Owning a home has many perks and many projects. If you want to ensure some great curb appeal, it starts with some quality landscaping. The first thing people notice when they drive up to your home is how the yard and plant or tree selection looks. Having some great color and a variety of plant options in your yard will create a unique look for your home. Selecting the landscape project for your home can be a difficult step. With so many options, homeowners often hire a professional landscaper. Remember, creating a great-looking landscape occurs in layers. Should I use landscape fabric under gravel? Yes, you can prevent weed growth, stabilize your soil, and create some quality drainage.
Let’s take a look below at some options for landscape fabric and why I should use it.
What Is Landscape Fabric
There are a variety of landscape fabrics available to homeowners. The main variations of fabric are due in part to their coarseness and thickness. Before starting the project, you will want to examine the weight and thickness of the fabric needed for your project. Always follow the manufacturers recommendations. Let’s take a look at some types of fabric below:
- Woven geotextile – these fabrics are less permeable and are typically used on projects that require more strength and less water flow. You often see these fabrics used on projects such as driveways, roads, and other civil structural applications.
- Non-woven geotextile – these fabrics provide a great barrier to weed growth. They are great for drainage projects and allow filtration as a necessity. Plant growth is enhanced as drainage is facilitated through the fabric.
- Spun – type of non-woven fabric that is a heavy-duty type of landscaping fabric and is very difficult to rip or tear.
- Perforated – perforated landscape fabric will not choke out roots and can be easily replaced. Most commonly used in garden applications where plants are evenly placed and swapped out often.
How Does It Help
Believe it or not, there are a variety of ways that landscape fabric can assist in your gardening needs. The more you can enhance your landscaping and make maintenance easier on yourself, the better off you will be. Let’s take a look at the top reasons why landscape fabric is a great idea.
- Weeds – adding landscape fabric before you lay down any gravel can help reduce the growth of weeds in your garden. The weeds are not able to gain a good root footing and are thus easier to pull. Landscape fabric will not stop weeds from growing, but it will reduce the number of seed germination in your garden.
- Stabilizes soil – by using a landscape fabric, the weight of the rock bed sits in place and does not actually disturb the soil underneath. The extra weight compacts the soil and keeps it stable for the plants that are in the landscaped bed.
- Keeps in the moisture – since gravel collects heat and creates a faster drying environment, using a landscape fabric allows moisture to stay trapped in the soil and keep the ground moist for the plant roots below.
- Less material needed – using a landscape fabric can reduce the amount of gravel needed in your landscape bed by a few inches. In most cases, a landscaper will apply 4 to 6 inches of gravel or rock in your landscape beds. Using a landscape fabric can reduce the amount of rock used and save you money.
- Assist with filtration – keep in mind that not all gravel is used for rocks beds or looks. In some cases, a layer of gravel is used for filtration of water into your soil and runoff away from the home. Those types of filtration systems that use rock beds for filtration are considered french drains, dry creek beds, trench drains, and water features.
- Strength retention – adding a landscape fabric will separate your rock bed from the soil underneath. This extra layer provides support of the gravel and keeps everything locked in place.
- Can disappear – if you don’t use a landscape fabric underneath your gravel bed, then it is likely that over time the gravel will begin to disappear into your soil. Using a landscape fabric will save your investment from seeping into the soil. This in turn saves you money as you won’t need to replenish the gravel so often.
Are There Other Options
Keep in mind that there are other options instead of using landscape fabric. If the cost of the fabric is too much, consider using newspaper or even cardboard. Both of these items will break down and mix into the soil over time. However, they will allow for some quality drainage and moisture control in the soil. The downside with those items is their lack of stability over time. They do not work as well as landscape fabric as they are limited in their structural support of the gravel.
How Much Does It Cost
Having a professional landscaper install some landscape fabric in your plant beds can cost you an average of $110 to $165 for materials. Keep in mind that you will also be paying a labor fee of around $45 to $65 per hour. The actual full price of the project will depend upon the square footage that you are having landscape fabric installed in.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you are versed in landscape fabric under gravel, you should consider other areas of the yard that might need your attention. If you do not have gutters installed you likely have some major water runoff after a rainstorm. That water goes right into your soil and drains alongside your home. To keep the water flowing away from your home and free from damaging your foundation installing a drain system or gravel bed will help.
Next, if you have a basement then you might need additional drainage. Keep this in mind when creating a new look and adding landscaping fabric to your yard. You wouldn’t want to install a bunch of new plants and landscaping fabric, only to find out that you need to recreate the entire project with some new drainage. Always look into how the project will affect your basement and the potential for flooding. Consider reading up on why you need additional drainage in your basement so that you are informed if the need arises.
Lastly, as was mentioned earlier, grading your landscape should be your priority. If the landscape grading is not sufficient, then you can end up with water pooling up in areas of the yard, or even possible flooding. Fix your negative grading before you decide to install any landscape fabric and gravel rock beds.
When Do I Call A Professional
Anytime that you need help with your landscaping you should reach out to the professionals. Remember that professional landscapers have the work experience and practice to make your yard beautiful. If you aren’t sure which professional landscaping company to use, reach out to your local home inspection team. Not only can the home inspection team look into the drainage and runoff of your yard, but they can also refer you to a reputable professional landscaper. Always remember to get multiple quotes from a variety of professional landscapers to ensure that you get the most for your money.
If you don’t have the health or time to install landscape fabric you should call on a professional landscaper. Not every homeowner has the time or physical ability to dig and install new plants, landscape fabric, and gravel. Although you always want to save money, hiring a professional landscaper for this project is just smarter. In addition, call on your local home inspection team. They can review your landscape and the exterior of your home. This ensures that the project you are doing is good for your home. Also, remember, that the proper landscape grading should be maintained at all times. This is to protect your home from potential flooding. Reach out to Colorado Inspection Team can take a look at your landscaping during a home inspection in Castlerock, CO, and the Front Range areas.