I have a lot of weeds in my new landscape, more than before, should we have gotten a WEED FABRIC?

Frequently Asked Questions

We will cover why some properties may have more weeds after a new landscape install (new soil often used) & also our long held Opinion on Weed Fabric with a number of reasons – WHY WE ADVISE – NOT TO USE A WEED BARRIER.

Our reply to Customer’s question is broken up with info on 2 topics:

1) More weeds than before the new landscape & Why

2) Should we get weed fabric installed ? 100% of the time we say – NO (not 70%, not 90% of the time, all the time & we’ll explain why.)

Customer’s email stated : “Weeds have taken over completely. Everywhere.”
NOTE : This project was installed 4 months prior  and we received our customer’s email in the middle of May, after 2 weeks of heavy rains on their new landscape.

Also to importantly Note : most people do not have major weed issues after a new installation, when you do hundreds of projects a year, there will be some. This is one of the few, but is worth posting to our site to help educate as some may have heavier weed growth after a new job is performed than before & we will cover that here as well.

Especially those with projects where the landscape may have been neglected before and now new planting beds, and no weed treatment has been done. By customer’s or by lawn maintenance company.)

It has been a few months since installation and our recommendation is to SPRAY FOR WEEDS. This is the easiest & best method to help keep on top of weed control. (I will discuss weed fabric in a minute.)

When new topsoil is added, it often will contain recycled landscape materials which help with nutrients, lawns can be composted and used into top soil mixes as well as weeds that can be present in both.

For this reason, sometimes with a new landscape, especially with new topsoil, which we used on the majority of projects, weed growth in the months after a new install can be more than before.You are having strong weed growth in some areas, most notably, in the rock by the front door from the photo you shared.

Weed spray products at Home Depot or Lowe’s, we recommend  “Ground Clear” or another product. If an organic weed killing spray is available at the time you’re looking, worth a try. Main point to make sure to spray the weed killer on all the weeds – AND – EVEN in the Open Bed Areas Where There Are No Weeds. This helps to work as a preventative.


During the late spring & summer we get heavier rainfall, combined with warmer temps and the result, everything grows faster, the good and the bad. During this time of year, you may wish to spray every month to month and a half.

We are available for service calls, trimming, weeding, mulching, fertilizing, etc. upon request. We don’t keep a regular maintenance schedule as we don’t cut lawns, only landscape installations and renovation projects. Some ask us to come out once a year, some more often.  We have standard rates if you’re interested.

WEED FABRIC : Doesn’t usually work long term

You were asking about weed fabric and we strongly recommend against any of our customer’s using and I’ll provide the reasons here : (we’re also collecting video from actual jobs we perform where people have weed fabric and hire us to weed out the landscape beds & remove it, which can be very costly. Will be posting this video to our website in the Customer’s Corner section in the future after we gather a few more job examples – better than photos to show ).

For the overwhelming majority of yards we’ve come across – Weed fabric does not work long term in the MAJORITY of cases. There is an example here and there of people with few weeds that have had very little weed growth after a long period (more than a few years) – usually this is in a shady area.

Also, Weeds will tend to grow more in a sunny area than a shady one, most often.

With a weed fabric, usually we have found, after decades in this industry, is that most weed fabric materials are good for a year or two, then their usefulness declines steadily after that most of the time.

Problems with weed fabrics :
1) Usually works for 1 to 2 years, then it fails and weeds typically grow through it like it wasn’t even there after that.
2) Contains moisture in the ground and fabric and can be a ‘factory’ of mold & mildew growth – especially for properties that don’t drain well. (many larger problems can occur from mold or mildew growth near the foundation of a home if it gets into a home’s or building’s walls.
3) Difficult for plants to be fertilized properly. When the fabric is covering all of the ground around a plant, when it is time to fertilize, the fabric acts as a barrier to also keep the nutrients from seeping into the ground as they should from the fertilizer. If mulch or stone on the ground, the fertilizer has an easier time working its way into the soil of the plant or tree roots than with a barrier.

A buildup of fertilizer on top of the weed barrier is also not helpful as its stopping the landscape from getting its needed additional nutrients – especially when young.

4) NOT Easy – laborous and expensive to remove Weed Fabric.

Why ? Weeds grow like a weave or ‘web’ throughout the fabric below. Before & during the time the weeds start to break through the weed barrier, they grow underneath, spreading and interweaving themselves with the weed fabric.

To remove weed fabric after it fails is to remove everything on top of it first. Mulch & stone must be cleaned or raked off the fabric to get to it. That’s the first part of the work.

In the photo below the stone is brushed aside and the weed fabric is visible here. Clearly not working and was installed by another company, properly we’d add, only 4 months earlier.

The mulch is usually not in a re-useable condition in these cases. The deeper the mulch, some of it may be re-useable, but more work to remove from the fabric the deeper the mulch is.

With stone, it is more expensive than mulch. Some larger sections of stone may be raked into areas and put into containers to re-use after the weed fabric ripout, some spaces, if the stones are to be saved, have to be removed by hand. (EACH ONE). Very time consuming.

With all the mulch or stone being removed, the next challenge is removing the weed fabric itself. As the weeds are most usually interwined with the fabric, it can not simply be pulled up by hand in any large size of fabric. It most often has to be dug out with a shovel, in really bad conditions, the fabric has to be punctured with a spade shovel and small sections dug out individually as the fabric will not pull up from the ground because of the “webbing” or “weave” through the fabric of the weed growth.

Weeds are resilient. You may recall seeing some streets where weeds have grown up through the asphalt of the street in some neighborhoods where the asphalt may be a bit older or not re-paved in some time. In those cases, weeds have grown through a 6″ or deeper crushed aggregate stone base – AND – the Asphalt of the street.

The thin barrier of fabric is not as dense as a street.

One project we performed that is memorable, a homeowner saw us perform a project down the street for a neighbor. Called us over and we ended up performing work for him. We are including this video clip of his property in a video on this very question of “if people should use weed fabrics? – Our answer – No”

With his property, another company installed new fabric 6 months earlier. THEY INSTALLED IT PROPERLY. Weeds were growing throughout the backyard !

They had stone on top of the fabric throughout much of the backyard . Very expensive clean up job because of the time !

Our answer for the reasons stated is why we ALWAYS tell people our opinion is a Solid NO – on if weed fabric should be used or not. A photo may be worth a thousand words, we’re putting together a video as it does come up quite often.

If you’re ready to talk about the project that’s been on your mind, or you just want to spruce up the yard – give us a call today – we’ll work hard to make you feel glad you did!

(561) 448 0595