The pros and cons of landscape fabrics

When re-designing and landscaping either an entire garden or space, or revamping a particular area, producing long-lasting results are a prerequisite. One of the best ways to ensure a landscaped area’s long-term stability and suppress weed growth is by including a geotextile fabric in the installation.

Not all landscaping fabrics are made the same – they are each manufactured to tackle specific problems, and identifying the correct product for your project will help achieve the right result. But what are the pros and cons of landscape fabrics? And are there applications when landscapers should avoid them?

What are the advantages of landscape fabrics?

  • Suppresses weed growth – landscape fabrics are an excellent tool for stopping weed growth. Weeds need light and air to thrive, and a specialist weed control fabric, such as Weedtex, deprives weeds of these vital elements.
  • Stabilises ground – whether beneath a lightly-used pathway, or a heavily-trafficked driveway, a non-woven geotextile fabric, such as Drivetex, will stabilise the ground, and enhance filtration and drainage. A specialist ground stabilisation geotextile fabric will help prevent sinking and rutting caused by aggregate settling into the soil beneath the driveway.
  • Offers a more environmentally friendly solution to chemical weed killers – laying a weed control fabric instead of chemical weed killers is deemed to be more environmentally friendly as they are designed for long-term rather than single, short-term use or repeated application.
  • Cost-effective – landscape fabrics are strong and durable and don’t need replacing. This makes using geotextile fabrics a more cost-effective method over the long term than other weed suppression techniques. Using the correct membrane for the application will also improve longevity.
  • Retains moisture – a geotextile fabric barrier helps keep water in the soil by reducing evaporation and allows rainwater to permeate which benefits cultivated plants.

Are there any disadvantages to landscape fabrics?

  • They won’t stop weed growth completely – landscaping fabrics do an excellent job of suppressing weed growth. However, they won’t completely eradicate the problem, as seeds can be wind-blown or dropped by birds on to the surface covering above the fabric, which nothing can prevent.
  • The risk of damage – lighter-weight fabrics can be damaged if forked or dug, compromising the effectiveness of the membrane. However, geotextile fabrics are ideal in applications such as under decking, in flower beds and beneath driveways where they are relatively undisturbed.
  • Can be time-consuming to lay – properly laying a geotextile membrane takes time. While it’s tempting to skip it and save time, a great deal more time will be spent in the future tackling unwanted weed growth and addressing potential destabilisation of the surface.
  • It may not work – when a geotextile fabric fails to achieve the desired results it is often due to selecting the wrong fabric. While Groundtex undoubtedly makes an excellent all-rounder geotextile membrane, there are clear advantages of using specialist fabrics designed to address particular problems. For example a landscape fabric primarily for weed control, such as Landtex, laid beneath a driveway is totally inadequate and won’t provide the needed durability,strength and ground stabilisation properties as a fabric designed specifically for this application – Drivetex. Carefully choosing landscaping fabrics will help avoid problems arising in the future.

With over 20 years’ experience in the landscape industry, Growtivation understands the needs of landscaping professionals and has concentrated on providing high-performance solutions with our Product That Works range.

Growtivation’s wide range of professional landscaping systems means we have the right solution for all common landscaping problems.

Find out more about the Growtivation Product That Works range by downloading our Product Guide and your free copy of our Landscaping That Works guide to weed control and geotextile fabrics. Our PledgeMark warranty certifies that our products are suitable for their intended use for your peace of mind and quality assurance.

To find out where you can buy Growtivation products, visit our online Where to Buy facility or contact the friendly team at Growtivation for advice on 0800 197 8885 or email sales@growtivation.com.