Return to the Landscape Design Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Fabric vs Plastic Weed block for garden against foundation?

Posted by erichvr (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 23, 09 at 9:24

My wife and I are replacing a rock garden that is up against the entire front of our house with mulch. Underneath the rock that we are (painstakingly) removing is plastic weed block. Since the garden is against the foundation of the house should we replace the plastic with new plastic to prevent water from penetrating next to the foundation or is it okay to use fabric?? Please advise!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Fabric vs Plastic Weed block for garden against foundation?

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 23, 09 at 20:22

I wouldn't use either. Remove the plastic and put down whatever mulch you are planning to use.


 o
RE: Fabric vs Plastic Weed block for garden against foundation?

I use newspaper in several layers and it works very well...and its free! Just dont use the shiny type that the ads are printed on.


 o
RE: Fabric vs Plastic Weed block for garden against foundation?

  • Posted by jant z6MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 24, 09 at 14:26

Neither. Plastic is absolutely the worst material up against a house. It doesn't keep it dry, it keeps it WET. Water gets in there anyway and the plastic prevents it from drying out. We had major water issues with our foundation with a house we bought in DRY Denver lol. It was due to the plastic. Where there wasn't any plastic there was no moisture against the house.

Landscaping fabric doesn't prevent weeds...weeds still inbed themselves in the top.

Just make sure you have a good grade away from the foundation and tamp down firmly to compact. Then use newspapers as suggested and mulch.


 o
RE: Fabric vs Plastic Weed block for garden against foundation?

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 24, 09 at 17:48

I wouldn't use newspaper either.

Newspaper and cardboard sheet mulches can be effective for annual beds if they are properly
maintained.
Sheet mulches can prevent water movement and gas exchange if they are too wet or too dry.
Use site-appropriate mulch materials. Permanent, ornamental landscapes, non-maintained sites,
and restoration areas are not appropriate locations for newspaper and cardboard sheet mulches

Here is a link that might be useful: The Myth of Paper-Based Sheet Mulch


 o
RE: Fabric vs Plastic Weed block for garden against foundation?

The idea behind using or not using newspaper or cardboard is more about whether or not you are building your bed on existing soil of reasonable fertility that has existing weeds or grass or seeds thereof. If so, then one way to suppress weed growth from those existing sources, up through a usual 2-3" layer of mulch, is to put down a thick layer of the paper or cardboard as a temporary extra barrier. Then later on, you deal primarly with weeds that sprout from seeds in, or blown or dropped onto, the mulch layer.

So you can still use this process with a "permanent, ornamental" landscape at the beginning of creating the area, and also as an adjunct weed block around individual shrubs under a fresh layer of mulch.

If you are digging up gravel, and the surface on which you are going to create your new planting bed is rather inhospitable, as in the subsoil layer or a rocky layer, then there's much less rationale for putting a layer of paper under whatever--mulch or garden soil--although in theory weed seeds could land there if the area remains exposed a long time, and then be ready to sprout after you apply organic matter and H20.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Landscape Design Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here