I've seen rolls of mesh like sheets that are supposed to prevent weeds. Do they work and do you apply before, or after planting?
Most people who have experienced weed cloth think they are a waste of time and money. And a pain to get rid of when you want to. No, they really don't work very well. Weed seeds can land in the mulch and grow right on through.
Weed cloth is supposed to be used in areas where you will NOT be planting, ie under a stone path, under a deck. It is effective in those situations at suppressing weeds. Any weeds that do grow in the stones are easier to pull as their roots will be short due to stopping at the weed cloth.
It will not work in a flower bed, shrub bed or other planting where you cut holes in it to plant. Once you cut a hole, weed seeds will find their way under the cloth and sprout.
Actually, just so Kesca doesn't get confused....woven weed fabrics are designed to be used in landscape beds. That is how it is labeled and marketed. After the soil is prepared, the fabric is laid down and holes are cut so that the plants can be placed in the soil. Mulch is then applied on top of the fabric. Unfortunately, weeds germinate in the mulch and the roots can grow right through the fabric.
However, I do think, Judy, that using this material for the purposes you've mentioned is very appropriate. I'll be designing a stone walkway for my own home this fall, and I think I'll use a layer as an interface between the rocks and sand. It might help keep the earthworms from making a mess in the path!