6 Landscape Fabrics to Keep Weeds Out of Your Garden

Updated: Dec. 01, 2023

We've examined the size, durability, permeability and beginner-friendliness of these fabrics to ensure there's a garden solution for everyone.

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We love many things about gardening: watering our plants, watching the seedlings grow, and basking in the sunshine. But one task we don’t love is the constant weeding. Fortunately, landscape fabric can prevent those weeds from growing with very little effort. If you’ve never used landscape fabric before, consider this your beginner’s guide. We’ll cover what landscape fabric is, how to use it and 6 reliable brands to get you started.

What Is Landscape Fabric?

Landscape fabric—also known as landscape paper or weed fabric—is a ground cover for gardens. It can be woven or non-woven and is typically made of polypropylene or polyester (though biodegradable versions exist too). Landscape fabrics are designed to be durable in weather conditions and UV-blocking. By blocking sunlight from reaching budding weeds, they prevent weed growth, reducing the need for chemical herbicides. Additionally, landscape fabric can prevent soil erosion, promote better water drainage, and protect plants from extreme temperatures.

How to Use Landscape Fabric

To add landscape fabric to your garden, you’ll need a set of stakes and a utility knife. To plant seeds through the fabric, you’ll also need a spade and some seeds. Once you’ve gathered your materials, follow these steps:

  1. Lay the landscape fabric over the fresh soil.
  2. Secure the landscape fabric with the stakes (or staples or pins).
  3. Using the utility knife, slice slits into the landscaping fabric wherever you would like to plant a seed.
  4. Through the open slits in the landscape fabric, use the spade to dig holes for the seed.
  5. Plant the seed and cover it with potting soil. If you get some soil on top of the landscape fabric, that’s totally fine.

For an extra layer of weed suppression, some gardeners like to add mulch on top of the landscape fabric. While this isn’t always necessary, it can make your garden look even cleaner and more intentional.

The Best Landscape Fabrics for Your Garden

Hoople Premium Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric Via MerchantVia Merchant

Different landscape fabrics are best for different purposes. Here are seven of our favorites for all types of gardens.

HOOPLE Garden Weed Barrier

This Old House, Better Homes & Gardens and Bob Vila all tout this landscaping fabric as the best for weed prevention. The ultra-thick non-woven fabric blocks harmful UV rays while also allowing air and water to permeate the soil. Moreover, because it is chemical-free, it won’t leach any unwanted treatments into your garden. It cuts easily and comes in numerous sizes, making it excellent not only for flower gardens but also for pathways, astroturf and more. However, its thick design can cause some water to pool making it unsuitable for delicate vegetable gardens. Additionally, it doesn’t have any guiding lines for cutting or seed placement, making it best for more experienced gardeners.

DeWitt Bulk Woven Landscape Fabric

Gardeners revere DeWitt’s landscape fabric for its incredibly long lifespan of 12 years. Its woven design is especially lightweight yet still blocks 70% of UV rays. It even comes with lines printed onto the fabric, making it especially beginner-friendly for cutting and placing seeds. Coming in a smaller size than some other landscaping fabrics, it’s better suited for gardens than large-scale pathways.

AGTEK Landscape Fabric

Another excellent small-space pick, AGTEK’s landscape fabric comes in packs of two of either 4×8- or 4×12-foot swaths. Similar to the DeWitt model, it also features beginner-friendly lines for seed placement and a durable woven design. Bob Vila’s only complaint is that the cut edges can fray.

EcoGardener Weed Barrier

Ecogardener’s landscape fabric is our pick for the best environmentally-friendly version. The woven fabric’s unique double-layer, needle-punched design allows for more airflow and water penetration than other fabrics. This Old House even rates it as the best landscape fabric overall for its lightness and versatility in many outdoor spaces. However, they admit that it may not block out all weeds and its refund option lapses after 30 days.

WAENLIR Heavy-Duty Weed Barrier

Gardeners love WAELIR’s fabric for its durable weight, which helps it perform double duty as a soil stabilizer, and its resistance to high UV exposure. It comes in a wide variety of sizes, so that you can find a fabric swath for any space and features beginner-friendly placement stripes. Unfortunately, it does not come with galvanized staples for installation.

Flarmor Landscape Fabric Weed Barrier

Flarmor offers a unique hybrid fabric with a tough non-woven texture and needle-punched perforation. This results in a highly versatile landscape fabric that works as well in gardens as under rock pathways. Its wider size is best suited to large-scale projects and its durable texture helps especially with soil erosion. However, it does degrade quickly in sunlight, so it needs to be covered with mulch immediately after laying.

Bonus Driveway Entry: ArmorLay Commercial Grade Driveway Fabric

As the name suggests, this landscape fabric is best suited to gravel paths, patios and driveways—not gardens. Its non-woven texture is highly impermeable, meaning that it can both prevent weeds from sprouting and improve the stability of the ground. This powerful combination will extend the life of your driveway by preventing potholes and soil erosion for years to come.