What is a Weed Membrane?
There is nothing rocket science about a weed suppressing membrane. It’s just a sheet of material that covers bare soil which inhibits the growth of garden weeds. Easily cut with a sharp pair of scissors and held into place with plastic pegs a weed membrane should give you years of weed free gardening.
All weeds start off as a seed and are normally blown into your garden with the wind. Weed seeds can also lay dormant in garden soil for years only to appear and jump into growth once the ground has been cultivated.
Whether you have a patch of earth, spaces between plants, an overwintering vegetable patch or would like to lay a gravel path, using a membrane will stop the weed seeds from germinating (weeds need light) thus helping you to achieve that weed free garden we all wish for.
Types of Heavy Duty Weed Membrane
For home owners, gardeners and landscapers there are two different types of barrier available. Fabric (non woven) and woven geotextile. Woven geotextile being the more heavy duty, easier to install and durable of them both.
Fabric weed membranes are the most economical of the two types. They feel and look like a VERY thin layer of felt. Much like paper, the thickness of the barrier is sold referring to its gsm. The heavier the gsm the more substantial it will be.
Fabric membranes have a much shorter life span and are not as durable as the geotextile landscaping weed barriers but are cheaper if price is a concern. They are prone to tearing and annoyingly popping up through the bark mulch or gravel, leaving your treasured space rather unsightly. In our experience expect between 3-5 years of use before it needs replacing. Weeds are also more likely to root through fabric membranes.
Woven Geotex Weed Membranes
If your budget allows and you want a permanent weed suppressing solution then we recommend a woven membrane. Like the fabric version, these heavyweight weed membranes allow rain water to permeate through but block all light from the soil below to halt and prevent weed growth.
How To Use Membranes
Installation is simple enough for most to perform without calling in the professionals. Either membrane are sold as roll with different length and width sizes. Simply clear the garden border or path of all existing weeds and level the ground as much as possible. Unroll the membrane insitu and use a sharp pair of scissors to cut to length. Lay the next length but always allow for the membrane to overlap by approximately 10cm. By allowing for an overlap the membrane hold down pegs can be inserted through the 2 sheets and into the ground, holding both securely in place.
If possible avoid using a weed membrane in a perennial border. Once installed it is possible to plant through by cutting a X and folding back the edges but this just becomes very frustrating when replacing or moving perennials. A heavy duty membrane is better suited for a shrub border and for use under gravel, paths and front gardens for example.