed growth by preventing weeds from getting the sunlight they need for photosynthesis.

What kills grass in between rocks? ›

Try Out White Vinegar

The acetic acid will burn the foliage and kill weeds in your rock bed within hours. To kill the weeds, spray undiluted 5% household white vinegar directly on the weeds. Make sure they are completely saturated.

How do you permanently stop weeds from growing? ›

Using Bleach to Kill Weeds Permanently

Apply one cup of bleach, undiluted, to the afflicted area. Wait until the weeds turn brown before pulling them out of the ground. Run water around the area to flush the bleach, especially if you are trying to grow plants or grass in that area.

How do I permanently get rid of weeds in gravel? ›

Salt: Spreading iodized salt on the gravel will kill weeds, but it will sterilize the ground for years to come, so use it sparingly. Boiling Water: Another way to kill weeds naturally is to pour boiling water over them. By Hand: If there aren't many weeds in your gravel, it's best to pull weeds out by hand.

Do I need to pull weeds before landscape fabric? ›

Can you put landscape fabric over weeds? Yes, most definitely, but an even more effective method of weed control is to remove the weeds before laying the cloth. An alternative is to apply the material directly to the weeds and cover the fabric with an inorganic mulch like gravel or small stones.

Does grass grow through landscape fabric? ›

Landscaping fabric is breathable and water permeable but blocks out the sunlight that seeds require for germination. Keep in mind, however, that the use of organic materials such as wood mulch or topsoil speeds the breakdown of landscaping fabric and ultimately allows weeds and grass to grow through the fabric.

What is the best mulch to stop weeds? ›

Bark mulch is the best choice for use as a weed suppressant as it inhibits weeds in two critical ways. First, by applying a thick layer covering the soil, bark mulch deprives the weed seeds in the soil, and their resulting seedlings, of the sunlight desperately needed to germinate and thrive.

What should I put down before landscaping fabric? ›

Fertilize and Edge the Landscape Area

Be sure to add the necessary plant food and fertilizer to your plant before laying the landscape fabric. Smooth the ground after adding fertilizer to keep landscape fabric intact.

Does water soak through landscape fabric? ›

Landscape fabric is constructed from woven fibers or manufactured as a solid sheet with perforated holes to allow water to soak through.

Do you put soil on top of landscape fabric? ›

It is very important to complete this task first as the landscape fabric will go above the soil. In most cases, it is very beneficial to the garden to dig down about two or three inches and surround the perimeter of the garden with a 2X4. This will keep the area in which the fertilizer is laid down in place.

How often should you change landscape fabric? ›

But it's normal to change landscape fabric every 2 to 3 years. Newer products have reinforced materials so that these landscape products could last for decades with proper care. If the area is looking chaotic with lots of weeds sprouting, the landscape needs to be replaced.

Can roots grow through landscape fabric? ›

The best option at that point is to remove the landscape fabric entirely, which is no small task. In this process you may end up damaging the root systems of your landscape plants too, as tree, shrub, and perennial roots may also grow through the landscape fabric.

Can I just put landscape fabric over weeds? ›

Can I Put Landscape Fabric Over Weeds? Yes, you can. Synthetic landscape fabrics provide a physical barrier to weeds yet allow air, water and nutrients through to plant roots. Spread the fabric over bare soil around trees and shrubs; overlap several inches of fabric at the seams.

How fast does water go through landscape fabric? ›

The manufacturers put a coating on the material to make it roll better. After 24-48 hours, this will break down and the water will go through normally.

How deep do you put landscape fabric? ›

After you lay the piece of fabric around the seedling, dig a 3- to 6-inch deep trench around the edges. Tuck the landscape fabric into the trench and cover it with soil to hold it down (or use edging or landscape staples to anchor the fabric).

Can I put 2 layers of landscape fabric? ›

You can double-layer landscape fabric. However, it's generally not safe, especially in your vegetable garden. The extra layer of fabric could adversely affect the soil. Therefore, double layering landscape fabric would be counterproductive and could destroy your garden.


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