If your garden has been taken over by weeds, getting and applying some landscape fabric will take that problem off your hands.

Landscape fabric is very effective in controlling weed growth, serving as a barrier against sunlight. This stunts the growth of any weed seed and allows your beloved plants to grow and flourish with no competition.

Through our guide, you’ll discover how to choose the best landscape fabric for preventing weed growth.

The Best Landscape Fabric Right Now

Among the numerous landscaping fabrics present nowadays, we searched the market for the top ones to prevent your money from going to waste.

We’ve considered all aspects a gardener would think about, and after our expedition, we’re about to present to you the best landscape fabric picks for obstructing nuisance weeds.

1. Best Overall: HOOPLE Premium Pro Garden Weed Barrier

The HOOPLE Premium Pro garden weed barrier is our top pick if you want a multi-purpose landscaping fabric. Why, may you wonder? Well, it’s UV resistant, so it won’t disintegrate under the sun, whether you cover it with mulch or not. 

Plus, this is a non-woven plastic weed barrier that’s very durable. It’s also 2-3 times thicker than other brands. This means it can be used in walkways, patios, and under other places with heavy forces.

Pros

High water permeability

Can be used under heavy loads

Chemical-free

Easy to install and cut

Cons

Very pricey when used for large-scale projects

Difficult to take out during replacement

2. Worthy Contender: Dewitt 20 Year Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric

The Dewitt Weed Barrier landscape fabric is also an excellent choice for weed suppression. For starters, it requires minimal effort to cut and install.

Not just that, but it’s perfect for organic gardeners as it contains no chemicals whatsoever. It’s also very long-lasting and effective, making it ideal for professional landscaping projects.

Lastly, This woven polypropylene fabric is treated with a hydrophilic material to allow sufficient passage of water and nutrients, yet it still manages to minimize water evaporation.

Pros

Effective at controlling weeds

No chemicals

Clean cuts

Needle punched fabric for moisture control

Comes with reinforced fiber which stabilizes the fabric on slopes

Cons

Is on the pricier side

3. Heavy Duty: FLARMOR Premium Landscape Fabric

For areas under heavy loads, the non-woven FLARMOR premium landscape fabric is the absolute best. It’s very strong and resilient yet is still easy to work with, and that’s a combination that’s hard to strike.

Despite being so robust, this weed barrier fabric is very permeable because it’s needle punched throughout. This means it can be used under plants just as well as under big, heavy rocks. 

Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t have any anti-sun properties. So, it can be eroded in no time if not covered by a layer of mulch, wood chips, and similar.

Pros

Multi-purpose which always comes in handy

Relatively inexpensive

Very sturdy, so it won’t break too easily

Cons

Doesn’t have UV protection

Must be covered with mulch

4. Best Aeration: ECOgardener Professional Grade Landscape Fabric

As its name indicates, the ECOgardener professional-grade landscape fabric is designed to be absolutely eco-friendly, with no chemical release.

It also has both a woven and non-woven layer, both of which are needle punched to allow maximum water and airflow. The best thing about this weed barrier fabric is that you can get all your money back if you aren’t satisfied with its performance.

Pros

100% satisfaction guarantee

Doesn’t release any chemicals

Very strong and durable

Doesn’t fray as long as you cover the edges with mulch

Cons

No sun resistance unfortunately

Some gardeners complained of weeds growing through it

5. Best on a Budget: GardenMate Woven Weed Control Fabric

If you’re strapped for money but still want a good-quality weed barrier fabric, the GardenMate woven weed control fabric is the one for you. 

It’s very breathable and allows air, water, and nutrients to pass. It can also be used under rocks and driveways, and it’ll hold very well.

Plus, its fabric is stabilized to have some UV protection, so it can be left uncovered in greenhouses and the great outdoors.

Pros

Much cheaper than other varieties

Still has a good-quality

Heavy duty; holds up well under rocks

Has UV protection

Cons

Fraying at the edges

Slow water flow

6. Best Barrier: Amagabeli Weed Barrier Geotextile Fabric

The Amagabeli weed barrier woven geotextile fabric is another heavy-duty fabric that’s great at stopping unwanted weeds in their tracks. It’s made of 2 layers, one woven and one non-woven. Both layers are needle-punched and have a high permeability which will keep the soil moist.

It reduces soil erosion and can withstand a wide range of weather conditions. It’s also UV stabilized so that it can be left uncovered. Also, it’s very versatile and can be used in many different places.

Pros

UV stabilized

High permeability

Versatile for so many reasons

Cons

Several flimsy parts

How to Choose Landscape Fabric

How to choose the best landscape fabric (weed barrier)

Things to Consider

Many factors influence which landscaping fabric you should go with, from the elements that fabric will be exposed to all the way to its intended function. 

We’ll acquaint you with some things you should consider when choosing your future weed control fabric so that you can buy the one that most suits your purposes.

Woven, Non-Woven, and Perforated

Woven landscape fabric, made of polypropylene or linen, is usually very resilient yet breathable. It’s normally placed around shrubs and flower beds.

Non-woven landscape fabric is usually much sturdier, making it perfect for areas under heavy loads with lots of foot traffic and activity.

Meanwhile, perforated landscaping fabric should only be used in areas that see almost no activity. The many holes in this fabric make it more prone to tearing. So, use it in a place like a raised flower bed.

Thickness and Durability

With landscape fabric, thickness is directly proportional to durability and cost.

Thicker fabrics are usually needed in areas with high foot traffic or with tough, resilient weeds. When the landscape fabric is thick, it holds for a longer duration. Therefore, the weed barrier is replaced less frequently over time.

UV Resistance

The sun’s UV rays can eat away at the fabric as time passes, making it weaker and easier to tear. That’s why UV-resilient and UV-stabilized fabrics were made. 

The former has inherent properties that can resist the sun, while the latter is chemically treated and coated with a layer that can fend off the sun’s rays.

Tip: To decrease the damaging effects of the sun and increase the durability of your fabric, put a layer of mulch, bark chips, or gravel on top of the fabric to act as a barrier.

Size of Roll for Project

A roll of fabric is usually 3 feet wide and comes in lengths ranging from 50 to 300 feet. Measure the area that the fabric will cover and account for eight extra inches between each panel of fabric. The 8-inch overlap won’t allow any weeds to break through between the panels.

Lifespan

To allow your landscaping fabric to last for as long as it can, choose the type of fabric that suits your needs. For example, pathways, areas around trees, or those containing tough weeds like thistle should get some non-woven, heavy-duty weed barriers. 

In contrast, thin, perforated landscape fabrics should be used in areas with delicate plant roots that people and animals avoid.

Straight Lines vs. Curves

Curvatures in the flower beds and lawns are much more esthetic than those with straight lines and edges. Nonetheless, though, standard landscape fabric is suitable for both types of outlines.

However, some fabrics come with printed guidelines that you can follow for perfectly straight lines and edges.

Fabric Types

Homeowners

Homeowners are better off choosing cheaper rolls at the beginning of their gardening journeys. That’s mostly because it’ll naturally take them some time to perfect the application.

Then, once they’re more experienced and have a better hand at applying the fabric, they can start getting more durable and expensive rolls.

Estates

Huge estate gardens should also contain some weed blockers. Otherwise, you’ll dread the time you spend on de-weeding.

Even if you don’t do it yourself, you’ll end up paying ridiculous amounts of money for the sake of preserving the look of your estate. So, hire some professional landscapers and get yourself some robust and durable landscape fabric.

Corporate Parks

Large-scale parks and gardens like public, office, and government parks need weed blocking fabric to minimize the time and effort required to maintain these areas.

Long-lasting fabrics are usually used in such areas as they see a lot of use and foot traffic, which could easily encourage weed growth and deteriorate the grass, explaining the need for the fabrics.

Agricultural

The chemical coating of UV-stabilized fabrics could be very unhealthy if it enters the human body through contaminated produce, causing potential health risks that could be avoided.

Therefore, in agricultural lands, only UV-resistant fabrics should be used. That’s because they’re inert and will pose no dangers to a human’s health.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most common questions that people have right now.

Should I Use Landscape Fabric?

If you’ve got a large garden, you’ll be better off using a fabric barrier. It’ll save you the hassle of de-weeding your garden every week. This process can last for a considerable amount of time if you have a sizable garden with no one helping you around and you’re doing everything yourself.

What Are the Benefits of Using Landscaping Fabric?

Other than the obvious benefit of long-term weed control, barrier fabrics also reduce the use of weed killers, allowing your plant to grow organically and with no damage of any kind. It also controls soil moisture and regulates its temperature, keeping it warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. 

What Are the Drawbacks of Using Landscaping Fabric?

Some disadvantages of using weed control barrier fabrics include earthworm population reduction, soil compaction, and nutrient depletion, among many others. It’s also not pretty at all, so it has to be covered by mulch or some such layer to make it look better and more presentable, and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.

What Is the Best Landscaping Fabric to Use?

The best landscaping fabric will depend on what you need it for. Typically, fabrics with higher prices have better qualities and tend to last for a longer time if you need them to. Also, try to look for heavy-duty fabrics that still have good water permeability and UV resistance.

How Do You Keep Weeds From Growing in Landscape Fabric?

You can do that simply by using a pre-emergent herbicide. It’s a weed killer that prevents weed seeds from sprouting. Also, don’t place an organic mulch on top of the landscaping fabric, as weed seeds can grow in it. Lastly, don’t forget to overlap several inches of fabric at the seams.

Do Professional Landscapers Use Fabric?

Yes, professional landscapers use landscaping fabric all the time. In most cases, they use them to decrease weed growth and maintenance duties. With that being the case, the gardens don’t end up looking like overgrown forests, and the owners simultaneously save more money in the long run. It’s a win-win situation.

When Should You Use Landscape Fabric?

When you want to make sure no annoying weeds are stealing the nutrition of your prized plants, landscape fabrics are to serve that precise purpose. If you have the problem of animals always digging into your soil, weed barriers are also a great way to keep them out.

What Can I Use Instead of Landscape Fabric?

Cardboard, plastic, tarps, and newspapers are sometimes a more cost-effective alternative to weed barrier fabrics. However, these materials can significantly affect the quality and fertility of your soil, more than you could imagine. That’s because they block almost all air, water, and nutrients from reaching the soil altogether.

Should I Remove Old Landscape Fabric?

Only when it’s worn through. This usually happens in 5 years for the more delicate fabrics or areas with high foot traffic, if not less than that. However, some types can last for more than 12 years, depending on several factors, especially their build construction and the materials that go into its making. 

Should Landscape Fabric Go Under Gravel?

Yes. The order is soil, then landscape fabric, then gravel, chips, mulch, and anything else you want. The gravel can really add a beautiful look to your garden and hide away the ugliness of the black fabric. Also, when used under gravel pathways, they prevent weeds from ruining the overall appearance.

Can I Use a Tarp Instead of Landscape Fabric?

Sure, but only under rocks, patios, driveways, and other areas that don’t need any water and nutrients as it’s utterly impermeable to water. Tarp is also much cheaper and less durable than landscape fabric, so pick something with some UV protection to extend its lifespan even further than its usual.

Does Landscaping Fabric Let Water Through?

Yes, it lets plenty of water through. While it may look solid and robust, it still has tiny channels that allow water, air, and nutrients to reach the soil underneath it. If it didn’t allow water to pass, all plants would have eventually died at the end, and fortunately, that’s not the case.

Conclusion

  • Weed barrier fabrics are exceedingly easy to manage and highly effective for weed control.
  • Look for a fabric that suits its intended use and matches your available budget.
  • In our opinion, the best multi-purpose fabric is the HOOPLE Premium Pro Garden weed barrier, followed closely by the Dewitt Weed Barrier.