I have no money for landscaping. What can I use for landscape fabric? My husband and I put down landscape fabric in our yard last year, but we are no longer together and I cannot afford to buy anything for the yard. Does anybody have any suggestions of what I can use that is "dirt" cheap instead of expensive landscape fabric?
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Would it be possible to put down sheets of recycled plastic, as from dry cleaner bags or a plastic drop cloth cut to fit and then cover with pebbles/stones/or bark? They do use some sort of plastic to keep the weeds down - altho it's black...
8 layers of newspaper covered by mulch will work just fine. If you need to wet the newspaper to hold it in place that will be OK.
I used cardboard from boxes, break them down and use garden staples to secure them. I haven't had a problem other than the stuff that drops on top of the mulch. That would be happening even if you used the material.
Burlap has been around for ages, has been inexpensive and will work quite nicely for your needs. :-)
She did say she needed ideas for something free she could use. I'm not sure burlap is something most people have sitting around their houses.
I agree with the newspaper gardening. Just don't use the slick colored parts of the newspaper. Have you ever heard of lasagna gardening? It is many layers of material that you put down in the fall and by spring, you are ready to plant. Google lasagna gardening and I am sure you will come up with the explanation.
I've used both newspaper and cardboard in place of landscape fabric. Both do the job well. And each will break down and enrich your soil. If you waste your money on landscape fabric, you don't have the advantage of adding nutrients to the soil so for that reason I don't like it. Cardboard takes longer to break down into soil but you can only use it on level areas.
If you have some old used carpet you could cut it the size you need and put it down. I've done that for keeping weeds from growing and as a mulch.
My grandpa always asked the local carpet place for remnants or stuff they took out of peoples house and were going to throw away. It does stink and get really heavy after it gets wet. You might could use an old shower curtain or some of the bag from the cleaners they hang over clothes (they might give you some for free if you ask).
You could buy a flat king size sheet from Salvation Army for about $3.00. Obviously it doesn't matter if the design is faded. It's usually made of cotton and will let the rain or garden hose water through. It cuts very easily with a scissors and you can cut it any shape you need. I would also consider garage sales as a resource for the inexpensive sheets, or even huge towels.
Large size empty pet food bags, trash bags, old carpet, cheap tarps from harbor freight, or any type of fabric dis-guards. Once you start looking around you will find all kinds of free things laying around the house or garage.
You can get end rolls of plain white newspaper that come either 2' or 4' wide. I get them from a local newspaper publisher for free. There's usually a LOT of paper left on them.
I'm going to put them down on some GARDEN paths I'm making. Edge them with free used brick I got and fill with gravel or something else that growing things don't like....for free. :')
We use a variety of Upcycled free items. Old Bedding & linens, carpet, burlap, newspaper & cardboard. They all work if applied properly, dont leave gaps. We use bolts/rolls of brown paper in the front yard. You can top off with free wood chips or cacao husk. Both decompose over time. We are in the same boat. Husband lost his job a year after buying this house.
I agree with the post to use newspaper; at the newspaper that I work at we give our old papers away for free (most people use them for their new puppies). I used a clear plastic (paint) drop cloth once and had covered it with mulch but weeds actually grew under the plastic. I think that because they still got light from the sun, they still grew. I always wondered if used bedsheets that you could get from a resale shop might work as landscape fabric, though they would decompose eventually, they would keep the weeds down and still let water and nutrients through. If you do find something that works for you, please make sure to share with the rest of us!
People , you can use HEAVY cardboard and cover the area but leave a square around the plant for watering purposes, leave it down, if it rots , and eventually it will, it is ecofriendly and serves as a good mulch in soil if planting newer plants in the distant future. Be sure to overlap where you see cracks when laying it in, grass clippings when you mow can find them and then start a weed, I have used this method for 10 years and have not EVER HAD TO WEED MY BEDS, AND I have over 300 plants.
After you use the cardboard as a weed barrier, to make the beds look fabulous , use your favorite ground cover, mulch, peagravel, river rock, and cover over it, it works like a charm.
@brideymurph I have had to dig a ditch 3 feet wide, 30 feet long to prevent my back yard from being flooded every time we have a big rain. Drainage from homes above mine toward a sewer located just on the other side of my property has created a swamp in my yard. Unfortunately, the cost of landscape fabric is excessive (for me) and I'm wondering if I can use cardboard, then cover with rocks. I know the cardboard will decompose and I'm afraid I'll have rocks on top of mud. Any thoughts?
I used a variety of items as weed barrier. I used carpet around the hedges. Cardboard in the areas where weeds were very large with deep roots. I poured cheap vinegar over them after cutting down, prior to laying cardboard. Some were as tall as I am. I used newspaper in small areas that had a few weeds. I used a bolt/roll of brown paper for the long deep beds. Having wood chips delivered to decompose and nourish the soil, while providing a sort of mulch on top of it all.
Newspaper, newspaper, newspaper. Cheap and Free. Good for the environment and great for weed control!
Try using newspapers. Just unfold the newspapers and lay them under your compost or mulch and it will keep the weeds down and lets the water filter through. It is very cheap and it is biodegradable. Good luck!
You can use newspaper, but it breaks down after a few years if thick enough. You can use plastic garbage bags or plastic sheeting sold at Home Depot/Lowe's.
My husband and I flip houses and we used to use landscape fabric. As flippers, we can not take the time to go back and weed former properties landscaping. He suggested using old carpet that we pull up when renovating the house....it works very well...plus water/rain can get through to the soil underneath, whereas it can't with shower curtains and things of that nature. Today I am going out to a house to landscape....I will keep my eye out for carpet on the side of the road thrown out (as we have used this before); but today I may try the cardboard as I read it works very well also....and it lasts pretty well, and can be just picked up when it's time to replace the mulch. I read that in the following article this morning: www.examiner.com/
I used newspaper and wetted it down so its easier to work with. I tried it dry but it kept slipping out of place. I didn't have the landscape stakes so I put a medium sized rocks scattered throughout the bed. Couldn't afford mulch so I used pine needles from the yard. I didn't like the pine cones in the bed, made it loo cluttered. It was a bit of a hassle but I picked them out. The bed came out looking nice and clean. I did get few weeds around the base of plants but they were easy to keep weeded out.
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