Opinion on using landscape fabric under mulch

Asked August 3, 2020, 2:21 PM EDT

I am working on a project for the common area of a neighborhood association. We are planning on mulching a planting bed, and low maintenance weed control is important. A resident was inquiring about using landscape fabric under the mulch, while others want to apply a pre-emergent to block weed seed germination. I wanted to get an expert opinion. Thanks!!

Washtenaw County Michigan

1 Response

Both methods are possible ways to manage weeds. A pre-emergent herbicide will work to keep seeds from germinating but is not going to kill perennial weeds and that will mean some hand pulling. Most of these move in from the adjacent area or can come up from hand pulled weeds that left some pieces of roots that grow back. Landscape fabric also has pros and cons. It works well for a while but often weeds begin to grow on top of the fabric and their roots go down through the fabric and these need to be taken care of before they get too big or they ruin the fabric. Either way if your team can do a good job of making sure perennials are removed prior to use of either method will make a big difference.