Weeding out a garden is a hefty task. One might ask what it takes to eliminate these things or at least prevent them from getting to your precious garden. A solution to this is "weed barriers."
Weed barriers are the protective covering placed over soil for various gardening and agricultural purposes. This is to protect the roots of plants, block annual weeds, stubborn perennial weeds. It also should reduce water evaporation, soil crusting and erosion. It is also used to protect plants from the effects of the local climate. It eliminates competition with vegetative growth and newly planted trees.
A good weed barrier fabric must have the characteristics of regular mulch such as water permeability. When used in union with soil, the barrier should have the capacity to separate, sift, strengthen, protect or deplete it. This allows air, water and nutrients to pass through and reach the soil. It should be a reliable weed control device without using chemicals and it should be easy to install.
There are certain steps to follow when installing a weed barrier. Although these steps may vary for some, the same idea and effect is implemented.
- Designate the area you wish to cover. Measure the area so you will have an idea of how much fabric is to be used. A sketch of existing plants will help you know the location when you cut holes in the fabric. Do not include the areas where you replant often like annual vegetables and flowers beds.
- The area where the installation is to be made must be rid of existing weeds. Pull as much woody and grassy weeds off the area. Pre and post herbicides may also be used for additional weed control. Allow at least 10 days for the spray to work. The more weeds you remove, the more effective the weed barrier cloth will be.
- At this time, till the soil and work on the amendments such as compost, slow release fertilizer, rock phosphate, green sand and appropriate amounts of lime that you have to put into the soil of the bed.
- Buy the weed barrier fabric of your choice and cut to the necessary lengths according to your plans. Roll out the fabric and secure with anchor pins 3 to 5 feet apart. An inch of overlap on meeting edges is enough. Allow an extra 6 inches of excess to serve as an anchor around the edges. You can bury the excess fabric under the trench or permanent edging.
- The fabric should be cut and fitted around the base for an existing plant. Sufficient room must also be considered for growth. Cut the appropriate measurement on the fabric. IT should be large enough to allow the root ball of new plantings.
- Spread and cover the fabric with decorative mulch. It can be peat with mixed sand, gravel, coarse grit, shredded or bark chipped barks, crushed stones, homemade or purchased compost or just plain shells. Choose your desired medium for aesthetic purposes
- Arrangements should be placed neatly to avoid a messy work area and to avoid having to fix it every time.
Installing weed barriers largely benefits anyone with a green thumb. This has a long-term effect that mainly targets less work for those who plant or those who just plainly enjoy gardening.