My neighbor Richard is awesome and he let me use his garden for this presentation. Last fall I helped Richard pack his garden with donkey manure and other compost from my compost pile. We put at least two or three ton of manure and compost into his garden. Then I tilled it in with the big tiller on my tractor. I tilled it once in the fall and at least twice if not three times this spring before he planted.
The soil was beautiful!
But along with beautiful soil come weeds and lots of them. Richard did something really, really smart. He used the same nursery ground cover cloth that we use in the nursery to place our containers on. He rolled it out and completely covered his garden with this ground cover fabric.
No, not the cheap stuff you can buy at the stores!
It’s what we use in the nursery. Just search for nursery ground cover cloth and buy the heaviest, most pricey one you see. Hint, hint, you’ll probably find it on Amazon.
Richard covered his garden completely anchoring the ground cover down the staples that they sell with the product.
Then he did something else really smart!
He started his vegetable plants in pots so they were nice and big before he moved them into the garden. To plant them he simply cut a slit in the ground cover material and planted through the ground cover cloth. Presto! The plants took off growing like crazy! The ground cover cloth actually helps to trap in some moisture and at the same time keeps the weeds from growing. As you’ll see in this video, his garden is beautiful!
Warning, warning, warning!
If you are thinking; “Wow! This stuff works great, I think I’ll use it in my landscape.” Know that I am warning you now. If you put topsoil or mulch over top of this fabric it is not going to work like you think it will.
Eventually it will become the most disastrous weed fest imaginable!
Trust me on this. Any kind of weed barrier fabric covered with soil or mulch will grow weeds and the weeds will root through the fabric and it will be next to impossible to pull up the fabric because the weeds will have it anchored down. It turns into the biggest mess you can imagine.
Watch this video to see what I mean;
And there was no soil on the fabric! But the weed seeds blew in and germinated on top of the fabric then rooted into the soil below the fabric.
Here’s the problem.
When you mulch over weed barrier fabric the mulch breaks down and eventually becomes beautiful topsoil. Weeds grow perfectly in beautiful topsoil! But when that happens on top of weed barrier fabric the weeds actually knits the fabric to the ground and cleaning up that mess is more work than you can imagine.
I’ve done it way too many times to count when I was re-landscaping homes. I don’t make this stuff up! Everything that I write or share is based on my real world experience crawling around in the dirt on my hands and knees.
You can take advice from me, or you can listen to those who quite simply lack real world experience.
See more photos etc. here; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2012/06/weed-barrier-fabric-or-weed-barrier-cloth-does-it-work/
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