Weed Control & Dupont Lanscape Fabric

May 4th, 2011

Some times it is cool to be a garden blogger, because you get swag. Dupont sent me free samples of their “Weedfree Premium Lanscape Fabric” to review, not knowing I already used and loved the product, and have for years. Free stuff for me.

Free stuff for you too, they also gave me a $100 lowes gift card to give to someone who posts a useful comment to this post. I haven’t decided if I will award it to the most useful comment, or to a random useful comment (it definitely won’t go to a spammy comment). Of course, it’ll only work for people in the US. A word on my comment policies, if I get the impression your comment was made just to try to get a link, I will not approve it. Also, I doubt your parents named you “Lawnmower Service Seattle” so don’t put that as your name, it isn’t your name.

Moving on…

I’ve actually written about this landscape fabric before, back in 2006 in my article on how to mulch your garden. Though I did not mention it by name, it is what I use. I have also used it in videos or articles on making raised beds. Such as this article on making a raised bed with retaining wall bricks or this video on doing almost the same thing, only instead making a island bed in the lawn. I buy it at Lowes usually. I also get the Landscape Fabric Staples that go with it, very helpful for securing it to the ground.

So, I fully recommend this product, and not just because they bribed me with freebies, I really have used it for years. But it isn’t appropriate for everything. It is more expensive, but also far better, than black plastic (which you should NEVER use because it will decompose fast, and is not permeable) or cheap landscape fabric (which can fall apart). If you put down fabric, then put down 2 tons of pebbles, then come back in a few years to find weeds, you aren’t going to want to remove the pebbles, sort, fix the liner, and replace. You put this type of product somewhere you want to never have to touch again, so you don’t want to skimp on durability.

But, as I said, it isn’t appropriate for everything. If you put this under wood mulch, the wood mulch will eventually decompose, it will turn into soil, that soil will then allow weeds to grow ABOVE the fabric. There is no weed free solution for a mulch liner if you’re using an organic mulch that can decompose. The fabric literally lasts for decades, it lasts far longer than the wood chips you may put on top of it. So it does become an issue.

Use this under rubber, glass, stone, or other such inorganic mulches only. You also use it, as I did in the above video, to line the inside of raised beds to keep soil from leeching out, and you can use it as a liner under brick or cobblestone pathways.

I do not recommend using a durable landscape fabric in beds with perennials or other plants you will dig, divide, move, or harvest often (so no veggie beds either). This is for permanent or semi permanent plantings only. It is not for use with plants that spread, or that may be dug and divided regularly. It will get in the way in those circumstances.

For such perennial beds, or beds with wood mulch, I recommend newspaper and corrugated cardboard as underlayments, these are not permanent, of course, but the price is right and they last long enough to kill any existing weeds, then they decompose and add to the soil, so they aren’t in your way when you need to move something.

For permanent beds, with shrubs, trees, etc, or even maybe some perennials like peonies that don’t move or spread much, you can use this kind of liner, with an inorganic mulch please, like stone or pebbles. I find this is really good for foundation plantings up against your house, where you should not be using wood mulches anyways, to help protect your home from various pests.

You can also use it (though I don’t) as a mulch itself, put it on the soil, put nothing on top of it. Not the prettiest picture, but if you have a large veggie garden it may make sense between the rows.

Use it any place you put stone down really. I have this rental and the previous owner used a stone mulch in front but did NOT put a liner down. So over the years the stones mixed with the soil, destroying the effectiveness of the stone as a mulch, while making it a huge pain to dig or plant anything new in the area since it is now the world’s most rocky soil. Had he used a liner, I would have merely needed to peel back the liner.

Please feel free to share any tips you have for working with this product in the comments, or for weed control in general, and by mid May I will have devised a way on how to reward the Lowes gift card.

25 Responses to “Weed Control & Dupont Lanscape Fabric”

  1. Sylvia  Says:

    I love this landscape fabric, I used it in my recently finished garden paths.


  2. mom taxi julie  Says:

    I used some landscape fabric in my front yard. I wish I would have used some anchors in the front area that we sometimes park on because it came up and ripped. I’m not sure what brand that was though. I need to put some new stuff down I think!

  3. Nell Jean  Says:

    I wonder if I could seam up some pieces to make grow bags?

  4. b.alan  Says:

    I live in a former rental property. In the back yard there’s a strip next to the fence wherein former slum/landlord put down black plastic and piled on lovely lava rock. It also so happens that our soil is CLAY. Ney, super clay. I put my garden, mistakenly, next to this lava rock laden strip. Unfortunately stepping on lava rock in my soil embeds the porous things and virtually quadruples their mass. Seeing a possible way to fix the problem, I tried to pull up the plastic and, hopefully, roll it into a big black 1 ton burrito(happy Cinco de Mayo.) Each time grabbed a handful of the black petroleum product, a hand-sized piece would rip off. Now all I have is lava rock splashed all over my clayey garden and a trash can full of black, plastic snow flakes. I wish he/she would have done a little research and discovered this landscape fabric. Oh well, I didn’t have any Saturday plans…..

  5. Rita  Says:

    Am setting up a grape row, actually
    2 rows and I want a weed free(6-8 feet)
    area between the rows. Have a another
    area with grapes and that works pretty good.
    Wasn’t watching what I was buying then ad
    got grapes with seeds. Now I have bought
    seedless so we can eat them without spitting
    out the seeds. Will use the seeded grapes for
    juice and freeze for usage later on.

    We have a lowes a few miles from us and even
    if you don’t find us a good prospect for a free
    roll at least now I have a name and place to
    buy it for myself.

    I save you emails because you never know
    when your previous information will come in

    Thanks for the information.

    Rita Griebel

  6. Colleen Boles  Says:

    I have been doing container gardening for the past 5 years and I have just recently started to learn about raised beds. During my research I found that most people recommend landscape fabric to put in the bottom of the bed. It is nice to know that you do too and now I now what brand to go out and purchase (Dupont)! I have just started to read the book “All New Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew and I am learning a lot! If you have any advice I would greatly appreciate it – I live just outside of Buffalo, NY so our growing season is short – I have started my seeds in side and I can’t wait to build my raised beds and transplant them outside!

  7. Susan  Says:

    I love and use this stuff, too. I wish I’d read your blog before I used it in my flower garden. At least when the wood mulch turns to dirt and weeds grow in it, they’re very weak weeds and easy to pull.
    Roundup (Yeah–I’m the only evil chemical sprayer on the planet these days. Sorry.)will take good care of those weak weeds, too.
    Enjoyed the info!

  8. Gururaj  Says:

    Thanks for the info on the Dupont fabric; looks interesting. Is it made of polypropylene? I have just used one kind of fabric available in Japan that seems to be very effective (see photo here: http://www.cainzhome-online.com/system/item/4678). Do you know whether the Dupont fabric allows the soil below to be “aired”? What are the effects on the soil below the fabric after a few years?
    #Colleen Boles: I am using my own version of the square foot garden – no fabric below; no permanent grids; just lines drawn on the surface to demarcate squares and plant seeds/saplings. I find that not having any sheet laid below helps in growing vegetables that need depth such as Japanese radish.

  9. Stephanie  Says:

    Ha! I’m just now sourcing this stuff for the first time and your tips are great. I had bad experience with the cheap stuff at my home in between my raised beds and under pea gravel. I now live in a new climate and new house with a new garden and am currently mapping out using the fabric, uncovered, in between mounded rows in my veggie garden. Maybe 2′ wide strips, max. I would think it would keep things mostly neat and orderly looking, minimize the amount of weeds in the currently weed-sown space, and help retain moisture at a deeper root level for the plants, since they’ll be slightly raised.

  10. Erin Lang Norris  Says:

    What a useful post! Thank you for this. 🙂

    I’m somewhat new to landscaping, but I do know 2 things: 1- the previous owners did not use fabric under their rocks and I am having the hardest time removing these rocks now, because they don’t shovel easily and 2- the owners were nice enough, haha, to use it between all of their sedum and hostas throughout the yard, which there are hundreds of throughout the various gardens. Awesome.

    This summer I plan on lining the area between the long rows of pine trees that border our backyard. We love to walk through the rows, but by midsummer, weeds have taken over unless we weed whip a lot. I can’t wait to do this- it will look a lot nicer from our deck and be easier to maintain.

  11. Erica Y  Says:

    Use it to limit progress of bamboo! We have a wooded area at the back of our property, it’s not a manicured part of the garden (by design), and the bamboo helps provide a nice break between the wooded section and the manicured/landscaped section at the corner of the property. Unfortunately bamboo likes to try to take over everything. Since the transitional area is more natural, and I’m not worried about ivy and the like growing in the organic mulch from above (just in not getting massive growth of bamboo from below), this suits my purposes very well. If you surround the bamboo to a few feet out with a line of the fabric, it can really help keep down the aggressive yard takeover!

  12. Bethany  Says:

    I love this Dupont fabric too!

    I use it under our landscaping rocks and paths, and it seems to get the job done.

    As far as weed control here in MT, I usually landscape with rocks until the plants are established enough and spreading. The rocks help to protect the plants (especially from our dog, Leroy), and they make it easy to weed when needed!

    Awesome site full of great gardening info. I’m so very happy I found you this morning! Off to click some more!!

  13. Cindy Lloyd  Says:

    I’d love to re-do my mother in law’s flowerbed. Right now she’s got Hosta surrounded by white rock and black no good worn out landscape paper cloth something, and a ton of weeds that I can’t get a grip on. Busted my rear due to Crabgrass! I’d love to fix it up for her and save myself some extra work! I obsess over it when I go visit, I can’t stand weeds!!!

  14. Kathleen Carter  Says:

    Last year I layed a pathway that wraps around my back deck. I put down weedgard down but I used the cheap stuff and now I have weeds all inbetween my pavers and in the raised bed next to it. I wished I had used something better. From what you say about Dupont landscape fabric it would have been perfect. I will buy this next time which will be very soon as I can’t stand to see it looking that bad after about 20 or more hours of work.I just wished I would have read this sooner. Thanks for all the great info.

  15. Jennifer I.  Says:

    I purchased a free-standing container for gardening for my mom for Mother’s Day (from Lowe’s!). We will be using the Dupont Landscape Fabric on top of the soil with holes in it for the plants to grow through. This will help keep the moisture in and weeds out. She is less mobile now and this will help her to enjoy her garden more.

  16. Wendy  Says:

    I appreciate your post very much. I’ve just planted a Japanese Garden and wanted to mulch it with rock (large, small, medium) in the worst way as shredded pine bark isn’t really conducive to the whole Asian thing. But anyway, I googled this subject and I just got the negative stuff plus the DuPont stuff. I wanted to find someone who had USED it and could recommend the good, the bad, the ugly. After reading what you wrote, it’s clear to me that this will work in my garden (all shrubs and one tree), but I will absolutely make sure the plants are exactly where I want them as I don’t need to be moving stuff around in 20 years. I bought the “Pro” line which is what they recommend for commercial uses. You’re right… this isn’t cheap, but I don’t want to have to do it twice. I have no idea who won the prize, but if you ask me, your post won the prize! Thanks again…. I’ll be following your blog.

  17. Courtney  Says:

    I’m currently in the process of killing a weedy area of the yard with vinegar spray. Once that’s done I would love some of this great fabric to cover the area and put down rock or mulch!

  18. Rick  Says:

    I gotta say I have tried a lot of weed control products some of them work and some of them do not i have yet to find the perfect product.The best advice that I can give anyone is to be very vigilant because weeds are gonna try and survive and are very equipped to do so. But if you stay on top of them you will be able to keep your garden free from weeds. While you are doing this you can also keep an eye out for other unwanted pest like insects. Sometimes gardening is work but it can be the most rewarding work you can do! Happy gardening!

  19. Linda Kwiatkowski  Says:

    Well, where do I start? We used to spend many hours in our yard, but since my husband had Lyme Disease, we stopped. So this year, I asked someone (not a landscaper) to help us. He said he would take out some unwanted hedges etc and put down mulch and make things look pretty. He worked hard pulling and weeding. However, when he put down liner (he used the cheap black stuff). We had to dig a hugh trench to have our lamp post fixed and the liner, of course, ripped up in a million pieces. We then realized just how cheap is was. Mushrooms even grew up the first rain we had after he finished the work. Now the same guy is doing more work in front around our birch trees. He used a white liner and I will ask him what it is. My husband and I will have to redo the place where he first worked on and we will not use that cheap stuff again. It will be hard work and we are in our 60’s but we have to do it. We can’t afford to have anyone do more work. So after reading your information, my eyes are now opened and we have to use good liner and do it ourselves. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it!
    Linda Kwiatkowski

  20. Spencer Drew  Says:

    I use a similar material. But a good weed barrier will is defiantly worth its weight in gold. I have one under my garden and it keeps weeds out. You can google the garden master.

  21. Les  Says:


    I love your blog! I just keep reading and reading and reading…

    ANYHOW, I’ll be starting a new garden here at our house in Monroe, and I need tips on how to lay my garden path – your blurb on the landscape fabric was very helpful, so I think I’ll pick some up at my local Lowe’s…

    I’ll keep reading… if you keep writing!
    Thanks again!


  22. shanna  Says:

    I rocked my back yard and used this stuff and love it .. Its worth every penny- your garden looking clean and weed free 🙂

  23. David  Says:

    I think there is a “d” missing.

    “Weed Control & Dupont Lanscape Fabric”

  24. sy  Says:

    thanks for your kind advice, could you please provide additional info regarding the landscape material such as exact brand name, thickness , size of roll, and price, we are looking at creating several path in our garden on vashon island , total length about 400′ width about 3.5′, so your advice and perhaps even a sample will be very valuable , thanks

  25. Dave  Says:

    I’m going to try the Dupont fabric.
    My question is: After I lay this fabric,
    can I put grass clippings on top of the

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