The Q&A Archives: Why do I have weeds growing under my weed retardant fabric?

Question: I have weeds growing under my weed retardant fabric -- what's wrong? Should I redisc my garden to get the weeds again and recover with fabric retardant? which retardant should I use. I want my garden to be

Answer: I think in general, weed barrier fabrics do a good job in keeping weeds from growing. They block light, which seeds need to germinate. But after 4-5 years they begin to degrade, which can allow light to penetrate and weeds to grow. Also if small holes develop in the fabric due to foot traffic or ripples and breaks or even poor anchoring to the soil, you'll have weeds popping up. I know from experience that some tenacious weeds growing in unprotected garden areas can send roots beneath the weed block fabric and they will find a seam or hole and pop right up into the daylight. The best approach for you now is to remove the old weed block fabric, hand pull the weeds, roots and all, and then lay new weed barrier fabric down, anchoring it around the edges every 8-12". Place anchor stakes wherever there's a seam to keep the overlaid fabric from lifting up and allowing light to penetrate. After laying the fabric, cover it with bark or other decorative material and it should keep your flower bed weed free for another 4-5 years.

Enjoy your garden!

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