Mavis Garden Blog – Landscape Fabric and Gladiolus

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costco landscape fabric prevent weeds

About a week and a half ago Helen from Meridian mentioned her Costco store was stocked with landscape fabric. So when I called my store to see if they had it, they told me the landscape fabric hadn’t come in yet, but that was that it was on it’s way.

So basically everyday since then I have been Calling Costco at 9 am to see if my store had received any landscape fabric in their overnight shipment. Yesterday, I got the good news.

As soon as I heard the words YES {you crazy lady now you can stop calling} I jumped in my car and drove to the store, loaded 6 fat rolls into my cart and made b-line for the registers.

gladiolus bulbs pink purple green

And then out of the corner of my eye I spotted a package of pink, purple and lime green gladiolus. What a gorgeous color combination! So I snagged those too. You would be proud of me though, I did pass the calla lilies, clay pots and pruning shears without looking back, so there is some hope for me yet.

I don’t know about you, but this time of year is so hard for me. I want to swoop every single bit of color up and plant it in my yard. It makes me crazy. Not to mention the Handsome Husband, because he knows I’ll inevitably ask him to help me with some sort of project.

backyard garden wooded lot

Now I know a bunch of you think I am a total loon for covering my backyard with landscape fabric only to cover it with mulch and garden soil, but I’m telling you, the stuff works like you would not believe. The main reason I use it is to squelch out the pesky salal roots from popping up in my garden paths.

As soon as I get the landscape fabric down {just beyond the white arrows} I’ll start mapping out where the new garden spaces will go. I’ll add some dirt and then some mulch to go around the garden spaces. After that is done, it will finally be time to plant some vegetables. Yee-Haw!

I want to get the landscape fabric installed today. This weekend is suppose to be clear {cold, but clear} so I’m hoping to knock a few projects off my list. But first, I’ve got to go out there and lay down that fabric.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, make it a great day.

~Mavis

 

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Comments

  1. Since so many of the weeds I get are wind-blown, landscape fabric wouldn’t do me a bit of good. Plus, I can’t see how you get enough soil depth on top of it for most vegetables. It must be costing you a small fortune in soil costs!

    Do you include the cost of setting up the growing areas in your monthly food costs? I just bought a bunch of things to start seeds, and while I know I won’t have to buy them ever again, it was expensive. I bought 5 yards of soil last spring, and I can only imagine how much you must need for your beds!

    I have a intense dislike of landscape fabrics. I hate finding it under a place I want to dig a deep hole! I hate having to take it out. If it works for your weeds, that’s wonderful though! A lot of my weeds this winter actually came from the straw I mulched with. It must have been a bad lot, full of seeds. That hasn’t happened before.

    • I confess to wondering this also.
      after a person spends all that money…
      (buying good soil, watering, & etc)
      cost-wise are people breaking even
      or losing money
      compared to buying store-bought produce?

      • Personally, it is costing me more! But, it is what makes me happy, so I do it anyway. I am not trying to save money. I did can apple products (sauce, butter, etc.) but I seldom buy apple butter, and apple sauce is cheap!

        I would miss the fresh tomatoes though. And my daughter was bemoaning just last night having to eat anything but a fresh lemon cucumber. I mighty can tomatoes and green beans this year, but again, canned tomatoes? How often do I use them? Not much! And my strange kids like canned (store canned) beans better than fresh, so they may not like home canned.

        Our water is cheap (it only goes up about $10 in the summer, most of our costs are fees for sewer and things like that), but some people have to pay a lot. My brother gets all the canal water he wants for a yearly cost, but for the past few years his garden has failed. We think the water is getting saltier. So, he isn’t going to grow at all if he has to pay for city water.

        (By the way, Mavis? It is hard to comment, your photo with the chicken and the potato tower is on top of the text box! Just thought you might like to know. Also, if my spelling is terrible, I can only see part of my writing!)

  2. I have tried landscape fabric in the past, but had lots of trouble with bermuda grass running right over it, growing well between the fabric and mulch, and poking roots through the fabric. Plus many wind blown weed seeds just seeded themselves on top. The fabric prevented me from being able to use tools such as hoes and cultivators from removing the weeds, so I had to do a lot of hand pulling.

    Also, I live in the southeast where watering is a concern. I ran soaker hoses underneath, which worked out. But I also intended for rain water to percolate through the fabric. Then I saw this episode of Growing A Greener World, where they showed that water does not go through landscape fabric very well:

    http://www.growingagreenerworld.com/episode207/

    I imagine this is not a problem for northeastern gardeners, but it is a big problem for those of us dealing with drought and heat in the southeast.

    I do love your blog and do look forward to seeing how the landscape fabric works out for you.

    • Thank you for that link! I have never seen that show before, and it is great! Fortunately, I have been doing thing right all along!
      The only “rule” my grandmother had was “Plant green beans on Good Friday.” That was fine for her area, but not mine.

  3. Maybe I’ll have to try the costco stuff for my stupid horsetails (I swear they DO NOT DIE). Our beds need to have a major overhaul this year, I’m thinking the dirt was too old and compacted for some of my plants to grow last year.

  4. I don’t know where you get all that ambition to do all that yardwork!

  5. Not fair. All we up here have is snow. Please melt you stupid white death! Good luck in your garden plans! Hope you can get everything in soon.

  6. I’m with you, Mavis. I love it. My biggest problem is the cat and dog digging it up!

  7. Oh, God, Mavis, don’t do it….Well, ok, go ahead and do it if you want, but having been down the “landscape fabric + mulch path” I lived to regret it. I wish I had used black plastic, honestly, for a similar application – because at least that you can just pull up when you get an urge to redesign. Landscape fabric gets totally impregnated with plant roots. Hate it, hate it, hate it. You know what’s awesome as a good weed suppressant mulch? Cardboard + wood chips. Holds down most stuff for a season or longer and improves the soil.

    • 20 years ago when I first started gardening in my current location I put down some landscape fabric which I grew to regret. It lasted a couple of years but after that the crabgrass punched holes right through it. I won’t use it anymore. I use thick newspaper and cardboard when I make new beds and you can even lay it right over the grass and then layer mulch, manure, and compost right on top. As the cardboard/paper decompose it suffocates the grass and weeds. Eventually it needs to be redone but if I add a lot of mulch the weeds aren’t too bad.

      • Coincidentally, I got a email newsletter from my local nursery today, and he mentions what he is doing at his house.

        “I am sheet mulching by covering the grass with cardboard, layering it with homemade compost, some native soil, straw mulch, and making paths with a thick layer of wood chips.”

    • Kimberly R says:

      We do cardboard and mulch as well here in the coastal Ga area and it works wonders for our soil. Hardly if any weed pop up and when they do it’s usually because I missed a spot and did not cover it.

      The previous owners riddled the property with landscaping fabric. We’ve had to dig our areas because it was tangled up in root systems… in other words- a bigger mess in the long run.

  8. Mavis,

    Where do you get your top soil and what do you think is a good price per cubic foot on that? I’m in the Port Orchard area and new around these parts. Any advice on where to go to get top soil, compost, mulch, etc?
    Thank you for all the inspiration! ;)

  9. I’ve come to dislike landscape fabric as well (sorry, Mavis! I know you love it!) because my husband can’t till the soil & gardens up without it getting all mangled in the tiller. We’ve come to love layering newspapers down under the mulch in the beds and around the plants, then mulching on top. Works wonderfully, enriches the soil, and is SO cheap, since I have multiple newspapers from couponing!

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