Top 10 Best Weed Barrier Options

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Do you experience difficulty taming weeds in your garden, but don’t want to resort to chemical means? Incorporating the best weed barrier into your garden is an excellent way of naturally curbing weeds in your garden without introducing any chemical-based weed killers.

The best part of using weed barriers is they work naturally to eliminate unwanted weeds. Yet, they retain the natural health of your grounds and foster the right environment for your plants to grow in. Due to their safe nature, you can use weed barriers beyond your garden in areas prone to growing weeds, like your driveway.

Nonetheless, for many amateur gardeners, choosing the right kind of weed barrier can be tedious and overwhelming.  We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you by testing the top consumer-rated products on the market this year.

After careful screening, we’ve narrowed down the line up into 10 of the most effective and best weed barriers to install in your garden. With this superior list, you can rest assured that you will find the right barrier for your home – no matter your needs!

If you’re in a hurry, below is a table which breaks each barrier down by what they are best for, but if you have more time, scroll down to learn more about what makes a good weed barrier great for your application.

Weed BarrierSize (WxL)Best for
ECOGardener Premium Pro Garden Weed Barrier3’ x 50’Overall Best
Dewitt P6 Weed-Barrier6’ x 250’Editor’s Choice
Hoople Premium Garden Weed Barrier3’ x 180’Best Non-woven
LAVEVE Weed Barrier4’ x 100’Bang for your Buck
Waenlir Heavy duty Weed Barrier3’ x 100’Best Heavy Duty
Flarmor Landscape Fabric Weed Barrier6’ x 100’Best Lightweight
Happybuy Premium Weed Barrier 6.5’ x 330’Best Largest
Dwale Driveway Weed Barrier6’ x 300’Best for Driveways and Walk Paths
EXTRAEASY Garden Weed Barrier1.4’ x 50’Best for Narrow Spaces
Winisok Weed Barrier3’ x 100’Cheapest

What is a Weed Barrier?

Horticulturist installing the best weed barrier
Horticulturist installing a weed barrier

A weed barrier is a layer of usually dark-colored fabric, plastic, and even cardboard designed to be placed around the yard, garden, or driveway, among others. This barrier is typically installed over soil and then, topped with mulch and works by blocking sunlight from penetrating the ground. This, in turn, prevents weeds from growing from their germinated seeds. 

However, their permeable material design means that the weed barrier will still encourage the growth of other plants. The permeable nature will also allow water and air to thoroughly flow into the soil to ensure the growth of other plants.

Weed barriers work for a variety of settings, including vegetable and flower gardens, bushes, shrubs, and trees. You can even use weed barriers underneath rock, gravel, or hardscaping. However, they may not be the best option for some vegetable and annual flower beds as they can make replanting difficult. 

Why Use a Weed Barrier?

A weed barrier, also known as landscape fabric, is a fantastic alternative to chemical herbicides. When installed properly, weed barriers completely eliminate the need for herbicides to control weeds. Moreover, the clean fabric weed control method means no artificial or toxic chemicals from herbicides.

Herbicides can easily leach the soil and come in contact with your plants, including edible ones. If you are an eco-conscious and all-natural eater, using a weed barrier in your garden is the best weed control approach. Moreover, herbicides and other chemically based weed-controlling alternatives don’t just hold the potential of leaching your soil and plants.

If you have young children or pets that play around the yard or garden, this can be potentially dangerous. On the other hand, a landscape fabric installation is safe for your kids and pets and also safe from damage – it’s certainly a win-win! But, this is not all you will benefit from when you use a weed barrier for your outdoor space. These barriers come with a long list of benefits that truly make them worth the investment.

Here are the common reasons why a weed barrier is the best option for weed control;

Cost-effective and Long Lasting

Using a weed barrier will save you significantly more money over time than using other options, like weed killers and herbicides. A good quality roll of weed barrier will cost you an average of $15 to100 and the amount of rolls you take will vary based on your garden size.

Further, you will pay a maximum of $50 to get extra accessories including pins that hold them down. But, this is the only monetary investment you put into weed barriers. After their installation, you can relax and let them do the rest. In fact, a good quality weed barrier can last you up to 5 years while expensive, premium-grade ones can go as far as 25 years.

Now, a container of weed killer can appear to be less expensive during the initial purchase and requires no installation or added cost. Yet, weed killer application is continuous and requires frequent purchase of the weed killer from time to time. Over time, weed killers don’t just become significantly more expensive.  They also degrade your garden soil over time, depending on their chemical composition.

Environmental Preservation

As pointed out earlier, weed barriers are a safer and cleaner weed control method compared to weed killers or herbicides. However, these landscape fabrics don’t just stand out for their non-chemical, clean nature. They also prevent soil erosion on sloped landscapes prone to washouts from heavy rains.

Since you install the fabric using pins to hold it in place, this installation inadvertently secures the surroundings, too. Since weed barriers feature a semi-permeable nature, excess moisture underneath easily escapes. However, the soil surface is left safe from the downward running water, which can easily cause soil erosion.

Moreover, the dark-colored landscape fabrics aid in soil moisture retention by reducing evaporation. The landscape fabric protects the ground from direct sunlight and wind, which play a role in evaporation and strip the soil of moisture.

Soil Insulation

During the winter season, weed barriers come in handy by warming and insulating the soil. Depending on the type of weed barrier used, you can increase the soil temperature from anywhere between 2 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Soil Protection

While controlling weeds, weed barriers keep the soil clean from other elements and debris. Weed barriers are typically set up above the soil but underneath mulch and other elements, like rocks. The landscape fabric layer helps to keep unwanted debris.

These include debris such as inorganic mulch, rocks, and other non-decomposing debris out of the soil. By preventing these elements from sinking into the ground, you don’t have to struggle to remove them to keep the surroundings clean and healthy for planting.

Versatile

Weed barriers come with a unique versatility. Their ability to prevent soil erosion makes them handy well beyond the garden. Weed barriers, particularly heavy-duty ones built to handle rocks and other rough surfaces, also come in handy for soil stabilization. On areas, like the driveway and even in construction projects, you can use weed barriers for soil and road stabilization.

Furthermore, weed barriers come in a myriad of designs, styles, materials, thicknesses, and sizes. This means that you can always find the right option for your home and needs.

Drawbacks of a Weed Barrier

Undoubtedly, weed barriers are a gift to gardeners and homeowners alike. But, like any other man-made product, even these versatile, convenient, and long lasting environmentally friendly weed control alternatives come with drawbacks. These include;

You may still see some weeds! Depending on the design, quality, and material of the weed barrier, you may see some weeds growing on the soil medium or organic mulch you use to cover the fabric. While this happens a year or two after installation, you may have to pull weeds on top of the fabric. Unfortunately, the weed roots may grow into the perforations of your weed barrier. This means pulling it out will also slightly damage the fabric.

They may interfere with garden life – for instance, the barrier created can prevent garden-friendly earthworms from reaching the surface to survive. Earthworms play a helpful role in the garden as they help aerate the soil by breaking up compact soil.

Reseeding is impossible on grounds covered by weed barriers – for instance, plants, like basil, shed seeds that fall into the ground to germinate and produce a new basil plant. If the ground is covered, the seeds will fall onto the landscape fabric preventing it from penetrating the soil, germinating, and sprouting.

Mulch and other debris can clog the perforations or pores of your weed barrier over time. Ultimately, this affects the fabric’s ability to foster water and air penetration into the soil. This, in turn, affects your soil well-being as well as plant growth, development, and health.

Weed barriers can still be toxic. Among the most important selling points for weed barriers is their safer and cleaner nature compared to weed killers and herbicides. Unfortunately, they can still pose this risk, if you go for cheaper quality, chemically treated options. The best solution is to opt for high quality, food-grade, and safe non-treated weed barriers.

Demanding and time-consuming weed barrier installation, especially for people with larger gardens or land. Similarly, a weed barrier is tedious to remove. Over the years, it becomes covered by debris, such as inorganic mulch, rock, and other components. So, you may have to go through a strenuous raking and shoveling process to remove the barrier. Further, initial investment and installation can still be costly, if you have extensive space.

They can interfere with some plants. Sure, the best weed barriers will not leach or pose any toxicity to your plants. But, this doesn’t mean that they will not entirely affect some plants. For instance, using weed barriers on flower beds for annuals makes frequent replanting difficult. Similarly, they can also affect the growth of bulbiferous plants. This is because they tend to push the bulbs around underground by roots. If they are pushed out of the weed barrier pores or perforations, they fail to sprout.

How to Use a Weed Barrier

A weed barrier is pretty simple to install and use. Here’s how you put together and use a weed barrier;

Choose the right weed barrier type for your garden.

Break up large debris and compacted soil, remove weeds to level the ground and finish off by raking the surface smooth. Add fertilizer if you need to create the right growing conditions. Before you set up the weed barrier, the soil has to be well aerated and amended too. Using a weed barrier means you can’t entirely depend on biological elements, such as earthworms. So, it is highly vital to ensure the soil is of proper quality before you cover it.

Lay out the weed barrier, positioning the rougher side downwards towards the ground to keep it in place. When you are installing the weed barrier, leave about 2 inches of extra fabric at the edges so you can tuck or bury it into the soil. But, if the edges overlap with another roll to cover a larger extensive space, leave at least 6 inches of extra fabric to ensure adequate coverage during the overlap. If you don’t mind, you can apply pre-emergent weed spray on the ground before laying the weed barrier. This will kill existing weeds and seeds.

Insert landscape pins using a hammer or mallet along the fabric edge, leaving at least 10-inch space between each pin. The pins help to hold the barrier in place so make sure you buy enough.

Use a utility knife or scissors to cut into the barrier material to create large enough round holes where you will insert landscape plants.

Cover the entire barrier and holes with at least 3 inches of mulch to help further hold the barrier in place while promoting moisture retention for the soil underneath and UV protection. The mulch also helps to give the space that traditional garden look.

Best Practices: Weed Barrier Installation and Use

Before their roots grow into the fabric, pull out weed seedlings you notice sprouting on the mulch on top of the weed barrier.

Never be stingy with your weed barrier as the smallest room will still accommodate weed growth. Pay attention to the corners and edges as these areas tend to be forgotten. Follow the recommendations on how much extra material to leave at the edges when installing the weed barrier.

Mulch is just as important as the weed barrier itself. So, make sure every part of the weed barrier, including the holes for plant specimens is thoroughly covered with mulch. Leaving gaps allows sunlight to penetrate and help the weed to grow.

If you use organic mulch, like wood chippers, replace or replenish them from time to time since they break down and decompose. Older ones will typically break down and become fine. You can remove the fine mulch and add it to your compost pile if you have one. Then, replenish the top of the weed barrier with fresher mulch.

Removing the old and fine organic mulch goes a long way to prevent weeds from growing on this fine soil-like decomposing mulch. It also prevents the finer consistency mulch from clogging the weed barrier’s pores and perforations. A blockage of these semi-permeable membranes affects the proper delivery of moisture and air to the soil and plants.

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Weed Barrier

Here’s a detailed buying guide with key features to evaluate when choosing the best weed barrier;

Type

Weed barriers come in a variety of different types and styles, based on various factors. Here are the common types you will across on the market;

Synthetic Weed Barriers

Synthetic weed barriers are made using man-made materials, particularly petroleum-based plastic. Common synthetic weed barriers include polyethylene and polypropylene weed barriers. Made into different-sized sheets, synthetic weed barriers are pretty effective at blocking sunlight and ultimately, preventing the germination and sprouting of weeds.

Synthetic weed barriers are a particularly popular option among the best quality and heavy-duty weed barriers due to the ruggedness and durability they offer.  Their durable and heavy-duty nature also makes them great at soil moisture retention and soil erosion prevention.

Unfortunately, synthetic weed barriers aren’t biodegradable and so, they can further pollute the environment when it’s time to replace them. Moreover, you have to properly prepare your soil before installing synthetic weed barriers. This is because they significantly interfere with soil bacterial and microorganism activity, which can easily affect soil health over time.

Landscape fabric: Most synthetic weed barriers come in the form of landscape fabrics and are ideal for landscaping projects. You can even find more durable commercial-grade landscape fabrics to handle more demanding tasks.

Landscape fabrics are perfect for barriers and beds without much frequent maintenance activity since you can maneuver them as much without damaging them after installation. This means that aren’t the best option for gardens that grow annuals that require frequent replanting. Instead, landscape fabrics are perfect around shrubbery, flower beds, and edge beds. Their ruggedness and durability mean that they will last longer past a single growing season in your garden!

Root barriers: Root barriers are a sub-type of synthetic type of weed barrier. As their name suggests, root barriers are built to help with containing larger weed varieties that typically develop thicker roots. Root barriers resemble a wall placed underground to block the roots and come in a panel-style or HDPE continuous barrier.

You can also use these barriers if you are growing plants with various root systems around the same limited garden space. The barriers prevent larger and more expansive roots from blocking smaller or shallow roots.

Organic Weed Barriers

Also known as biodegradable landscape fabrics, organic weed barriers are the opposite of synthetic ones. They are made of natural materials, like paper, wood chips, straws, and cardboard. Using organic weed barriers is simple.

For instance, you can use cardboard as an example. All you need is to find a few cardboard boxes lying around your home. Break them down and lay them the same way you would synthetic store-bought landscape fabric on your garden beds and cover them with mulch.

Organic weed barriers are equally effective at preventing weed growth while remaining biodegradable. Their biodegradable nature allows them to be tilled into the soil and ground once they decompose and break down. This makes them a cleaner and safer alternative for the environment.

However, organic weed barriers aren’t as effective as synthetic ones as they don’t offer the ruggedness and durability. In addition to being easily damaging, especially in rough terrains, they also require frequent replacement.  Alternatively, you can use organic weed barriers as a temporary solution.

They can also be used in instances where the long lasting organic weed barriers are not ideal. For example, you can use them in a garden where you grow annuals. Or, you can use them for vegetable gardens where you need to rotate crops for pathogen and pest control.

This is because by the time you are to do the crop rotation; these organic barriers would’ve decomposed and broken down. So, before you rotate your crops, you mix them with the soil, prepare the land, put up new barriers, and plant your crops.

Nonetheless, organic weed barriers are usually a cost-effective option as you can use items around your home to double as the weed barriers. There aren’t as many organic weed barriers available on the market as synthetic ones. So, most gardeners looking for this alternative typically DIY them.

Material and Design

As mentioned above, weed barriers are either organic or synthetic. Beyond this classification, weed barriers, whether organic or synthetic, are still made from a long list of different materials. Each material offers its unique benefits and so do their construction design and styles.

Woven Weed Barrier

Woven weed barriers are among the most popular landscape fabric options, usually made from polypropylene or linen fibers. The weaving fabrication style helps to create a long lasting and rugged semi-permeable material. This gives the fabric minuscule holes that allow water, air, and nutrients to penetrate the soil to foster plant growth.

Yet, it remains opaque enough to block weeds from receiving sunlight. While woven fabrics are used for most outdoor weed control needs, they are particularly ideal for weed control around trees, shrubs, and flower beds. Woven landscape fabrics are also pretty effective and durable – so, only install them if you plan on keeping them intact for prolonged periods.

Woven weed barriers come in a variety of designs and color shades. You will find various colors, ranging from black and dark green to lighter brown and natural burlap shades. Moreover, you will also find options treated with UV resistance or UV stabilized for even better sunlight-blocking performance.

Similarly, woven weed barriers come in different price bands, based on size and quality. You can find a small 3 feet by 50 feet woven barrier for as low as $10 to a larger 6 feet by 10 feet woven barrier that fetches as high as $200.

Non-Woven Weed Barrier

Non-woven weed barriers are also made from synthetic materials, like polypropylene or polyester, among others. These fabrics are usually not woven and are ideal for rough grounds, such as gravel or rocky paths or garden beds. This is because non-woven weed barriers are much less permeable, allowing them to withstand rough ground.

Moreover, their less permeable nature makes it difficult for water, air, and nutrients to penetrate and get underground. This explains why they are great for weed control in areas where not a lot of planting is done. In fact, this design is great for fostering ground stability, reducing soil erosion, and preventing stones from sinking into the soil.

This explains why non-woven weed barriers are a popular option for professional landscaping and construction projects, for road stability, large-scale hardscaping, and even placing them below stone pavers to add ground stability. Non-woven weed barriers will typically cost around the same amount as woven ones with a slight price difference.

Spun Weed Barriers: Non-woven weed barriers also come with sub-types. Spun weed barriers are a subtype of the non-woven variety. They are usually constructed from multiple layers of bonded polyester to boost their durability. They even come in varying thicknesses to cater to different needs. These fabrics are ultra strong and super resistant to rips and tears. This superior construction makes them an excellent option for heavy-duty and commercial-grade landscaping projects. However, you can find thinner spun weed barriers to use in garden beds or underneath rocks. Thinner spun weed barriers offer a layer of water, air, and nutrient permeability. They also offer a reliable barrier against unwanted pests, insects, and other invasive plants. Due to the extra effort put into building these weed barriers, you should expect to pay slightly more for them.

Perforated Weed Barriers

Perforated weed barriers are neither woven nor non-woven. Perforated landscape fabrics are a more affordable variety with a lightweight build and pre-cut perforations. These perforations are pre-designed for planting your crops after installing the barriers.

The pre-cut design also makes it easier to handle and replace plants without interfering with the weed barrier.  But, their more delicate and lightweight design means they are not the best for plants with extensive root systems or garden areas with a lot of activity or animal visits.

Material Weight

When shopping for weed barriers you will notice that different models come with different weights – typically labeled in ounces. This weight refers to their material weight, ranging from 2 to 6 ounces. Though classified in ounces to make it easier to understand, this feature looks at their thickness.

This means that a 6-ounce fabric is thicker than a 2-ounce one and will offer more resistance to punctures, pressure, and other outdoor stressors. A heavier fabric will also be a better option for heavy-duty applications and last longer. However, this also means you will pay more for a heavier fabric weed barrier than a light one.

As a general rule of thumb, here’s the recommended weight for various weed barrier applications;

3 – 3.2 ounce weed barriers: These barriers are great as ground covers and standard barriers. They are effective at repelling sunlight while promoting adequate permeability.

4.2+ ounce weed barriers: These heavier barriers are ideal for heavy-duty and commercial-grade applications. You should still look out for more thickness depending on the actual job. For example, you will probably need a heavier fabric for hardscaping or road stabilization than a residential garden path. Similarly, you want at least 5 ounce fabric for a weed barrier you intend to cover with rocky or inorganic mulch.

Size

Weed barriers are offered in a myriad of different sizes. The sizes are measured in dimensions of length multiplied by width to give you the total area in feet. This sizing directly corresponds with your garden or project sizing needs.

You will notice that most weed barriers will offer standard 1 to 6 feet width by 50 to 330 feet length sizes. But, this doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to these sizes. Instead, you can purchase as many fabrics as possible to fit your sizing needs. You may have to work with scissors to trim out unwanted materials during the installation process as well.

Pay Attention to the Quality

The quality is a major part of your weed barrier-choosing experience. This is because the quality significantly impacts the effectiveness and longevity. The number one factor to consider when evaluating the quality is the weed barrier’s material.

In addition to the material type, make sure you choose the right landscaping fabric material for the intended use. Choosing a non-woven weed barrier for a vegetable garden with heavy nutrient and water needs will not be the wisest decision. Similarly, you don’t want to use a lightweight organic weed barrier for a driveway with heavy traffic.

Moreover, the thickness and weight are also important. A thin 3.2-ounce weed barrier is not built to withstand rocky terrain. If you are unsure, you can always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for the right type of weed barrier to go for.

A real customer review section from reputable sources is also a reliable place to understand the quality of a particular weed barrier. Plus, our reviews below offer excellent guidance for the right weed barrier for particular uses – you can also use them as a guide point.

Top 10 Best Weed Barriers to Invest in this Year

  • Material: Woven dual-layer polypropylene
  • Material weight: 5 oz.
  • Size: 3 feet x 50 feet

The ECOGardener Premium Pro Garden Weed Barrier offers an all-around and heavy-duty construction to make it ideal for most garden and residential applications. The 5-ounce thick barrier is made using 100% dual-layer woven polypropylene fabric for the perfect balance of strength and permeability. The weed barrier promotes superior water conservation and soil moisture retention.

Further, it allows moisture, air, and nutrients to effortlessly seep through the soil underground.  Yet, it offers effective sun-blocking features to fully prevent weeds from growing. Nonetheless, the professional-grade award-winning weed barrier fabric remains lightweight and simple to install. While still strong and heavy-duty, the weed barrier is still smooth to cut through and create holes for your plants.

Pros

  • Award-winning and professional-grade design
  • Super simple and easy to set up
  • Ideal for gardeners of all levels
  • Doesn’t shred or degrade in bad weather

Cons

  • Not sturdy enough for very rough grounds
  • Material: Woven polyethylene fabric
  • Material weight: 4.1 oz.
  • Size: 6 feet x 250 feet

The 4-ounce Dewitt P6 Weed Barrier offers a larger landscape fabric mat size so you don’t spend as much –whether for a small or large garden. This woven polyethylene fabric weed barrier offers just the right permeability to make it great for most garden settings. Yet, its UV stabilization complements its dark color to effectively keep sunlight out and discourage weed growth.

On the other hand, its heavy-duty and durable sturdy design paired with its thickness survives various terrains and ground conditions. Using this woven weed barrier also works for your gardening setup. You will notice stripes on the fabric, every 12 inches.

This allows the weed barrier to facilitate superior plant alignment for more organized gardening. Additionally, this needle-punched sturdy and reinforced fabric weed barrier works for more demanding applications, like hardscaping and soil stabilization.

Pros

  • Reinforced fiber construction holds the weed barrier in place
  • Colored stripes after every 12 inches for plant alignment
  • UV stabilized fabric
  • Works for gardening, soil stabilization, and hardscaping

Cons

  • You need to buy more staples or pins for a more stable installation
  • Material: Non-woven fiber fabric
  • Material weight: 3.2 oz.
  • Size: 3 feet x 180 feet

Whether it’s soil erosion, ground stability, or extreme weed control you need, the Hoople Premium Garden Weed Barrier is a good purchase. Built from non-woven fiber fabric, this weed barrier delivers superior weed control while maintaining a sturdy build. In fact, the weed control fabric delivers twice as much thickness as fabrics of similar design from other brands.

However, the most impressive part of this weed barrier fabric is its high permeability – an unlikely feature on non-woven barriers. With high permeability, you can use the barrier to foster healthy plant growth. The permeability allows for a reliable and consistent supply of water, air, and nutrients.

Pros

  • Available in various sizes
  • Made from soft fiber to protect soil structure
  • The thicker layer offers a sturdy finish
  • High permeability for better soil health

Cons

  • Can be a little hard to cut if you need to trim it off
  • Material: Woven polypropylene fabric
  • Material weight: 3.2 oz.
  • Size: 4 feet x 100 feet

The LAVEVE Weed Barrier is built with reasonable sizing and comes as a complete kit with securing pegs to give you great value for money. The weed barrier set features two 4 by 100 feet landscape fabric barriers along with 30 U-shaped securing pegs for complete installation. 

But, the set doesn’t just focus on giving you more for less. It also offers an excellent quality standard gardening weed barrier with a thickness of 3.2 ounces.  The weed barrier is built from high-density woven polypropylene fabric that delivers adequate permeability, effective weed control, and superior strength.

This cross-woven fabric weed barrier works for a variety of gardening and outdoor applications. You can use it on foundation borders and under trees, shrubs, or garden beds. You can also use the barrier to improve garden cleanliness and neatness or on multiple walk paths. Alternatively, you can also place them in particular outdoor spaces where you want to keep weeds out, like the playground.

Pros

  • Comes as a 2-piece pack with 30 securing pegs for full installation
  • Multiple gardening and outdoor applications
  • Easy to install and set up
  • Durable and sturdy cross-woven fabrication

Cons

  • Not the best option for rocky terrain
  • Material: Woven polypropylene fabric
  • Material weight: 5.8 oz.
  • Size: 3 feet x 100 feet

The Waenlir Heavy Duty Weed Barrier features a pretty thick fabrication for go-to gardening and hardscaping level functionality. This durable woven polypropylene landscape fabric boasts a thickness of 5.8 ounces accentuated by its double layer and needle-punched build for a high tensile finish.

Moreover, the fabric is UV stabilized to block out up to 98.7% sunlight for longer – guaranteeing long lasting weed control. Moreover, this anti-UV woven weed barrier fabric offers high permeability and promotes improved soil health. With better permeability, you are guaranteed a comfortable and thriving environment for your plants.

Yet, its high tensile and sturdy tough build means you can place the weed barrier anywhere from your garden bed to the driveway, walkways, and rocky terrains, to mention a few. Moreover, the weed barrier doubles as a soil stabilizer under stones, pavers, or patios.

Pros

  • Works for driveways, walkways, pavements, and rocky terrains
  • Permeable enough to foster healthy plant growth
  • Superior UV resistance and weed control
  • Ultra-thick double-layer fabrication

Cons

  • Requires a harp utility knife to trim if you need to
  • Material: Non-woven fabric
  • Material weight: 1.8 oz.
  • Size: 6 feet x 100 feet

If you want to enjoy optimal permeability without compromising weed control, the Flarmor Landscape Fabric Weed Barrier is a good option. Built from non-woven Geotextile fabric, the weed barrier guarantees superior strength and durability, even across the roughest terrain.

Yet, its ultra-thin fabric means that permeability isn’t compromised. The weed barrier is reinforced with a WeedStop Technology and as the title suggests, it offers impressive weed control. The weed barrier is also fitted with a weed guard that allows you to use it with chippings, stones, and gravel without damaging it.

This rugged and durable weed blocker mat works for most garden bed settings. It also doubles as an underlay for artificial grass, vegetable patches, and flower beds. You can also use the weed barrier in areas with limited traffic or animal activity, like a backyard walkway.

Pros

  • Doubles as an underlay for artificial grass, vegetable patch, and flower bed
  • Withstands chippings, stones, and gravel
  • WeedStop Technology slows down large weed growth
  • Ultra-thin but sturdy nonwoven UV-treated fabric

Cons

  • Not great for high-traffic areas like driveways
  • Material: Woven polypropylene fabric
  • Material weight: 3.2 oz.
  • Size: 6.5 feet x 330 feet

The Happybuy Premium Weed Barrier offers an ultra large landscape fabric that can comfortably cover an area of more than 2100 square feet. The landscape fabric is large enough to cover a small to medium-sized garden, vegetable patches, flower beds, walkway, or patio space.

This weed barrier fabric even works great in greenhouses. Alternatively, you don’t have to buy rolls and rolls of the barrier if you intend to use them in a larger garden space. This 100% woven polypropylene landscape fabric also offers an impressive construction with a durable and tear-resistant finish.

Its standard thickness allows for high permeability to deliver ample resources for your growing plants. However, the weed block fabric still prevents most of the sunlight from penetrating the soil to promote weed germination and sprouting.

Pros

  • Clear guidelines for structured plant arrangement
  • Easy to install
  • Ultra large size
  • Soil friendly material

Cons

  • Edges may fray
  • Material: Woven polyethylene fabric
  • Material weight: 3.5 oz.
  • Size: 6 feet x 300 feet

The commercial-grade Dwale Driveway Weed Barrier is an excellent landscape fabric for driveways, walking paths, and similar outdoor areas. This commercial-grade weed barrier is made from heavy-duty Geotextile fabric that features 100% polyethylene. This gives it a durable tear resistant and tough finish with the ability to efficiently repel UV rays.

What makes this underlayment weed barrier fabric great for driveways and similar settings is its unbeatable toughness and stretchability. This gives it a higher weight capacity and great hold, even when you lay gravel, biog rocks, or stones on it.

This superior construction accommodates a range of other heavy-duty hardscaping and construction applications. This large woven fabric holds well for French drains, erosion control, road stabilization, riprap, and even wall retention projects.

Pros

  • High tensile build accommodates garden, land, and hardscaping projects
  • Great for driveways, road stabilization, and soil erosion control
  • Withstands gravel, big rocks, and stones
  • High weight capacity and long life span

Cons

  • Requires stable hold at the edges to prevent unraveling
  • Material: Woven polypropylene fabric
  • Material weight: 3.2 oz.
  • Size: 1.4 feet x 50 feet

Whether a narrow walkway, flower bed, or garden patch, the EXTRAEASY Garden Weed Barrier is the ultimate narrow space landscape fabric. This 3.2-ounce woven polypropylene fabric features a narrow width perfect for such narrow spaces. This means you don’t have to spend more money to buy wider 2 to 3-foot fabrics only to end up discarding the excess trims.

On the other hand, the standard thickness and strong weaving the fabric offers make it great for various gardening and landscaping applications. You can use the fabric anywhere from a flower bed to a walkway, gravel path, and even driveways.

Pros

  • Sunbelt fabric offers high permeability
  • Cost-cutting and affordable
  • Works for a range of gardening and landscaping applications
  • Available in various sizes

Cons

  • Requires equally narrow staples
  • Material: Woven polypropylene fabric
  • Material weight: 3.2 oz.
  • Size: 3 feet x 100 feet

If you are cash-strapped, the Winisok Weed Barrier saves the day. This 2-pack weed barrier lets you enjoy among the best weed barrier qualities on the market without penalizing you for your low budget. The weed-blocking fabric features a standard thickness but uses the strongest virgin material to hold up in various conditions.

With this set, you get two 3.2-ounce, 3-by-100-foot garden weed barrier fabrics with impressive weed control qualities and high permeability. Made from tear-resistant and heavy-duty woven fabric, the weed barrier is pretty versatile. You can use it well beyond the garden bed, as an underlayment, ground stability, and a range of landscaping tasks.

Pros

  • 2-piece set
  • Up to 5-year usability
  • Strong weaving and threading to withstand rough terrain
  • Neat machine cut edges

Cons

  • Some weeds can grow through

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I Put Weed Barriers on Top of Weeds?

It is possible to put a weed barrier on top of growing weeds as they will gradually die off. But, you are advised to kill existing weeds and seeds to make the weed control journey smoother. Doing so also prevents possible future hiccups.

If you are using organic mulch, the mulch breaks down and decomposes over time, turning it into growing soil media. This can easily encourage the left-out weeds to self-sow seeds to grow onto the mulch by penetrating the barrier and creating the very problem you are trying to avoid.

Where Should I Use A Weed Barrier?

You should use weed barriers in any outdoor space where you are trying to control weed growth. These include stationary landscaping and garden beds, hedges and shrubs, around trees, rocky and gravel areas, and even decks and hardscapes.

But, weed barriers, particularly commercially available ones, are better options for plants that accommodate long lasting installations (not annuals or vegetables that require seasonal rotation). You can also use weed barriers for driveway and walkways, road stabilizations, and other larger construction jobs.

Do I Need to Use a Weed Barrier with Mulch?

You most certainly need to use mulch with a weed barrier. In fact, mulch is a very important part of the weed barrier installation and without it; your weed barrier will not be as effective. The number one benefit of using mulch is that it complements the stabilization clips or pins, holding the barrier in place.

Moreover, mulch helps to further block weed growth while promoting plant growth and soil health. They do so by facilitating temperature control, soil moisture retention, and soil erosion prevention. Furthermore, mulch helps to create a more authentic garden look by masking the unpleasant and out-of-place-looking weed barrier. For the best results, prepare the soil, install the weed barrier, and then adequately cover it with the mulch.

When Do I Remove Weed Barriers?

Weed barriers can be removed at different times, based on the circumstances. For instance, organic weed barriers are not long lasting so they are a better temporary solution for vegetable gardens and planting annuals.

By the time you are about to replant your annuals or rotate the vegetable crops, these organic barriers will have started to decompose and break down. So, you can remove them by blending them with the soil and let them serve as the growing media for the next growing season.

Remove the organic barriers around fall to winterize the garden and get it ready for the new plantings in spring. On the other hand, synthetic weed barriers are more long lasting, surviving between 5 and 25 years. There are two possible periods to remove them when you are ready to.

You can remove synthetic weed barriers during spring or fall, and remove them during spring when you want to put up new perennial beds, shrubs, or border beds after tilling the soil and before mulch installation. You can also replace weed barriers during fall when you want to winterize the garden. This is a particularly good change period for plantings ahead of a new growing season in spring.

What Can I Use As An Alternative to Weed Barriers?

Several options serve as alternatives for weed barriers. Weed barriers are effective for weed control and other versatile functions outdoors. But, you can still take a more natural alternative if you want.

These include using organic weed barriers readily available in your home, like cardboard, paper, wood chips, compost, newspaper, bark, straw, and even shredded leaves. You can also use plants, such as flowering ground-covering plants (they also beautify the garden) and shade-loving ground-cover plants.

The Verdict

Using the best weed barrier in your garden or other outdoor spaces that need weed control is a great alternative to chemical weed killers. As pointed out above, weed barriers aren’t just versatile in their functionality, from garden beds to driveways and construction.

They also offer a wide range of benefits, including designs catered to particular needs and conditions and even plant growth-promoting perks. If you are willing to compromise for the few drawbacks, weed barriers don’t disappoint.

Plus, this review makes your decision to go for weed barriers even better. In fact, you can soft launch your weed-controlling experience with our personal favorite weed barrier option – the ECOGardener Premium Pro Garden Weed Barrier. If you are on a tight budget, go for the Winisok Weed Barrier.

If you want a more durable and forgiving weed barrier to use outside the garden in your driveway or walk paths, the rugged Dwale Driveway Weed Barrier will not disappoint. If you want something different, the complete review above will help you find what you need.

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