Weed barriers
Margery
August 16, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Are some weed barriers better than others in terms of sustainability and environment?
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Custom Home Planning Center
I use wool carpet scraps with the fibers pointed down. It allows you to x cut for plant insertion and keeps an under enviorment for worms and such. Fibers allow seed to germinate , but lack of light stops 98% growth. something like Bambo you need to use a bio mat with and impregnated root stop as used under paving systems and cast concrete where tree roots can do substantial damage.
August 17, 2012 at 11:43am   
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Sustainable Home
Now, this is from the point of view of a home gardener, not a landscaper. I cringe at using nylon or poly landscape fabric, which will eventually photo degrade and enter your soil. I always use a thick layer of newspaper or discarded corragated cardboard. Cover thickly with mulch, and plant through it.
December 6, 2012 at 11:25am   
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wool carpet scraps or hemp carpet pad can be used as a barrier. But remember the carpet is put down upside down and you can mulch over it so there is little if any leeching.
December 6, 2012 at 12:04pm   
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nasmijati
If you use newspaper as a weed barrier, keep it far from the house. Sometimes this method forms a breeding ground for termites.
December 7, 2012 at 10:58am   
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Sustainable Home
wow, good point. Thanks, I love learning from Houzz!
December 7, 2012 at 12:28pm   
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Margery
What about using inexpensive old synthetic carpet?
December 7, 2012 at 12:53pm   
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whiskeyrobot
the commercial grade fabric style root barrier is much sturdier and longer lasting than the plastic stuff. They usually carry both types at a home improvement store. I always like to think of 'sustainability' in the way of quality and durability. Pick something more durable and longer lasting and you will end up using less material in the long run. I feel like carpet would be horrible to work with, why not just use something that's specifically designed for the job?
December 7, 2012 at 1:25pm   
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Ross NW Watergardens
I would recommend considering carefully before using any weed barrier method. All of them are temporary, as weeds will show up in whatever medium you put over the barrier. Also, many people find that these methods do not fare well over time. Rain may wash barkdust or compost off the high spots. When you rake you catch the barrier, ripping it and pulling it up. I have had many, many customers pay to remove barrier for these reasons. Someone, either you or a landscaper (or neighborhood kid!) is eventually going to have deal with weeds the old fashioned way- pull them.

One exception: when you are putting a rock product, such as pea gravel, over the top.
December 7, 2012 at 1:29pm   
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Margery
I agree, Ross. What about recycling synthetic carpet under the gravel? If old carpet goes to a landfill might as well use it !
December 7, 2012 at 1:59pm   
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Ross NW Watergardens
Margery- I wish I knew if that was a good idea! It would work, but I have no idea how it would hold up. Sorry :-/
December 7, 2012 at 10:57pm   
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I use it the recyled carpet, but remember to put the hemp up and the nylon down
December 10, 2012 at 2:33pm   
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