Landscape Fabric l Carrington Lawn & Landscape Middleton, WI

Should You Use Landscape Fabric Under Mulch? Here’s Why We Say No.

 In Landscape Installation

One question we often receive is whether landscape fabric should be used beneath mulch. Our perspective? The answer is a resounding no. At Carrington Lawn & Landscape, we strive to provide you with the best the green industry has to offer, which includes this expert advice.

The Many Benefits of Mulch

Mulch serves as both a visual enhancement and a practical weed barrier in gardens. Picture it like a fresh coat of paint for your landscape—it looks great and serves a crucial purpose. Beyond aesthetics, mulch enriches the soil with organic matter and vital nutrients.

In the Middleton area, where clay content is high, introducing organic matter into the soil is essential. Mulch aids in breaking up clay and transforming soil composition towards the coveted loamy texture. This type of soil fosters healthier plant growth, boasting better nutrient retention and improved root and water penetration.

Mulch as a Natural Weed Barrier

person laying mulch over landscaping fabric with a red do not symbol Carrington Lawn & Landscape in Middleton, WI

However, laying mulch over landscape fabric hinders these benefits. While the mulch still decomposes, the fabric underneath impedes essential mineral and organic matter penetration into the soil, reducing oxygen exchange. Consequently, the soil quality deteriorates, but weeds persist​ in the new organic matter above the fabric.

Why Landscape Fabric Under Mulch Does More Harm Than Good

Handling landscape fabric poses its own challenges, especially when adjusting bed sizes or shapes. Improper installation or neglecting adjustments as plants mature can stunt growth or even choke out desired plants.

The Challenges of Landscape Fabric

Most landscape fabrics are made of non-biodegradable polymers, adding an environmental concern. Disposed fabric ends up in landfills, contributing to waste accumulation.

To maintain a healthy garden, prioritize periodic weeding and annual mulch application of 1″-2″​ (no fabric!). Additionally, consider using pre-emergent products for weed control.

Ditch the Fabric, Nourish Your Soil

In summary, while landscape fabric under mulch may seem like a convenient fix, the drawbacks outweigh the benefits. Opting against it promotes healthier soil and a more sustainable approach to ​caring for your landscape.

Carrington Lawn & Landscape takes the struggle out of mulching your Middleton lawn with our expertly trained team of landscape professionals. Let us do the heavy lifting for you. We’ll create a thriving landscape you can enjoy for years to come. Contact us to request an estimate today! 

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