How to lay a weed fabric

Updated April 17, 2017

Many landscapers and gardeners put down landscape fabric, a special cloth designed to control weed growth, when planting new plots. The cloth creates a barrier that keeps sunlight from hitting exposed soil while still allowing rain to soak through and nourish plants. With a little planning, you can properly install landscape (weed) fabric in your garden or landscape design.

Rake the planting area to remove weeds, stones and twigs, and to smooth out the soil.

Cover the planting area with weed fabric--unrolling the material lengthwise across the garden bed.

Trim weed fabric along the perimeter of the planting area with heavy-duty scissors.

Anchor the weed fabric to the ground with landscape staples--focusing especially on securing the edges in place.

Determine where you will plant on the landscape fabric-covered plot.

Cut an "X" into the fabric where each plant will go. Make each "X" large enough to comfortably fit the plant's root ball. Use a utility knife to make precise cuts.

Plant shrubs, flowers and grasses as usual. When you dig each hole, keep the weed cloth above the soil.

Tuck the weed cloth flaps around each plant's stem.

Cover the weed cloth with 2 to 3 inches of mulch.


If you're installing weed cloth around existing plants, cut slits in the cloth to allow the plants' stems to slide into place. Once the weed cloth is in place, cut a larger hole around each plant stem to ease pressure. Cover any exposed ground with scrap pieces of weed fabric. If you need to use multiple pieces of weed cloth to cover your landscaping plot, overlap the cloth edges by 3 to 6 inches. This will prevent weeds from growing through cracks in the cloth.

Things You'll Need

  • Weed fabric
  • Rake
  • Scissors
  • Landscape staples
  • Utility knife
  • Landscape plants
  • Mulch
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