How to stop grass & weeds from growing close to a fence

Updated February 21, 2017

Grass and weeds growing close to a fence or fence line can be an unwanted maintenance chore for the homeowner. Extra time must be spent during yard work to run the weed trimmer, or you must apply potentially dangerous weed killers on a regular basis. One solution to this problem is the establish a zone next to fence with mulch or stone. Properly installed, this area will be resistant to weeds and can also be an attractive addition to your landscape.

Lay out a rope or hose along the fence line to establish a line for the front edge of the mulched area. This will help you make a consistent, straight line for the edge of the mulched area. Mark along the line with marking paint. Use a shovel to dig out the soil from beneath your fence 1 foot on either side to a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Load the dirt into a wheelbarrow for disposal as you proceed.

Line the bottom of the excavated area with landscape cloth. Landscape cloth typically comes in 4-foot wide rolls -- unroll a length of cloth in the bottom of the excavated area and trim the cloth with a utility knife by grasping the cloth in one hand and cutting with the other. You may find you'll need to trim the cloth to fit, or you may need to overlap separate pieces. It will be dependent on the size of the area you've dug out. When you reach a fence post, make a cut at 90 degrees to the direction of the fence line in the cloth, starting at the edge, so you can pull the cloth around the fence posts.

Fill the excavated area with decorative stone or mulch. You'll need .25 cubic feet of mulch or stone for every square foot of mulched area. Measure the square footage by multiplying the length by the depth of the area. For example, if the mulched area is 10 feet by 1 foot, the square footage is 10 feet. You'll need 2.5 cubic feet of mulch (10 X 0.25). Rake the mulch or stone to level it as you fill the area.

Things You'll Need

  • Rope or hose
  • Marking paint
  • Straight-edge garden spade shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Landscape cloth
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Mulch or decorative stone
  • Rake
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About the Author

Based in Virginia, Nichole Liandi has been a freelance writer since 2005. Her articles have appeared on various print and online publications. Liandi has traveled extensively in Europe and East Asia and incorporates her experiences into her articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.