Wherever you grow a beautiful plant, there’s always an ugly weed lurking close by. They’re there scheming how to crush what you’ve so lovingly planted. Be it a plant on your balcony, a rose-bush in the garden, or a field of barley, weeds will be waiting, ready to destroy.
A hairline crack on a bare-strip of concrete is good enough for them, they’re not fussy. If weeds grab-a-hold, they’re hard to remove. A chemical weed killer is a cure, like chemotherapy, but often causes more damage.
Don’t let weeds spoil what you’re so diligently growing.
The best weed barrier will make the difference to you being either the star at the produce market selling veggies or a grumpy faced visitor.
How To Choose The Best Weed Barrier
If chemicals are counter-productive, what else is there?
The cheap option is to pull them out by their roots one-by-one. But that’s too much work for some of us, and we don’t always have time.
Energy, time, and money, the three things great gardeners can’t afford to waste.
Most gardeners insist that the best weed barrier is a synthetic fabric known as polypropylene or polyester. It’s cheap, durable, and very effective. Once you’ve measured, cut, and fixed your new ground cover, you’re well on your way to a weed-free garden.
You should take note of the following when you buy:
- UV-resistance – treated fabrics last much longer
- Durability – exposure to the elements
- Permeability – how much water, air, and nutrients your plants need or not
- Colour – sunlight reflection and absorption (most are black)
- Installation – the type of terrain (hilly or flat; hard or soft)
- Size & Weight – how much you need for the area and if you can manage the load
Now you have a better idea of what it entails.
Hoping to help make the decision easy for you, here are my top 10 weed barriers.
Top 10 Best Weed Barrier
If you want the best, this is it, a premium quality weed barrier.
This eco-friendly, heavy-duty, and highly durable fabric is the most in-demand one available. It has a 2-layered design of needle-punched woven and non-woven material for extra strength.
The 100% polypropylene fabric is non-biodegradable as well as UV resistant. The material is porous, allowing oxygen, moisture, and nutrients to pass through. Even though priced at the high end of the market, it is still a great one to have in your fight to get rid of weeds.
The design is practical, with lines to guide you when you cut and set in place.
Carting this 5 lbs material around won’t hurt your back either.
The size is 4 or 3 feet by 250,100 or 50 feet, and it weighs 5.3 lbs.
- Lines on fabric assists when cutting and setting
- Tough enough not to easily tear
- Promotes soil sustainability
- Can degrade faster in hot zones
- Smaller weeds can penetrate
- Needs mulch for longer life
They’ve been in the gardening business for over 40 years and their products used in at least 70% of commercial landscaping jobs. This product promises a 12-year lifespan. Perhaps that’s why it is one of a gardener’s top choices to control weeds—a unique 3-ply layer design for increased durability and strength. The heavy-duty material provides you with premium weed protection and resists punctures, tears, and weed growth. The hydrophilic-treated polypropylene non-woven fabric allows water and nutrient to pass through.
The fabric’s high black carbon content not only makes it highly UV resistant, but it also enhances its ability to block light and withstand weathering. This item is also priced at the top end of the market.
As with Ecogarden, the rolls have lines to simplify your cutting and measuring to set in place.
It is a technologically advanced product that includes a point-bond design (stretches) that will help minimize unraveling.
The size is 4 feet wide by 50 feet long and it weighs 4.4 lbs.
- A hi-tec & scientifically advanced product
- Allows air & water to pass
- Lightweight – 4.4 lbs
- Not many sizes are available especially for a small garden
DeWitt once again features in the top 10 with a woven UV-stabilized, ecologically sound product. The eco-friendly, polypropylene fabric allows air and moisture through and is more suitable for hot climates. Its thick and durable material makes it perfect for walkways between orchids and often used for large commercial projects. It’s ideal for greenhouses and outdoor displays. The price is also at the high end of the market.
It’s made to handle rough terrain and won’t tear or rip easily, making it one of the best weed barriers available. There are stripes at 12-inch intervals for easy guidance when cutting and laying the fabric.
The size is 4 by 300 feet and it weighs 29.1 lbs. Excellent for massive areas.
DeWitt gives this fabric a 5-year guarantee.
- Stand-alone – no additional cover needed
- Durable and hardy material
- Retains moisture
- Not the easiest to install
- Heavy if working alone
- Not very porous
A robust and top-quality weed barrier and made for permanent landscape areas, shrubs and trees, and flower beds. Black ultra violet-treated polyethylene improves its durability. An even longer life-span is assured if it is placed under 2 to 3-inches of bark or stone mulch. It’s porous enough to let in moisture and nutrients. It has a reputation for being one of the most durable weed barriers available. The price is somewhere in the middle of the range, making it excellent value for money.
Easy to cut and set, but without guiding lines on the fabric to assist you with this task. A tape measure will be your guide if you don’t have enough space to unroll and cut to size.
The size is 4 by 100 feet and it weighs 6 lbs.
- Tough & durable
- Sun protected for more durability
- A little heavier to similar ones
- No cut or set out guide-lines
This is a sturdy spun-bonded, UV-resistant polyester fabric. It is more durable and thicker than your average weed barrier fabric and won’t tear or get punctured easily. It’s a product the professionals use because it is very durable and easy to set down.
The fabric consists partly of fiberglass, which makes it incredibly durable, but it does absorb a lot of heat in the summer, as well as being slippery. When handling on a hot day, wearing gloves would be advised.
The size is 3 by 50 feet, and the weight 2.4 lbs.
- Very effective weed barrier
- Great durability
- High-value item
- Slippery and hot in summer
The price is in the high-range, but worth it if you want the best quality. It is more plastic than fabric-based in its design and restricts moisture and nutrient from passing through as a result. This ground cover is an excellent way to prevent root rot. It has a high resistance to UV light and corrosion. Very reasonably priced for what it can do, and that’s to keep weeds at bay and the soil healthy.
A very useful product for paths in the fruit orchard where there are plenty of weeds continually threatening to invade. The lines on the fabric will help guide you to accurately cut and set in place. An excellent weed barrier that will stay in place once set and keep weeds out fro a long time.
The size is 6.6 by 300 feet, and it weighs 46.3 pounds, which makes it the heaviest on the list.
- Does not damage easily
- Can be reused
- Very heavy
- Restricted water flow
This fabric will block even the toughest and tenacious weeds in the garden. Hence the 25-year protection promise. It isn’t a synthetic polyester-based fabric like many you find on the market. You’ll often find it used on construction sites, but it’s a popular choice for paths in gardens and in and around veggie patches. It is not a weaved fabric, so it is less porous, so not as ecologically friendly. Keeping weeds at buy is what it’s most effective at. Whether the weeds are trying to penetrate from above or below, this stops them dead in their tracks.
It is a very light fabric and easy to work with. Easy to cut and set, but with no lines to help guide you. Once in place, it will hold, but if moved, can tear or rip easily. Probably better to put mulch on top for preservation. This is an excellent weed blocker and good value for what it can do. It is priced at the lower end of the market, so don’t expect miracles.
The size is 3 by 150 feet and it weighs 4.75 lbs, light and small enough for most gardeners to manage easily.
- Good quality
- Lightweight fabric
- Need to staple well to stop movement
- Not UV resistant
- Tears easily
- Very thin
We see this very prominent brand on the list once more, and they promise 20-year protection against one of nature’s most potent forces. This quality fabric consists of woven polypropylene with reinforced fiber for more durability. Water goes through in a drip-fashion and will run-off quite fast if sprayed, meaning there’s restricted flow-through. For a cost-effective choice, many gardening professionals choose this one. It is also very useful for medium-sized properties or smaller. With this product, DeWitt presents an all-round weed barrier for erosion control, landscaping, and just about all you can think of. It might be too heavy to use in smaller gardens.
The name DeWitt means you’re enjoying quality from manufacturers who’ve been in the business for many years. Their weed barriers are some of the best there are. There are stripes 12-inches apart to guide you cut and set out, and for easier plant alignment. For some gardeners, it could be hard to puncture or cut to size because it’s so thick. You can’t go wrong buying this highly effective weed killer. There’s a different texture on either side, and if you aren’t putting mulch on top, then the rough side goes face down for traction, and the reverse if you are. The size of this weed barrier is 3 by 50 feet, and it weighs 4.54 lbs.
- Extremely durable
- Multiple applications
- Very cost-effective
- Hard to install alone
- Might not last for 20 years
WF 200 is an excellent quality geotextile polyethylene fabric and used for extreme ground cover tasks. This woven UV resistant fabric retards biological degradation very well. It can be especially useful with mulch cover and often used on vast landscaping and industrial-sized jobs. Its thickness will prevent root rot from destroying plants and trees. If you’re a budget-conscious gardener, this is your best choice – by far the cheapest on the market at the moment.
Because it’s so strong and thick, it can be hard to cut and set in place. The same logic applies in that it won’t puncture or rip easily, giving you more extended use. There are clear lines to guide you when you cut and set the weed barrier.
The size of this black weed barrier is 6 by 300 feet and weighs a whopping 50 pounds.
- Keeps the soil in good condition
- Industrial strength
- Very cost-effective for what it does
- Heavy material not easy to install alone
Some weed barriers, like this one, do better under mulch or stone. This is an excellent choice for flowerbeds, walkways, and paths as long as you cover with mulch, or it won’t last as long as they state. It is a UV-resistant polyester fabric that resembles plastic more than it does fabric. Whether it protects for 10-years is debatable, opinions differ, but with care, it might. But whatever critics might say, it does have effective weed killing capabilities. For what it does, it’s good value for money as long as you don’t expect it to last for 10 years if exposed to the elements. It is also one of the cheapest on the market.
Unlike the better ones, there isn’t a difference between the two sides. Usually, there’s a rough side which you place face-down because it gives more traction, and a smooth side for water to run off.
It is easy to cut and set, but because there aren’t lines to guide you, it’s somewhat of a guessing game judging the size for a perfect fit. This fabric is well suited for a veggie garden weed barrier.
The size is 3 by 50 feet and it weighs 1.15 lbs – one of the lightest types on sale.
- Ease to set out
- No guiding lines
- The same material on both sides
- Very thin
You can’t eradicate weeds whatever you do. They grow anywhere and survive in the most extreme conditions. But you restrict their growth.
The type of barrier you use to smother and deprive them of air, moisture, and light is what matters most.
What are the types available, and what is the difference?
The two main types are porous and non-porous. They both do the job of keeping weeds out, but the porous kind is a better choice.
Porous material allows the right amount of nutrients, moisture, and air in to keep your soil healthy. Material that blocks these vital elements from penetrating will lead to diseases that could affect your plants. A plastic weed barrier would be perfect on a construction site where the quality of the soil is irrelevant and financial cost the priority.
How do you know?
Research carried out show that plants that grow in soil with non-porous barriers, only grow to half the size as those using a porous weed barrier. The bigger, healthier plants got better nourishment in the more naturally balanced environment.
What other factors matter?
Porous weed barriers are treated to sustain the natural balance in the soil. They are UV- resistant to help the plants achieve optimum growth with minimum soil degradation. That is why, if you can afford it, always choose environmentally friendly products. Also, look at the life-span of a garden-protecting weed barrier to determine its quality.
How do I lay down a weed barrier?
All you need are a cutter, hammer, and staples or stakes.
Clean the area you want to protect and place the weed barrier with the lines facing up.
Fold the edges to prevent fraying.
If you’re using more than one section, make sure to overlap them.
Hammer the staples through the fabric into the ground a couple of feet apart along the edges at first, then work your way in.
It’s near impossible to have a completely weed-free garden, but with the best weed barrier, you’re almost there.
I use military terms to stress the ‘siege mentality’ one should have to the victor. The many wars I’ve had fighting weeds as a gardener has cultivated in me a deep respect for a weed’s will to survive. Most of my work is fighting weeds. With a solid weed barrier to cover your blindside, you’re the one calling the shots.
I hate weeds. Weeds have invaded my lawn, so I went hard-core and sprayed my patch with mild weed-killer. Now my lawn looks like a blotchy green and brown tapestry, and I’m back to square one. At least pulling weeds by hand is therapeutic for anger issues but avoidable. Stay vigilant! Weeds are merciless. Don’t give them time to establish themselves – especially on the lawn.
Lay down a protective weed barrier on your beautiful patch of the earth and stop an invasion.
Read More: Best Dandelion Killer