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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I haven't posted here yet but I've been lurking a bit. We are getting ready to plan out our garden this year, and because it is large, it became overwhelming last year with the weeding. As in, I gave up on it. :( This year, I am going to have my husband till the whole thing, and then put down a weedblocker.

I've been looking at weedblocking fabric, and weedblocking plastic and I don't know which one to go with. It would make sense that a fabric would allow for drainage... but will it really keep weeds from coming up? I want to lay it down in strips, with open strips for the plantings and covered areas for walking. We'll probably put down straw or something else on top of the fabric, for walking paths.

ALSO, I have two used-to-be-raised beds that I want to add a couple of rows of timbers to so I can raise them up for square-foot gardening. I was planning on putting fabric or plastic down on those too, before adding the timbers, and adding good compost and topsoil so I can start out weed (turf, and raspberry)-free.

SO which is best, fabric or plastic?
~MommaKnows (but not this!)
 

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I'm a fan of neither one, in the garden, but I do like the fabric for walkways.

Weeding is one of those chores that if you let it get away from you, it becomes a JOB. A tough job! So I make every effort to go out and spend 5, 10, 15 minutes with the hoe and keep up with it rather than letting the entire place get out of control. If you do a little every day or every other day, it's not too bad.
 

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I don't use either.Good old newspaper and cardboard,that what I always use.Mulch of your choice on top and the only one that knows the paper is there are the weeds,and they don't come through.
 

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I don't use either.Good old newspaper and cardboard,that what I always use.Mulch of your choice on top and the only one that knows the paper is there are the weeds,and they don't come through.
That's what we've done when we've had a huge garden. We used straw or hay on top of newspaper. By the end of the season, the newspaper had decomposed enough that all we had to do was till it under.
 

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Add me to the list of people that don't recommend or use either.

I too have struggled with weeds, so I understand your challenge. I put down a THICK (about 6") layer of leaves and/or straw and it makes a huge difference. Then I pop out there once a week to check for any weeds and it makes a huge difference in the amount of time required to keep the garden in check.
 

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I have had good results with the plastic. The kind I get has millions of little holes in it so it allows water through but not enough light for weeds to grow.

I struggled with crabgrass for a couple years before we started using this. I would weed every day or every 2nd day and just could not keep up with it. 15 minutes? HA! I'd be 30-40 minutes sweating in the garden and not be able to keep the grass out. Mulch? The grass just grew through it. Or in it as it decomposed.

It was so bad last year in an area we did not get covered that by late summer I was using the weed wacker to clear paths between tomato and pepper plants.

What I find works best is to completely cover the plot with plastic and cut little holes for the plants, or cut a slit for row crops. Any area you leave between plastic paths WILL grow weeds in addition to your crop. And light will get under the edges of the cut pieces.
 
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I am giving up with the weed problem this year and am going to try square foot gardening. You use dirt with no weed seeds; and supposedly get no or very few weeds. I'm really excited to try this. Lots of common sense to this form of gardening.
 

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I'm with Russ. What if you want to change your layout? You'll have to pull up all that plastic. Besides, plastic or fabric only helps so much. You'll get dirt on top of the plastic, and weeds will grow in that dirt.

Mulch the hell out of it, newspaper or cardboard, straw.
 

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Coincidentally, I ran across this blog post this morning. I have no experience with it so can't recommend it myself, but it sounds like people on this thread have had good success using newspaper, so maybe it's worth a look. I found it interesting and may give it a try sometime myself. Newspaper weed blanket.

I've used the fabric before, and it's worked pretty well. If the weeds are the kind with stiff stems and they poke through the fabric, they will just grow through it, so you have to be aware of that.
 

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I'm a fan of neither one, in the garden, but I do like the fabric for walkways.

Weeding is one of those chores that if you let it get away from you, it becomes a JOB. A tough job! So I make every effort to go out and spend 5, 10, 15 minutes with the hoe and keep up with it rather than letting the entire place get out of control. If you do a little every day or every other day, it's not too bad.
Russ...could you move in with me??? I'll bake you cookies....because I HATE TO WEED!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's what I WANT to do, but my husband doesn't want to do the raised beds. I do have two raised beds in the yard that we are going to nearly empty, put down plastic & fresh soil and use for square foot gardening.... but our main garden is HUGE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This sounds like our garden! The weeds grow as tall as the tomato plants if we don't notice them right away. A weed wacker would have been a good thing!! I just don't want a repeat of last year. I want to actually have some enjoyable time out there, rather than sweating my butt off for an hour or more at a time, trying to get rid of the thousands of weeds!
 
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