Buying the right weed barrier is crucial when you want to control the growth of weeds and cultivate a healthy plantation. However, looking for the best weed barrier isn’t easy if you’ve never dealt with those pesky weeds before. Only people who have raised gardens or pulled weeds would really know how to look for good weed barriers. If you’re a beginner though, don’t fret because we can help you out. Below, we will provide a list of the best weed barriers and weed blockers. Plus, we’ll also be discussing some facts about weed control and weed barriers.
Let’s get started with the review.
Table of Contents
- Best Weed Barrier 2018 – Comparison Table
- Weed Barrier Reviews
- 1. EcoGardener Premium 5oz (3×50) Pro Garden Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric – Best Overall Weed Barrier
- 2. DeWitt SBLT4300 Sunbelt Ground Cover Weed Barrier – New Hot Product
- 3. Mutual WF200 Polyethylene Woven Geotextile Fabric – Great Geotextile Fabric
- 4. Scotts 25 Year Pro Fabric – Best for Flower Beds
- 5. DeWitt P5 Pro 5 Weed Barrier Fabric – Best Choice: Under Stone, Rock, Gravel, and Mulch
- 6. Dewitt 12YR450 Weed Barrier Fabric
- 7. Easy Gardener 3102 Natural Burlap Fabric
- 8. AHG Premium Series Landscape Fabric
- 9. Agfabric Woven Weed Block
- What is a Weed Barrier
- Fabric vs. Plastic: What is The Best to Use in Weed Control
- Landscaping Fabric/Weed Barrier: Pros and Cons
- Types of Weed Barrier
- Factors to Consider when Buying a Weed Barrier
- How to Install Weed Barrier Fabric
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Weed Barrier 2018 – Comparison Table
Before we go on to the in-depth review, first take a look at this table so you’ll have an idea of how each product differs from the other.
|1. EcoGardener Premium 5oz (3×50) Pro Garden Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric||3ft x 50ft||10 years||5.5 lbs|
|2. DeWitt SBLT4300 Sunbelt Ground Cover Weed Barrier||4ft x 300ft||5 years||29.2 lbs|
|3. Mutual WF200 Polyethylene Woven Geotextile Fabric||6ft x 300ft||No data||48.7 lbs|
|4. Scotts 25 Year Pro Fabric||3ft x 150 ft||25 years||5.16 lbs|
|5. DeWitt P5 Pro 5 Weed Barrier Fabric||5ft x 250ft||No data||45.8 lbs|
|6. Dewitt 12YR450 Weed Barrier Fabric||4ft x 50ft||12 years||6 lbs|
|7. Easy Gardener 3102 Natural Burlap Fabric||3ft x 48ft||No data||5 lbs|
|8. AHG Premium Series Landscape Fabric||3ft x 300ft||20 years||8.5 lbs|
|9. Agfabric Woven Weed Block||3ft x 50ft||No data||4 pounds|
Weed Barrier Reviews
Now that you have a visual representation of the differences between our top products, we can go on to our list of the top weed barriers to buy. Check out our favorite weed barrier brands below.
1. EcoGardener Premium 5oz (3×50) Pro Garden Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric – Best Overall Weed Barrier
First on the list is the premium weed fabric from EcoGardener. This is definitely one of the best weed barriers that you can find. In fact, a lot of pros use this product for their gardening needs. The reason is simple: It’s high-quality. When you touch it, you’ll immediately feel its thick build, making it able to block off weed seeds much more effectively than the usual weed fabric barrier. Aside from that, it also has enough pores to allow water, sunlight, and other nutrients to go through to the plants.
What We Love About the Product
There are two things that we really love about this product – quality and ease of use. First, let’s talk about quality. Unlike other fabric barriers, this one doesn’t tear easily, even in rough weather. We’ve tested this product by putting it over flower gardens even during rain or windy days. It was able to withstand harsh conditions.
Second, we also loved how easy it is easy to install. While it is made of thick materials, it’s very lightweight and easy to cut. We never had any problem cutting up the pieces and placing them on the raised beds. For us, it is the most well-rounded weed barrier and is the overall best.
- Thick and heavy duty fabric material
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Efficient porous system for allowing water and light to get through
- Full 30-day money back guarantee
- Durable and weather-proof
2. DeWitt SBLT4300 Sunbelt Ground Cover Weed Barrier – New Hot Product
This dewitt weed barrier is one of the newest models of the brand and arguably a very impressive one to boot. What makes this product quite unique to others is that it’s UV stabilized. It is a sunbelt ground cover weed barrier that is great for use under the sun. UV rays would often damage fabric which is why a lot of people change their barriers very often. With this though, you don’t need to change barriers very often because this one is protected against UV rays due to its UV stabilized feature.
What We Love About the Product
As we mentioned, it’s a great product that can block off UV rays. For us, it’s a very cost effective product because it allows us to use the product continuously without having to change it so often. As per the table we’ve shown above, this product has a 5-year life under direct sunlight. That’s enough time you need to significantly grow your garden. Other than that, it is also permeable, allowing air and water to pass through it without any trouble.
- UV stabilized material which can protect the barrier from UV rays
- Very permeable to water and air
- Environmental friendly and low cost
- 5-year shelf life
- Yellow dotted lines to help in easier cutting
3. Mutual WF200 Polyethylene Woven Geotextile Fabric – Great Geotextile Fabric
This product is known to be made from the best woven geotextiles. As compared to the traditional fabrics, this one provides a thick and very protective barrier. This is made of polypropylene fabric and can also protect against UV rays. Other than UV rays, it also protects from natural rotting and some compounds that may damage the plants (e.g. acids and certain bases). They can also be used to separate the subgrade and the aggregate so that you can increase the life of the foundation of your garden. Overall, it’s a great heavy duty and rugged product.
What We Love About this Product
This product is extremely sturdy. While it does block off sunlight, it does a good job of keeping the whole foundation sturdy. Using this product, we have never encountered any weed seeds getting to the soil because of the thick wall that it provides. Since the pores of this barrier are pretty small, we often use the product for drip irrigation to water the soil.
- Material that holds the soil down
- Can be used underneath precast blocks and gabions
- Preserves the soil
- Acts as aggregate and sand filters
4. Scotts 25 Year Pro Fabric – Best for Flower Beds
This is the longest lasting weed barrier fabric on the list as it can last for about 25 years if you know how to use it properly. It is a very heavy duty barrier that is known for its toughness, making it very durable. Because of its robust material, it is able to withstand elements such as weather, UV rays, or other natural components that may damage it. At the same time, it does a good job at allowing water and light to go through.
What We Love About the Product
Obviously, we love the fact that it is a 25-year weed barrier fabric. By testing it, we’re very much convinced about its durability because it can withstand even heavy rains. We’ve tried putting this over the soil of flower beds during storms and noticed that it didn’t let all the water go in. It siphoned some of the water at the top so that the plant won’t drown. We definitely list this product as one of the best barriers for flower beds. Other than flower beds, it’ also pretty good for walkways, wall gardens, and patio gardens.
- Sturdy and durable
- Long shelf life
- Able to decrease erosion in the soil
- Able to block off excess water due to rain
5. DeWitt P5 Pro 5 Weed Barrier Fabric – Best Choice: Under Stone, Rock, Gravel, and Mulch
Dewitt products are definitely known for their quality, especially the ones from the Pro Series. This one, in particular, is the Pro 5 weed fabric which is one of the best choices for using as a barrier under stones, pea gravels, and rocks. It’s also good as a barrier under mulch so that the weed seeds won’t be able to reach the soil even if they do culminate in the mulch. The material is so thick that the roots of weed seeds won’t even be able to touch the soil.
What We Love About the Product
Just as mentioned above, this is great for barriers under stone and gravel. Pros would often use this product to create a barrier on the soil when they want to get rid of existing weeds with gravel or rocks. We also do the same. If there are weeds that do grow on the soil, we would place this product on the soil, put pea gravel on top and let the weeds decompose. The thick material allows the soil to be protected from the gravel.
- Thick woven polypropylene material
- Heavyweight and durable material
- Big dimensions of 5ft x 250ft
6. Dewitt 12YR450 Weed Barrier Fabric
This is a pretty efficient barrier fabric that prevents light from going through so that weeds won’t have a chance to grow at all. Other than that, it’s also hydrophilic treated, meaning it easily allows water to penetrate. What makes it really unique is that it is designed for easy use. When you open it, it won’t unravel and spread in all directions.
What We Love About the Product
As mentioned, the product is very easy to use because of its design. Since it doesn’t unravel, it’s very easy to cut up into pieces and stick to flower beds. This is particularly useful for those who have flower beds with shapes other than rectangles or squares (e.g. circular or oval shaped).
- 12-year shelf life
- Hydrophilic treated
- Easy to use design
- UV resistant
7. Easy Gardener 3102 Natural Burlap Fabric
This burlap fabric barrier is a great tool for helping the seeds germinate. One of the best features about this product is that it can hold in moisture which will allow the seeds in your garden to start sprouting. At the same time, it is strong enough to prevent the weed seeds from entering as the weed seeds will also germinate once they enter. Aside from weed seed protection, it also protects against frost, wind, and too much water.
What We Love About the Product
No doubt that this product is rather efficient in blocking away weed seeds and also keeping moisture. However, what we really love about the product is its design. It has a really cool look which allows it to be used for other projects as well. Aside from a barrier, it can be used for ribbons, decorations, and other things. You just have to use a bit of your imagination.
- Beautiful and versatile design
- Moisture holding feature
- Thick protective cover
8. AHG Premium Series Landscape Fabric
This one is targeted toward the bigger gardens because of its size reaching up to 300 ft in width. Just like the other products that we’ve mentioned above, this one is also very efficient in blocking weed seeds. This one also has a long shelf life of 20 years if it is maintained properly and can allow water to go into the soil. However, it is pretty thick and has small pores so you might really have to soak the fabric for the water to fall through.
What We Love About the Product
The size is what we really like about this product. For those who have wide yard gardens, this is a great product. It has very good coverage and does not let anything through easily. Even water has a hard time going through but that’s just a small consequence for the weed seed protection it provides.
- UV protection
- 3ft x 300ft dimensions
- Very thick mesh for optimal protection
- 20-year shelf life
9. Agfabric Woven Weed Block
Agfabric is another pretty good brand that produces strong weed barrier fabric. What’s great about it is that it can be used for all kinds of projects other than just gardening. While it is mainly used as a weed barrier for soil, it can also be used in paving roads and building infrastructure. In fact, a lot of contractors use it for irrigation work as well as drainage filtering. It’s a very versatile product that has the strength to take on even heavy duty construction jobs.
What We Love About the Product
As we mainly use this product for gardening, we are quite satisfied with how it works in preventing the growth of weeds or grass. Aside from that, we noticed that it also keeps the ground clean by excluding groundwater and separating other components from the soil. It not only prevents weed growth, but it also regulates water to help with plant root growth. Learn more about the best lawn weed killer.
- Thick woven fabric
- Strong PP plastic yan
- Corrosion proof structure
- Air and water permeable
- Anti-microbial material
- Lightweight design
- UV resistant
What is a Weed Barrier
Now that we’ve discussed our list of the top weed blockers, you’re probably ready to go to the store and buy one of these products now, right? Well, you can, but we would suggest that you understand what weed barriers are before doing that.
In a simple sense, a weed barrier is a piece of garden fabric that would stop weeds from growing. Fabric weed barriers are typically made out of polyester or polypropylene and can last for up to 5 years. Now, what it does is that it reduces weed growth through blocking off weed seeds from landing on the ground, thus preventing weeds growth. So even if the seeds blow from the air to your garden, the mesh fabric will catch them and you can clear them away from time to time.
At the same time, the breathing room of the cloth allows oxygen, sunlight, air, and water to still go through it so that your plant can grow.
Fabric vs. Plastic: What is The Best to Use in Weed Control
Now that you know what weed barriers are and what they do, let’s learn some of the types. The two main types that you’ll find in stores are the weed barrier fabrics and the black plastic weed barriers. They are a few others but we’ll discuss them later. For now, let’s take a look at these two.
By now, you’d probably be asking yourself which of the two is better. In order to know that, you must first understand the pros and cons of each type. We’ll go over that now.
Let’s start with the barrier cloth. Generally, the cloth variant does a better job at being a covered weed barrier because it is thicker than plastic. Other than that, mesh clothing allows water and air to get to the plants without any trouble. The problem with barrier clothes would be when smaller seeds are able to penetrate the mesh. Another problem would be when the roots of the seeds that are on top of the weed barrier go through the holes of the mesh toward the ground. If any of these two problems occur, weeds can grow.
Plastic, on the other hand, blocks off everything. With plastic barriers, no seeds can go through. The problem is that it blocks off everything including water and sunlight. This may put moisture on the plants that you’re growing.
With that in mind, the best choice for weed blockers out of the two types will really depend on you and your preference. If you can provide moisture and sunlight even if your plants have a plastic cover, this is a good choice. If you’re diligent in getting rid of weed seeds from the mesh regularly, then you can use the cloth version as it allows water and air to penetrate easily.
Landscaping Fabric/Weed Barrier: Pros and Cons
One of the questions that many people ask is whether or not a weed barrier is actually needed in order to control weeds. Is it possible to prevent weed from growing without landscape cloths or plastic sheets? The short answer to that is yes.
However, using weed barriers do have their own benefits that can be offered to gardeners. That said, the question you should is not whether you need it or not. Rather, you should ask yourself whether you want to use it or not. In order to answer that, it’s better if you know the pros and cons of using the product so you’ll know if it’s for you or not. Here are some of the notable advantages and disadvantages of using weed barrier fabrics or other types of weed barriers:
- It prevents weed growth by stopping the weed seeds from growing roots in the soil underneath. It does this by filtering them right before they fall on the ground. The weed seeds will end up on fabric or plastic barriers preventing weeds from culminating.
- It allows the water, air, sunlight, and nutrients to reach the plant even if there is a thick layer of material blocking off the weed seeds.
- It decreases the need for using chemical weed killer products to kill existing weeds since the weed population will lessen.
- It decreases evaporation enabling the plants to store in more moisture.
- It provides some form of protection during rains and storms so that the plants won’t be drowned.
- It helps the plants retain warmth by trapping in the sunlight and keeping it for the plants.
Those are the notable pros of using a landscape cloth for your plants. Now let’s go on to the cons of using this product.
- It blocks off the earthworms from getting to the soil. Earthworms are an important part of a plant’s ecosystem because they help make the soil healthy and compact. If the earthworms can’t reach the ground, they can’t help in aerating the soil.
- It blocks off the mulch or stone materials that fall toward the soil and help with the growth of the plants.
- It also blocks off natural mulching material like leaves or branches, thus preventing the plants from getting extra nutrients that help with their growth.
- It allows weed seeds to grow on the mulch that it has caught. While the weeds won’t grow on the vegetable garden per se, they can grow on the weed fabric if there is a sufficient amount of mulch siphoned (such as wood chips or leaves). With that, you might have to pull out weeds from the weed barrier cloth
As you can see, the pros would still outweigh the cons, should you decide to make use of a weed fabric for garden. The question to ask yourself is whether or not you’re okay with taking in the cons of the product. If you are, then you’ll discover that the product can really make your life easier with regard to protecting your garden from weed growth.
Types of Weed Barrier
We already mentioned beforehand that there are a few more types of weed barriers aside from the common plastic and fabric barrier types. We’ve already explained what these two are so we’ll go ahead and explain what the other two types of weed barriers are. These are the natural barriers and homemade barriers.
The natural barriers are the barriers that are made out of natural materials such as mulch, moss, yard trimmings, or leaves. Putting a layer of these things can stop weeds from growing on the soil. The two advantages of this type of barrier are that it is environmentally friendly and are easy to install. The problem with this natural weed barrier, however, is that it can cultivate weed growth. While the weeds won’t grow on the native soil, they will grow on the barrier because the natural materials can feed nutrients to weed seeds after some time. So while it may stunt the growth of weeds initially, it can’t be a long term solution compared to fabric or porous woven plastic.
The other type is the homemade barrier. The homemade barrier is a type of barrier that is made of pretty much anything that you can find at home. It’s a sort of DIY weed barrier that you can make if you need one quickly. People usually make their homemade barriers out of garbage bags, newspapers, cardboards, carton sheets or anything that is strong and can be found at home. These materials, when put together, can act as a ground cover that can totally block weed seeds from reaching the ground. Just like plastic barriers though, they can also block off sunlight, air, and moisture. Other than that, paper or cardboard can be torn easily when there are strong winds. While your flower beds or garden beds are weed and UV protected, they’re also blocked off from important things to help the plant grow. Once again, we recommend that you use this only as a temporary solution.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Weed Barrier
Now that you know what a weed barrier is, what types there are to choose from, and what benefits they have to offer, let’s go on to our buying guide. The purpose of this buying guide is to help you choose the right weed barrier for your own individual needs. Sure, we may have created a list of the 9 best weed barriers in the market as per our own experience and as per reviews from existing customers. However, the choice you make out of the 9 will depend solely on your own garden’s needs. That’s why you must have a criterion so that you can make a good choice. We’ll provide you with the criteria to help you out:
The first thing that you have to consider would be the material of the barrier. We’ve already explained the four types of barriers and have already mentioned that natural and homemade barriers are only temporary solutions to your weed problem. That leaves us with fabric and plastic. Just to give a recap, the main difference between fabric and plastic is the density of the two materials. Plastic is more compact which fully prevents weed seeds from falling in but may block off certain sources of nutrients while fabric can still allow very small weed seeds to get through the pores but let the sources of nutrients in. You will decide based on your preference. By experience though, a lot of gardeners still prefer to use fabric instead of plastic.
This is a very important factor because you’ll not want to keep on changing your barriers from time to time. The shelf life would usually depend on the thickness of the material and also the quality. A good barrier will be able to withstand strong winds and rain as well as other weather conditions. The ones that we’ve listed in the review are all high quality and can last for at least a whole season. If you can get fabric that lasts longer, then even better (some last for around 5 years).
Of course, the most eco-friendly choice out of all the types of barriers would be the natural barriers since they make use of natural materials that can be used for planting. However, natural barriers are short-term solutions, so the next best thing would be fabric. Obviously, fabric is more eco-friendly than plastic so this is the best choice for you if you’re particular with keeping the environment safe. We would probably recommend plastic if you have no access to fabric barriers but fabric barriers are pretty common wherever you go so you should have no problem with that.
Ease of Installation
You’ll want a good DIY weed barrier that you can easily install by yourself even if you’re a beginner. You see, hiring someone to install it for you is pretty expensive, especially for such an easy task. So the brand you pick has to be easy to install. All of the products we mentioned are all DIY barriers that are really easy to place on the soil. If you really have no idea how to install weed barriers, we have an installation guide that you can check out below. You can also check out videos and tutorials online.
Size and Dimension
The size of your fabric will depend on the size of your garden. If you have a small garden, we won’t recommend you to get the ones that are really big (like up to 300 feet) since they last long anyway. To save money, you can get the smaller ones like 50 feet. If you have a bigger garden, then you can get the ones that range from 150 feet up to 300 feet. Before you buy the barrier, make sure that you measure your garden first so that you have some sort of a rough estimate of which size of a barrier to buy.
This is technically a part shelf life but it should get a separate mention since it’s one of the main causes for weed barrier wear out. Since your barrier will be out in the sun all day, it is going to be exposed to very strong UV rays from the sun which may damage it. Once it gets damaged, you’re going to have to change it again. To prevent that, we highly recommend getting a UV stabilized or UV protected weed barrier so that it won’t be affected by the sun’s rays.
For those who want to buy a weed barrier for their garden, take this criterion into consideration. As long as you follow the criteria carefully, you’ll know which brand suits your needs the best. Even when you go through our list of the 9 best weed barriers, always pay attention to the buying guide so you won’t buy something that you don’t actually need.
How to Install Weed Barrier Fabric
After checking out the buying guide, are you now ready to buy a weed barrier fabric? Not yet, because you have to learn how to install it. If you’re a beginner, you most likely won’t know what to do with the barrier when you buy it. To make things easier, I’ve made a step by step guide on how to install your woven weed barrier fabric.
Now, before we begin, we are going to need to secure some gardening tools to help us with the process. According to Daisy Dukes Landscaping, pros would often make use of a mallet or heavy duty hammer, a couple of stakes (you may also use nails or galvanized spikes), a utility knife, and the fabric itself.
The first step would be to destroy all the existing weeds on the ground. You may choose to pluck them out manually, spray chemicals on them, or put pea gravel over them and wait for them to decompose– whichever way you choose is up to you. Just make sure the ground is bare.
When there are no more weeds, then unroll the fabric and start spreading it all over the ground. If your garden is situated in raised beds, then you may cut them up and spread them all over. You can check out gardening pro, Keith Kalfas’ video on installing weed barrier fabric to know how.
Once you lay down the fabric on the garden, you’ll want to fold and overlap the edges a bit. On the slightly folded sections of the fabric, you can put a stake/nail there to nail the fabric down. Use the hammer to push all the nails down so that it keeps the fabric in place. How many nails do you place on the fabric? Well, the standard here is putting nails every four inches from each other until you complete all the edges.
When the fabric is securely placed on the soil, get out your utility knife and mark the places where you want to put your plants. When you mark these places, don’t make a hole in the fabric. You’ll want to create just a slit so that you can still dig up soil without exposing any of it to weed seeds. What we usually do is we create an X shaped mark that’s as big as our gardening shovel. That way, we can easily plant our vegetables without worrying about them being open to weed seeds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know more about weeds, weed barriers, and fabric weed control, let us answer some of the common questions that a lot of first time gardeners have with regard to using weed barriers. Hopefully, some of your questions will be answered here so that you’ll have a better understanding of its usage.
Q: Should you use landscape fabric?
A: While there’s no rule that you should use landscape fabric for your garden, it is highly recommended. Not only will the fabric weed barrier block off the weed seeds from reaching the soil, but it can also add to the landscape design as it looks like a nice gardening mat.
Q: What are some cheaper alternatives to landscape fabric?
A: Some of the cheaper alternatives to landscape fabric would be the homemade barriers and natural barriers. Since these barriers are DIY and require only material that can be found at home, you don’t need to spend so much on them. However, it is still recommended that you use a landscape fabric if you want a long term solution to your weed problem. There are a lot of landscape barriers that are affordable anyway. Just check the prices of the ones in the review above and you’ll see.
Q: Is landscape fabric safe for vegetable gardens?
A: Yes it is. In fact, it’s very good for your vegetable garden because it naturally prevents the germination of weed seeds by preventing it from reaching the soil. This kills off the seed and ensures that your plants won’t be infested.
Q: Can I put landscape fabric over weeds?
A: You can if there are a lot of existing grass and weeds where your plants are. What you can do is you can put the fabric over the weeds and add some pea gravel on it. By doing this, you are actually killing the existing weeds as the pea gravel will force them to decompose. So yes, you can do this if there are already a lot of weeds in your garden.
Q: Do I need to use landscape fabric under mulch?
A: While you don’t need to, we actually recommend that you do. First of all, the landscape fabric protects the plants from weeds that can grow in the presence of mulch. If weeds do grow, at least it will be above the soil. Another reason as to why we recommend you do this is because you can get cleaner mulch. When it rains, mulch will go into the soil and ruin it. With a weed barrier, the mulch won’t be able to get into the ground soil no matter how much it rains. That way, you can keep the mulch at the top and dispose of it if it becomes too dirty.
Q: Does landscaping fabric let water through?
A: Yes, landscaping fabric allows the water to go through it so it can reach the soil. Weed fabric barriers usually have small porous holes in them that allow water to seep through. That way, you won’t have to worry about whether or not your plants will be dehydrated.
- : The Landscape Fabric Weed Barrier Myth
- : Landscape Weed Barrier Fabric. Does it work?
- : Types of Weed Barriers
Now that you know more about weed barriers and how to use them, you can now pick out the best weed barrier for your very own garden. We were able to arrive with our list of the best 9 weed barriers by comparing the features of these 9 with other products. Taking our personal experiences and other reviews into consideration, we came up with a narrowed list. This will make it easier for you to choose which one you want. Of course, 9 products are still quite a lot, especially if you’re a beginner. So we also included some important things to know about weed barriers and a buying guide so that you can make your choice intelligently.
Now, you’re ready to install the right weed barrier in your garden.