The truth about weed block
People ask me all the time "Shaun, aren't you going to use Plastic or some sort of weed block"?
The answer is always NO.
No, I am not going to use plastic or fabric. I am going to use the best weed block your money can buy...
And lots of it!
First, lets settle a common myth.
Bugs, ants, termites, and other parasites live in the ground. If you are thinking that by using mulch you may start encountering problems with these pests that live outside, consider this: These bugs were here long before your home was placed above theirs. You should always be concerned of the threat of damage that some of these bugs can bring. (carpenter ants, termites, etc...) That's why you should have your home protected by a pest control company. These professionals can detect problems before they become expensive. Not mulching your plant beds are not going to stop these pests from breeching your home. It will however make weed control impossible for any one attempting it. Some lawn companies won't even go near beds for this very reason.
The truth is Mulch is the best weed block. Plastic and fabric bed liners just don't work. Over time it deteriorates and weeds grow through it. You will really regret this decision when you go to pull out that pesky weed that has popped its ugly face through your plastic wall of armor. Along with the weed, You will pull up a section of the liner leaving a mess that will make you wish you had just left it there.
A thick bed of mulch will retard the growth of weeds better. The depth should be at least 2". The deeper the depth (within reason), the better the resistance to weeds. And the weeds that grow in it can be pulled out easier than the ones that are rooted in the dirt. And even easier than ones rooted in dirt through plastic or fabric.
If I have talked you out of throwing your hard earned money out, You're Welcome! It was my pleasure.
If You still feel strongly about using the plastic or fabric, Then look at some of the pictures below.; As You will see what I mean.
Below is a picture of a blanket of weeds growing on a commercial liner.
These are the best liners, but still can't control weeds. In fact, they make the job more of a nightmare!
This is a common problem.
Below is a picture of weeds growing through the liner through a shrub. The root system is of the plant is now married to the root system of the weeds growing through it. This type of weed (torpedo grass) will be there till the end of time!
This is very common because the breech in the weed blocker fabric STARTS around the base of the plants. When there is no weed block fabric, the weeds will grow away from precious plants and in open areas where they can be sprayed!
This is always the end result and also why I won't waste your money on waste products like weed block.
Save yourself the Grief and $$$
Mulch is the best weed block money can buy. And for what you would spend on liners, spikes, and the labor to install the liners, you can buy more mulch and make it tougher on the weeds and not your back!
Weeds grow through concrete, and asphalt! They can and will grow through your liner.
...And now the negative side of mulching.
Wood mulch will break down and decompose and has to be replenished frequently to maintain it's potential.
If there are large areas to mulch there are a few tricks one may pull to minimize the square footage to cover. .
if this is a concern... Please talk to me about this or any concerns you may have on mulch.