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Old 10-22-2007, 11:22 AM
 
1,492 posts, read 1,621,924 times
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I am planning on overhauling the landscaping done at our house. We currently have pine needles over all the shrub beds and we don't like it. (We think it looks okay when fresh but shortly thereafter it starts turning an ugly brown color. In addition, it seems easy for weeds to come up through it.)

We are going to be placing brick chips in our landscaping and removing the pine needles. (Before anyone goes on an anti-brick chip rant I'm well aware of the advantages and disadvantages but that is what we like.)

I have conflicting messages from landscapers and online sources whether or not we should put landscape fabric under the brick chips. I am not concerned with adding additional plants after the fact - we just would use it for weed prevention. Some have said as long as you have 2 inches or more of stone and/or brick chips the fabric is not needed. (In addition you can use things like Preen to prevent weeds.)

Thoughts on whether or not I need the fabric?
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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I just put out some river pebbles in the yard yesterday, but was sure to put out weed barrier fabric first. I've learned the hard way that weeds always find their way through.
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest, NC
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I haven't had luck with landscape fabric in the past. It will keep weeds from growing up through it, but doesn't help much from weed seeds that fall on top of it. Crabgrass doesn't seem to have any problem taking root in landscape fabric.
And the fabric also makes it easier for the mulch/whatever above it to wash away, exposing the fabric.

Anti-brick chip rant? I'm curious....what are the disadvantages to brick chips? They look good, and they're environmentally friendly (since they're recycled), aren't they?
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:04 PM
 
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In my experience with weed fabric yes you will get a few surface weeds that take root in the mulch but if you choose brick chips then you shouldn't have a problem. I highly recommend it though to minimize weeds. The only downside is eventually the fabric might break down but you should get quite a few years out of it.
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbognar View Post
I haven't had luck with landscape fabric in the past. It will keep weeds from growing up through it, but doesn't help much from weed seeds that fall on top of it. Crabgrass doesn't seem to have any problem taking root in landscape fabric.
And the fabric also makes it easier for the mulch/whatever above it to wash away, exposing the fabric.

Anti-brick chip rant? I'm curious....what are the disadvantages to brick chips? They look good, and they're environmentally friendly (since they're recycled), aren't they?

That is pretty much what 2 of the landscapers I spoke with said. Weed seeds/dirt that gets in between the layers of mulch, brick chips, etc will grow whether you have fabric or not. They said if the brick chips are 2 inches thick at minimum and are packed in very few weeds, if any, will be able to grow up from ground level. Each said they'd happily install it for me but I'd be wasting my money. They recommended no fabric and just use Preen once a year which is very easy and fast to apply.

Some things I've read on brick chips were harsh. (It was ugly, wasn't good for soil, etc.) For us, our house is gray/beige stone and siding so we like the red-ish color of the chips for our house. Getting more beige/gray stone for the plant areas would just be overkill.
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:45 PM
 
85 posts, read 235,592 times
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In my experience I have found that there is a huge difference between grades of fabric.

The woven contractor grade fabric works much better than the black rubberized.

I think if you are going to make the effort and do the work the woven fabric should be the way to go.

Good Luck
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:51 PM
 
Location: NE Florida
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as ny ny said get the good thick fabric
The stuff I use you cant tear, I get mine at sam's club
the weed block I have gotten at HD was easy to tear
Also it is so tough that I can actually slide the mulch over if I want to install plants.
I also put a few layers of newspaper under the weed block.
If you like the reddish color also take a look at Lava rock.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Boise-Metro, ID
1,378 posts, read 5,615,364 times
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I'm a big fan of Preen. Landscape fabric is a pain IMO. Just make sure if you use Preen that you use the green one. Whenever using a "pre-emergent" it will have a tendancy to take nutrients out of the soil. By using the green colored label of Preen (means it has a fertilizer) you prevent this issue.

I don't have a weed problem now and find I don't have to use the product as much as before, but that will depend on your area and what your situation is.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,528 posts, read 47,687,050 times
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I've been using landscape fabric for nearly 40 years. No problems with the quality tpye fabrics. The only problem with "any" covering is where the fabric is cut around brick or ? or a hole gets punched in it. Then grass type weeds such as Bermuda or Nut grass will find a way to get through those openings.
Many people recommend 2" of mulch or rock. Well if you think about it, growers use 2" of mulch type soils to propagate their plants in. I find this to be true. After about one year of mulch or rock cover you'll have weeds germinating and then your troubles start all over again.
If you use pre-emergence weed sprays twice a year, once for cold weather weeds, and once for warm weather weeds, and cover the area 100% then you'll keep your weed problems to a minimum. But if you skip a season or forget, then boom weeds will prolificate galore.
Landscape fabric with it's tiny porus holes let air and water to penetrate, but prevents 98% of weeds to emerge.
There is no 100% cure for weeds. That's why they make round-up for spot weeding.
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:38 PM
 
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My front yard has fist size rocks played over weed barrier fabric. Can you advise me as to the best way to change out the weed barrier and how I do it "Please"? [email]treyolsen03@gmail.com[/email]
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