The Q&A Archives: Weed screen fabric

Question: I have a 70 foot row of arborvaete trees. As it is getting harder & harder to mow in-between them, I want to replace the grass with a mulch garden. If I lay out weed screen, do I need to scrape away all the grass first? Or, Will the weedscreen with 2 inches of mulch over it keep the grass from growing (without having to scrape away the grass first)?

Answer: Although the best way to prepare the area is the most labor-intensive, you'll be rewarded with years and years of problem free garden if you take the time to completely remove the grass before laying down your weed barrier fabric. Weed barrier will exclude light (which will keep weed seeds from germinating), but it allows water to penetrate, which will help keep the soil well drained. I'd remove the grass by scraping it away (2" deep will get most of the roots), then lay a weed barrier down and cover it with 2-3" of mulching material. Best wishes with your landscape!

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