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Old 04-18-2021, 09:39 PM
 
64 posts, read 74,582 times
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I am planning to plant something in a spot that is full of weeds and briars. I have pulled out a lot of the weeds but don't have a tiller so here is my question:


If I put down the black landscaper's cloth on top of the weeds, will it kill them? Or must I really get all the weeds out first? (Big job!)


My plan is to put the cloth down and then cover the cloth with pine straw before putting the plants in.
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Old 04-19-2021, 03:23 AM
 
Location: NJ
19,390 posts, read 27,419,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pslane View Post
I am planning to plant something in a spot that is full of weeds and briars. I have pulled out a lot of the weeds but don't have a tiller so here is my question:


If I put down the black landscaper's cloth on top of the weeds, will it kill them? Or must I really get all the weeds out first? (Big job!)


My plan is to put the cloth down and then cover the cloth with pine straw before putting the plants in.

I've never used landscape cloth to try to choke weeds. My hub used it in one of my gardens when we had to dig it out to install a sump pump. Weeds seem to eventually come through it.

I've used newspaper held down by rocks. That will choke the weeds and worms will help biodegrade the newspaper.
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Old 04-19-2021, 05:36 AM
 
2,559 posts, read 1,259,043 times
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Landscapers cloth will fail over time, leaving even a bigger mess. Eventually, weeds will come through through every conceivable tear left by a critter's claw as it scampers and runs, weak spot, seam and so on...anywhere moisture can go down, a plant reach for it. Then, then not only the weeds but the cloth has to be removed.

Newspaper (just real paper, not the glossy inserts) at least 8 pages deep, will work or brown cardboard with all the plastic labels, tape and so forth removed will also work. I've even used brown general purpose masking paper that comes in rolls. These all break down in a year or two. There is no perfect solution. The problem with them all is that in a heavy rain, when worms can't breath, they can't come to the surface and thus suffocate. Nonetheless, many botanical gardens use the paper method. Double up to 16 layers of paper and it will last longer.

Pigs and goats have been used to get out persistent weeds, but the companies which lease them out are not everywhere.

https://www.beginningfarmers.org/til...lly-with-pigs/

Last edited by webster; 04-19-2021 at 05:52 AM..
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Old 04-19-2021, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
77,682 posts, read 63,840,443 times
Reputation: 14448
Quote:
Originally Posted by pslane View Post
I am planning to plant something in a spot that is full of weeds and briars. I have pulled out a lot of the weeds but don't have a tiller so here is my question:

If I put down the black landscaper's cloth on top of the weeds, will it kill them? Or must I really get all the weeds out first? (Big job!)

My plan is to put the cloth down and then cover the cloth with pine straw before putting the plants in.
Prefer to till and work with a clean slate but put some cardboard down first, then fabric, then mulch.


I'm gonna help you with Pictures because they are worth 1000 words...


A picture of my 8 yr old fabric. It's still in 100% working condition. You can see the old dirt from the old mulch too. The weed on the right is because I cut around the shrub and left a hole. I am impressed how well its worked and how I haven't needed to "dig" up a weed in so long.




Same pic without the weed there, see it? Fabric still in tact except where I left the rip under the Shrub. This are was full of weeds all the time.





Here's another bed I did 2 years ago... No more weeding!



Add mulch and you're done. Just have to replace the mulch every couple years or when it breaks down enough.






Here is that garden bed today. See that 1 weed (grass) under the chair? It's not what you think...............





That was formed inside the mulch, NOT from under the fabric. Weeds will grow from the mulch, not under the fabric so that means you can easily pull them without effort. Also, 1 or 2 is better than 10-20 weeds to deal with.





One more ... Fabric has been a life saver







Don't get discouraged with what people tell you, it's worth the investment and time.
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Boonies of N. Alabama
3,856 posts, read 3,448,752 times
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Previous owners had layers of landscaping cloth here atop of weeds. I have had to do a lot of planting and transplanting and it's been a holy h*ll of a time digging and cleaning the mass of weeds and roots underneath all that landscaping fabric.

Apparently... a previous, previous owner had done the same. As I dig to put in a plant, about 4/5" down.. fabric. Then several inches of dirt/weeds/roots... then I found another layer of fabric and the same underneath. And that explained why so many of the ornamentals were looking so poorly. I grew to strongly abhor that fabric!
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Old 04-19-2021, 07:00 PM
 
64 posts, read 74,582 times
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Well all this has been helpful. I have a few days to go before planting. I have no idea where to get any newspapers, our town is small and has a teeny newspaper that gets smaller every week.
So today I went to Lowe's and bought the best fabric they had. It called Ultimate and says it's life time guaranteed.

Writerwife, I won't have your problem. This place has never had anything there except for some wildflowers I once planted and never has had any type of fabric laid down.


Cambium, thanks for the pictures. I haven't been able to get my tiller going. Going to try one more time but I have doubts. I am armed and ready to go with my Lowe's Sta Green Ultimate Landscaper's Fabric and my landscape pins.
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Old 04-19-2021, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
2,448 posts, read 1,482,558 times
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The problem with landscape fabric is that weeds can grow through it, but you can't pull them out. The solid kind eventually fails, or dirt accumulates on top of it and weeds grow on it. I spent a miserable day a few years ago pulling out landscape fabric from under gravel, dirt and weeds.

Suggestion: return the landscape fabric and put down old bed sheets. They're more flexible than newspaper, stay down better, and they do break down. Cut X's where you want plants, and once they're planted, put down mulch or gravel.
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
2,448 posts, read 1,482,558 times
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For future reference, I've had good results planning projects like this in the fall, then putting down a black tarp weighed down with bricks before winter. The weeds and grass are dead by spring. Pull up the tarp and put it away, fluff up the soil with a tiller or spade, and then plant.
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Old 04-20-2021, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
77,682 posts, read 63,840,443 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheerbliss View Post
The problem with landscape fabric is that weeds can grow through it, but you can't pull them out.
This is incorrect unless you buy the wrong fabric or cheap kind. Weeds will never grow "through" it. They grow on top of it but easily can be pulled out.


I got my commercial type at Home Depot and Costco, never had a weed grow "through" it. 8 yrs now
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Old 04-20-2021, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
3,723 posts, read 4,677,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheerbliss View Post
For future reference, I've had good results planning projects like this in the fall, then putting down a black tarp weighed down with bricks before winter. The weeds and grass are dead by spring. Pull up the tarp and put it away, fluff up the soil with a tiller or spade, and then plant.
An even better method of using black plastic is to leave it in place throughout the hot summer. The extreme heat under the plastic will not only kill the weeds, but dormant weed seeds.

Regards
Gemstone1
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