OK so everybody has problems with weeds, even in the smallest of gardens. People who keep flowerbeds are forever pulling them out, getting on their hands and knees and frankly wasting a lot of time. The problem that faces gardeners is that using spray weed killer will also kill all of your lovely plants. For all the frustrated gardeners, there is a solution!
Mulching fabric is an easy way to cover and protect small and large flowerbeds easily; for beds and borders, the spun-bonded type of fabric is recommended. The grade of the membrane needed for non-pedestrian parts of the garden will be 50gsm (Grams per square metre). Do not use plastic sheeting or cardboard because it does not allow the through flow of water. It is important to keep the flowers you want healthy with healthy soil.
OK so you have your weed killing membrane, what do you do now? Well firstly it is important to make sure you have enough weed membrane, sounds obvious but a lot of people get caught out. If you are using multiple sheets you will need to overlap by 9 inches, many people do not and this means the fabric is less effective. Make sure you have enough fixing pegs, heavy duty recommended. These pins need to be placed at least one every square metre, the more the better but don’t overdo it.
Make sure the area is weed free before applying any geotextile. Clearing the area will take some of the stress off the perennial suppressant because it won’t have to deal with any pre-existing weeds.
When laying the fabric you should cut ‘x’ shaped slit in the fabric to go over any existing plants. Make sure you position each of the cuts correctly. For any very large plants it may be easier to lay the membrane around the base as cutting larger slits may reduce how effective the fabric is.
The next step is to lay down something to protect the flowerbed. Laying bark, mulch, gravel or stones helps to protect the membrane you have laid, they also help to keep in moisture and reduce water evaporation in hotter weather.
Just a note: 100gsm membrane is also available. This is twice as strong as the spun-bonded material and is useful for paths and driveway and areas that need a stronger membrane.
Once you have laid all the necessary weed prevention products you should find that you flowerbeds not only look great but stay clear of pests.