Old carpet as weed block in walkways, Have you used it?

ju1234((8 Dallas TX))November 20, 2012

I am thinking of putting used old carpet on the walkway between the plant rows, instead of weed block plastic. My thinking is that carpet will be sturdy, will not fly away with the wind, will be slip proof when wet, will let the water through but prevent weeds from growing through, will last several seasons.

Have you ever used it? Do you see any drawbacks? Thanks.

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zzackey(8b GA)

I've never used it but I used to set up at an old flea market that had it in the aisles of the booths. I never saw any weeds growing through it.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 6:56PM
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I used it it worked for a couple of years then I decided to toss it. Boy for nasty It doesn't rot but can sure pick up dirt and water. What a chore to get rid of, so heavy and smelly even the land fill didn't like it. I had to cut it into small chunks and put it into my garbage a piece at a time Lol ;). I now use wood chips ,or between my beds mowed lawn.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 8:01PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

I've been using it for years and love it! Being next to a horse field, I do get weeds blowing in, but much less than before! I top it with wood chips, so what weeds do take root are easily pulled.
Some people grumble about it not being good for the soil, but I figure it's just pathways, so...... Nancy

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 8:37PM
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I have used it for 2 years now. Mine is outdoor carpet. The carpet has been outdoors for about 6 years total. The first 4 was on a deck. I recycled it to the garden.

Has been a dream. The only thing is when dirt gets on the carpet, it does form an area where weeds can take hold. SO just keep the carpet 'swept' and you'll be fine. Maintainence free. Use outdoor carpet; mine is not smelly or anything.

I did put weed fabric under the carpet to 'protect' the soil; not sure if that was neccessary or even useful.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:12PM
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We've had it in the garden for at least 10 years in numerous spots usually upside down. The pieces we have are different sized rectangles ranging from 2'x 4' to 2'x 3'.

We first used it as a weed smother barrier when my kids were young & had started raising chickens and ducks. I had forgotten about the carpet & planted right over the top of it in the composted manure. Later discovered the buried carpet when attempting to dig a large hole for Miscanthus grass in the middle of the bed. The kids had done such a great job of dumping years of manure & bedding there I had forgotten about that scrap of carpet. It was a lot of work to dig out the carpet, so I won't do that again.

I mostly use the carpet in paths. Last spring I put a scrap upside down on top of a straw bale & used it as a seat in summer out in the garden.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:46PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Old carpet used to be recommended over here for clearing neglected allotments. I used it myself years ago. However, it is now discouraged due to the possibility of chemicals leaching from the carpet as it gradually breaks down in the outdoor environment. Some councils and allotments sites actually have a ban on it. The link is to the site of the Henry Doubleday Research organisation, a reputable source.

Here is a link that might be useful: Carpet as mulch.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:54PM
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ju1234((8 Dallas TX))

Corrine1: Good idea of putting carpet upside down, the furry side down and the solid plain side up.

Flora UK: I can accept the logic of chemicals leaching out of the carpet. However plastics are used in many of the things in the garden. The plastic weed block would also decay and produce some byproducts. Infact the carpets inside the house being in a closed space perhaps produce a lot more products of decay, formaldehyde etc and we are perhpas exposed to lot more inside the home than one would be in the open outdoors. I agree that you perhpass should not call a garden with carpet an "organic garden".

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 6:04PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I didn't think of the chemicals being released from the carpet. I'm not for that at all! We use dried grass clippings for our mulch and it is excellent.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:56PM
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landscraper82(4a - ND)

I agree Zackey.

I use dried grass clippings as well. It works great for weed suppression, it's free (minus a little manual labor,) and at the end of the year you can just work it into the soil as an added benefit.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 11:25PM
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I'm assuming that these are clippings from an UNTREATED lawn. If not, you may have some residual herbicides that will affect your plants. Does anyone know how long that herbicide remains viable? I'd like to compost my clippings but have been reluctant to due to concern about damaging my plants.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 7:46AM
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Using carpet in the garden keeps a lot of waste out of landfills. I use it as walkways between raised beds and under containers. If it gets dirty, it just looks like garden soil.

Its not foolproof. Grass has a way of growing at the edges and is a pain to keep up with. Nothing compared to bare soil though, and its cheaper than plastic - also lasts longer. Because I'm using a lot of it and the colors and texture do not match, I use the undesirable finish upside down. Its a pleasure to walk in the garden. I also use it in my greenhouse and enjoy walking in there with my shoes off.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 9:21PM
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I have used it to keep weeds down in beds that I had no need to plant.
I use burlap, grass clippings, straw & leaves more then anything.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 7:12PM
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