Gardeners know that dealing with unwanted weeds is just a part of the landscaping process. However, that doesn’t mean you have to concede to a garden full of unwieldy and undesirable growth. Landscape fabric is a quick, easy, and relatively low-cost solution that helps eliminate weeks without hindering the growth of the plants and vegetables that you do want to cultivate.
The benefits of landscape fabric go beyond just weed maintenance. In fact, it’s also a standout item to keep in your gardening arsenal if you’re concerned about inclement weather (hot or cold), fostering healthier plant roots, and even reducing the need for chemical herbicides.
To find the best landscape fabrics we researched a variety of picks, keeping in mind dimensions, fabric type, and uses. We also spoke with Jacob Thomlinson, a landscaping business owner at Southern Surrey Mowing, for additional insight.
FLARMOR Woven Landscape Fabric
The best landscape fabric will cover your garden to prevent weeds and this Flarmor style gets the job done. The fabric is offered in seven sizes, so you’ll be able to find one that suits your garden and keeps it protected.
The fabric is made to withstand UV rays, so you won’t have to worry about it getting damaged in the sun over time. Although it has three layers, it’ll still be able to let water and air through, so your soil will still stay moist even while it’s covered.
It’s fairly easy to install this fabric as all you’ll have to do is cut it and adjust it to fit your garden. Just keep in mind that you will need staples to secure it, so make sure you have those handy.
Price at time of publish: From $26
Product Details: Dimensions: 3 x 150 feet | Fabric Type: Woven polypropylene
WAENLIR Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric
The Waenlir Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric is a durable option and is one of the best landscape fabrics if you’re looking for a less expensive pick. The landscape fabric is offered in 11 sizes, so you’ll be able to choose the best fit for your garden.
Like some other options, the landscape fabric features stripes that make plant placement easier. Whether you’re growing vegetables or decorative blooms, the lines will help you space them so they can grow healthy.
Part of what makes this pick one of the best landscape fabrics is that it’s designed to withstand UV exposure, so you won’t have to worry about damage over time. Plus, you can apply water on top of the fabric so your plants can get all the necessary nutrients.
Price at time of publish: From $32
Product Details: Dimensions: 3 x 50 feet | Fabric Type: Woven polypropylene
Hoople Premium Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric
The Hoople Garden Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric is offered in 11 sizes and is one of the best landscape fabrics to consider. The fabric is a durable option that’s ideal for gardens, flower beds, and walkways alike.
Unlike other landscape fabrics, this pick doesn’t feature any lines to help with spacing plants, so it’s ideal for more experienced gardeners. It’s designed to allow ample air and water through the fabric but it’s also UV-resistant and able to hold up against the elements.
To set it up, all you have to do is remove any weeds and rake the desired area until it’s smooth. From there, place it where you want plants to grow and use garden staples to hold it in place. The fabric is only offered in black and while you can leave it on display, it’ll still be effective if you want to cover it with decorative stones.
Price at time of publish: From $32
Product Details: Dimensions: 3 x 50 feet | Fabric Type: Woven
If you’re dealing with a smaller garden space, the best landscape fabric is this pick by Agtek. The fabric is offered in nine sizes, so you can find one that works for gardens of all sizes.
When it comes to the smaller sizes—4 x 8 and 4 x 12 feet—the fabrics are offered in packs of two, so you’ll have replacements or extra fabric if you need.
The heavy-duty material won’t succumb to the elements or direct UV rays, but it’s designed to allow water and air to penetrate so you don’t have to worry about the health of your plants or veggies. Like other styles, it features lines that make it easier to space your plants. Plus, it’s easy to install if you have the right gardening tools, so you’ll have it set up in no time.
Price at time of publish: From $13
Product Details: Dimensions: 4 x 8 feet | Fabric Type: Woven
Goasis Lawn Weed Barrier Control Fabric Ground Cover
If you’re lucky enough to have a significant amount of space in your garden or backyard area, the best landscape fabric is this pick by Goasis Lawn. In addition to standard-size offerings, the material is also offered in larger options that are sure to come in handy.
This landscape fabric is offered in 5 x100 and 5 x 250 feet, which is larger than the standard offerings. Like other styles, it’ll allow air and water to pass while keeping unwanted weeds out of your garden. Plus, it features lines to indicate how to space out your plants.
Although the fabric is great for keeping plants healthy, the larger styles will come in handy for other projects as well. In addition to garden or window boxes, you can use the fabric on pathways and driveways as well.
Price at time of publish: From $39
Product Details: Dimensions: 3 x 100 feet | Fabric Type: Woven polypropylene
ArmorLay Commercial Grade Driveway Fabric
The ArmorLay Commercial Grade Driveway Fabric works a little differently from the rest of the landscape fabrics on the list, but it’s the best landscape fabric for any sort of driveway project or landscaping project that require parking vehicles on your lawn area.
The fabric was designed to be laid underneath gravel. While it might not seem necessary, it’ll actually help to extend the life of your driveway by helping to maintain the integrity of the gravel throughout all kinds of weather and seasons.
This option is also designed with a specific texture to help prevent potholes and ruts from forming. The driveway fabric is, admittedly, quite a bit more expensive than the average underlay, however it’ll prevent you from having to do repairs in the future at an additional cost.
Price at time of publish: From $90
Product Details: Dimensions: 12.5 x 30 feet | Fabric Type: Woven
Super Geotextile Non Woven Fabric for Landscaping
This Super Geotextile pick is offered in three weights and 16 sizes, so it’s the best landscape fabric to suit a variety of needs. Whether you’re planting a garden or working on a large construction project, the industrial-grade fabric is durable and easy to use.
The fabric is able to withstand direct UV light and is totally rot-resistant, which makes it a smart option for large projects that require landscape fabric with longevity. The non-woven fabric also allows water to flow through without pooling on top, so you won’t have to worry about the fabric getting weighed down if there’s a storm or you water the area.
Price at time of publish: From $67
Product Details: Dimensions: 3 x 50 feet | Fabric Type: Non-woven polypropylene
Happybuy Commercial Grade Driveway Fabric
For bigger projects, the best landscape fabric is this pick from Happybuy. Although it’s an investment, the fabric is offered in two larger sizes that are great for a variety of projects, like home construction or driveway repairs.
The fabric is meant to be tear-proof and resistant to corrosion, so it should be able to withstand just about any project you have in mind. The underlayment of the fabric is strong and stretchable, so it should be able to handle weight from gravel and stones as well. Plus, it’s offered in two large sizes that are sure to cover the space you’re working with.
Price at time of publish: From $93
Product Details: Dimensions: 13 x 60 feet | Fabric Type: Woven polypropylene
Dewitt Weed Barrier Fabric
The Dewitt Weed Barrier Fabric is the best landscape fabric to consider if you have a larger area to cover. The fabric is only offered in one size, 3 x 100 feet, and is a woven design that’ll help keep plants healthy throughout your garden.
The woven design is easy to install. Like other options, all you have to do is cut it to your desired shape and size before fastening it with staples. Plus, it features colored stripes that’ll space plants 12 inches apart, which makes setting up your garden easier.
Price at time of publish: $56
Product Details: Dimensions: 3 x 100 feet | Fabric Type: Woven polypropylene
The Bottom Line
Overall, the best landscape fabrics are durable, can withstand the elements, and help keep your gardens and landscapes free of weeds. The Super Geotextile Non Woven Fabric for Landscaping is offered in 16 sizes, so you’ll be able to find one that suits your outdoor space best. The Flarmor Landscape Fabric is three layers and features lines on the fabric to help space your plants properly.
What to Know About Landscape Fabrics Before Shopping
The amount of landscape fabric you need will depend on the surface area of your garden or landscaping area in question. Consider using a landscape fabric calculator to ensure you’re only buying the roll size and the number of rolls required to cover the area while avoiding over-purchasing or ending up with wasted fabric.
According to Thomlinson, the durability of landscape fabric depends on several factors, such as the type of material used and how often it is exposed to weathering.
“Since they are usually made of polypropylene or polyester, they are considered durable materials with excellent UV resistance, which prevents them from fading and breaking down quickly when exposed to sunlight,” says Thomlinson. “However, fabrics made from woven plastic tend to be more vulnerable to UV exposure, so care needs to be taken when using them outdoors.”
Your Questions, Answered
What are the benefits of landscape fabric?
According to Thomlinson, landscape fabric has become increasingly popular with gardeners due to its various benefits. “It can be used as a weed suppressant, helping to reduce the need for chemical herbicides, as well as conserving water by preventing water loss from the soil. It can even help to prevent soil erosion and improve drainage and aeration of the soil, making it easier for plants to take up essential nutrients and oxygen,” he says.
“Other benefits of landscape fabrics include protection from frost heave, which occurs when moisture penetrates beneath a plant’s root zone during cold weather, causing it to lift up or heave out of the ground. Additionally, landscape fabric can protect plants from extreme temperatures in both hot and cold climates.”
What are the different types of landscape fabric?
Several types of landscape fabrics are available on the market today, each designed to meet certain needs in gardening and landscaping applications. Here are some of the most popular options according to Thomlinson:
- Woven Polypropylene: The most common type of landscape fabric is woven polypropylene, which has been used for decades due to its durability and cost-effectiveness. It is puncture resistant and can withstand heavy rainfall without breaking down or washing away. The fabric comes in varying thicknesses and can be cut into different shapes depending on your project needs.
- Non-woven: For more specific projects, there are other types of landscape fabrics as well. Non-woven landscape fabric is becoming increasingly popular amongst gardeners because it offers superior weed control with minimal punctures and tears when compared to woven polypropylene landscape fabrics. This fabric is made from a combination of recycled plastic, rubber, jute fibers, and other materials that create a stronger barrier against weeds than woven landscape fabrics. It is also highly breathable so moisture can move freely through them while still controlling weed growth in the area beneath them.
- Spun-bonded Fabrics: A third type of landscape fabric is spun-bonded polyester which provides excellent weed suppression while also letting air, sunlight, and moisture penetrate through it more easily than other types of landscape fabrics do. This type of fabric is relatively expensive, but they offer good protection against most weather conditions, including ultraviolet radiation from the sun, which can damage plants over time if not protected properly.
- Biodegradable Fabrics: Finally, biodegradable landscape fabrics consist of organic materials such as coconut fibers or grasses that decay naturally over time. This makes them ideal for landscaping projects in areas where long-term solutions aren’t needed since they will eventually break down completely without leaving any trace behind. Although this biodegradable option may provide less weed control than other types of landscape fabrics do, they are an eco-friendly choice that won’t harm the environment when disposed of properly after use.
How long will landscape fabric last?
“Landscape fabric is an incredibly versatile material used for gardening and landscaping projects that can last anywhere from five to twenty years, depending on the quality of the fabric, where it is placed, and how it is cared for,” shares Thomlinson.
Who We Are
This article was written by Kaitlyn McInnis, a former lifestyle editor and freelance writer for Better Homes & Gardens. She researched a variety of different landscape fabrics from reputable businesses in order to find the best options online. She also consulted Jacob Thomlinson, owner of Southern Surrey Mowing, to get his expert opinion and insights.