At first, we want to say that how to install landscape fabric under rocks, we will be learned from this article. They used landscape fabrics since 1977. Originally, plastics were used in exchange for chemicals in gardening. While plastic can do the trick, it is not the ideal landscape fabric to be used because it blocks moisture and air from seeping through. Now, there are different materials used to make landscape fabrics and they are more aptly use in gardening.
Many homeowners only wanted a landscape that they can be proud of, that when they stepped out, all they can see is the beauty of the garden and how it gives them a sense of satisfaction knowing they have pursued to have it. They invested money in enhancing their landscape, given their time to make sure that everything is in order, and effort to keep the aesthetic intact.
It is difficult because there are problems encountered along the way, such as weeds appearing, rocks and soil mixing, and the unintentional growth of plants in your space. So, how do you avoid this from happening?
One of the most effective ways to prevent the above from happening is by using landscape fabric, this allows fertilizer and water to get to the soil but will prevent weeds from growing. Landscape fabric also prevents rocks and soil from blending.
It is easy to handle because it is lightweight and comes in a roll, so you have to get the measurement of the area that you need to cover plus the extra length to fold the ends of the fabric. The cost of landscape fabric has gone up considering it started selling for a roll of 4 foot by 220 foot at $26 and now it is selling from $31 to $113. Pricing may also be per square ft.
Fabric price will also differ and will depend on the thickness you prefer.
What are the distinct landscape fabrics?
Spun – they make this type of polyester with swirling or circle patterns. Strong and can last for many years. This type is hard to puncture and does not tear. Tree roots will also have a hard time breaking through the fabric. You may need to cut holes here if you need to let existing plants in. Air and water also reach the soil.
Perforated – this fabric already has pre-cut holes that can allow air and water to get through the soil. The advantage of this fabric type is its weight, which is very light compared to the other 2 types available.
Woven – this fabric allows water and air to reach the soil underneath, made of polypropylene fabric that already has an existing criss-cross pattern. You may need to cut holes for bigger roots to pass through, though. Considered withstanding puncture and tearing.
Here are Tips on How to Install Landscape Fabric Under Rocks
- Remove unwanted objects or plants in the area. Remove any unwanted materials such as sharp twigs, sharp stones. Keep the area free from anything that could create a tear in the fabric.
- Rake the surface to level the area. Using a steel rake to pull any unwanted roots that are keeping you from leveling the soil. Eliminate debris as you rake the surface. Do not stop until the surface becomes flat and leveled.
- Take the remaining stones out of the way. If there are still stones remaining, it must be removed. Stones left will make the laying of the fabric uneven.
- Put some herbicide on the area where you will put the fabric. Landscape fabric can keep the weeds away from your garden but it is best to put on some herbicide e.g. atrazine, glyphosate, dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, and simazine. Make sure you are taking extra precautions though while you are putting some herbicide on your garden such as wearing protective gloves and masks, refraining from using herbicide on windy days, and do not use it while there are children or pet around.
- Lay the fabric. Roll out the fabric, starting from the farthest side. If you need to cut the fabric as you go along be sure to bring a cutter with you or utility knife, if you are not sure about the size and where you will need to cut, you may need to put a mark so you can just come back to trim it later on. Do not immediately cut the fabric without sizing up and giving some allowance or extra fabric so you won’t have a problem with tucking or overlapping the fabric.
- Be sure to secure it. Once the fabric is in the position, you will need to secure it using fabric staples that you can also buy from where you bought the landscape fabric. The pins or staples will cost you because they do not include it when you buy the fabric. It will be priced per piece. You need to make sure you are putting pins, or staples at the same distance, and fabric should be secured. There should not be any loose ends.
- Place the rocks you prefer. The choice of rocks includes river stone, decomposed granite, pea gravel, and white pebbles. You may need a few inches placed on top instead of an inch or two of stones or gravel, by doing so you will find out that as months go by the soils will mix with the stone. Better to put at least 6 inches or more of stone or gravel.
What are materials you can put under rocks in your garden besides landscape fabric?
Some people use plastic to keep the weeds out and to act as a barrier, like landscape fabric. The disadvantage of using plastic is that there is no air movement underneath and water cannot seep through the plastic. Plants that you have in the area will soon have rotten roots and will die. What you can do is to make some holes in the plastic so rainwater can seep through the plastic.
Others are after saving money and are also eco-friendly people use cardboard and newspaper to suppress weed growth and to act as a support for soil and stone. However, this coverage will not last for long and will degrade after a few months of use.
What are the Pros and Cons of Using landscape fabric?
- Soil washout control. The main reason landscape fabric is used under rocks is because of the possibility of the soil washing out and mixing with the stone hence, landscape fabric will control it. The probability of this happening is high, especially when there is rain, and when there is high traffic in the area, etc.
- Controls Weed. Weeds cover the main plants from the sun, getting the nutrients that were supposed to be for the garden plants. The plants will look unhealthy overtime. Landscape fabric lessens the growth of weed or removes them.
- Pro-environment. With the use of landscape fabric, there is no need for you to use weed control chemicals because the landscape fabric will do its job. One time application is enough for the weed control and then let the landscape fabric do the rest.
- It will save you money. Issues with weeds or even soil and water mixing may give you a headache. Most especially if you have plans of having a wonderful-looking landscape only to find out that there are more problems along the way. When you place landscape fabric instead these problems will be solved.
- Sometimes the water and the sun cannot get through the fabric. Fertilizer or natural compost cannot reach the soil.
- You need to replace it. There is a varying length of time on how long landscape fabric can be used in your garden as there are many factors to consider too, but you have to remove it for a fresh one after a certain period.
- Even if there is landscape fabric, also consider maintenance. You also need to remove any debris on top of the stones because not doing so will just make the dirt and debris pile up, which may cause an unwanted collection of dirt and debris. The soil can also die underneath, making it impossible to plant trees.
- Once you put a hole in the fabric, the more it will deteriorate. Putting a hole in the fabric will cause it to wear and tear, eventually. The lesser holes you place on the fabric, the safer it is.
- Shelling out money. You need to replace it now and then for it to be effective. If in case you notice that weeds are appearing in your garden and the white pebbles turned a different color, it is time for fabric replacement.
You can follow the traditional way of gardening where you will painstakingly take care of weed growth one by one, shovel the dirt, and make sure it is not mixing with the stone you have placed on your garden. Laying a landscape fabric original intention is to make your life easier and prevent you from having stress with your landscape.
They invent it to give homeowners the option on how to make their garden beautiful, stand out, and worry-free. But whatever you decided on, remember that you will always have a fallback which is learning to you how to install landscape fabric under rocks.