Weed Barrier Fabric: Yay or Nay?

While we typically opt into using weed barrier fabric on our projects, there are pros and cons to using such a product.

As professional landscapers, we have used weed barrier paper in various projects and have experienced both its advantages and drawbacks. Weed barrier paper, also known as landscape fabric, is a synthetic material designed to prevent weed growth in gardens, flower beds, and other landscaped areas. Here are some of the pros and cons of using weed barrier paper in landscaping.


  1. Weed prevention: The primary advantage of using weed barrier paper is that it effectively prevents weed growth. The fabric acts as a physical barrier that prevents weed seeds from germinating and growing, reducing the need for weeding.
  2. Soil conservation: Weed barrier paper helps to retain moisture in the soil, preventing it from drying out and reducing the need for watering. It also helps to prevent erosion, which is particularly beneficial in sloped areas.
  3. Aesthetically pleasing: Weed barrier paper creates a neat and tidy appearance in landscaped areas, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the space.


  1. Limited effectiveness: While weed barrier paper can effectively prevent weeds from growing for a few years, it is not a permanent solution. Over time, the fabric can break down, allowing weed seeds to germinate and grow through the material.
  2. Reduced soil quality: Weed barrier paper can prevent organic matter from reaching the soil, reducing its quality and fertility over time.
  3. Cost: Weed barrier paper can be expensive, especially for larger landscaping projects.
  4. While weed barrier fabric can effectively prevent weed growth beneath the surface, it may not be as effective in preventing weed growth on top of the surface material above the fabric. This is because weed seeds can still be carried by the wind or birds and can land on the surface material, where they can germinate and grow.


It is important to understand that while weed barrier paper can be effective in preventing weed growth, it is not a perfect solution. Weeds can still grow around the edges of the fabric, and the material itself can break down over time, requiring replacement. It is also essential to properly install the weed barrier paper, ensuring that it is secured in place and that all edges are properly covered. Overall, while weed barrier paper can be a useful tool for preventing weed growth, it is important to consider its limitations and potential drawbacks before deciding whether to use it in a landscaping project.

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