Landscape fabric question

tulipsmiles(6 South of Boston)March 19, 2012

Do you know if that black "landscape fabric" has any toxicity to it? I'm thinking of using to keep weeds down in my vegitable / edible garden and wouldn't want to use it if it had some kind of chemical or something that might harm food.

Any info is appreciated...


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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

I don't think it has chemicals that can harm your food, but landscape fabric is the devil's spawn. It simply doesn't work, and then try to tear it out after the weeds have rooted in the thing. It's a nasty job. Just use thick shredded leaves, or wood chips or grass clippings (no herbicides please) or any organic material you can get your hands on. Try to get it free and local. Often times tree companies will drop a load of wood chips for free, especially if they are working in your area. Don't believe the nonsense about wood chips robbing nitrogen. As long as you use them as mulch that simply doesn't happen. It's been researched.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 5:44PM
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squirejohn zone4 VT

I've used regular black plastic from the hardware store to keep weeds down in veg. garden - works fine.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 6:34AM
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I put down corrugated cardboard (without printing on it) with mulch on it in the paths and just regular compost, often half-finished, around the plants. (Occasionally printer's ink has heavy metals which you don't want in a veggie garden.)

Plastic would be better than landscape fabric, but you'd have to be sure that the plants got water. Landscape fabric needs mulch over it since it breaks down in sunlight, so why not just use the mulch as it doesn't need to be removed at season's end. I agree with Steve that I wouldn't use landscape fabric in a garden, though it has uses under a thickly mulched path or to separate different textures of drainage material, IMO.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 7:26AM
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Landscape fabric is from the devil as far as I'm concerned(as Steve said). I have finally pulled the last of it from my yard, and what a nasty, dirty job that was. The mulch on top of the fabric made a very nice compost for the weeds to grow in, but the roots of the plants underneath the cloth don't get the benefits of that nice compost.
I swear by newspaper.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 7:41PM
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Corrugated cardboard topped with bark mulch. The cardboard smothers weeds & prevents them from getting light plus it attracts worms who's p**p enriches the soil. My neighbors have the fabric under the decorative stones around their swimming pool. Weeds grow right up through it and it's a miserable job to pull them. Their pool area looks ratty & unkempt most of the summer.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 8:03PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I'm with Steve and Teresa on this one! And with gardenweed and nhbabs too!

Newspaper, or cardboard, topped with leaves, wood chips, grass clippings - mostly free, environmentally friendly, enriches the soil... landscape fabric and - even worse - plastic is none of the above.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 8:30PM
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