Weed Fabric Tutorial
Howdy from the flower farm! I am currently sitting outside on the patio barefoot with a cool bottle of water and the baby monitor next to me. I know it sounds super peaceful and all but anyone else get bugged by bugs haha? There is a fly that just won't leave me alone. Oh well! I will take it, there is a nice breeze and it is quite lovely!
I am a true farm girl, I don't mind getting dirt on my hands or cow poop on my shoes but I am just not okay with the amount of aunts and spiders outside this year. The agriculturalist inside of me is shouting to the rooftops because that is a sign of healthy soil but the girly girl inside of me is like if I see one more bug, I might throw this whole thing out the window. HAHA JK! Any who... lets talk about WEED FABRIC!
There is a misconception that if weed fabric is utilized, you won't have to weed and let me tell you, that is certainly not true. Grass is sneaky and will grow up around your little seedling, but weed fabric does cut down the amount of weeding you will have to do! Now the more you garden in a certain area, the less weeds there are because each time you pull a weed, you remove the chance of it seeding out, which means less weeds next year!
***On a side note, if you absolutely hate weeding, I encourage you to try raised beds or container gardening. This is a great option and many people have success! Plus they can look super cool!
We have used weed fabric since the beginning but at first we used a cheap plastic and although it worked, we had to cut new holes each year and we couldn't reuse it.
Pros: clean up at the end of the season was easy and we didn't have to store it. Cons: can't reuse it and we had to cut the holes with scissors each year. We used this option for a few years until I took an online flower class through Floret. Erin demonstrated growing flowers with durable and reusable fabric. Pros: upfront cost but can save to reuse, holes are ready to go each year, you can cut the fabric to the correct length of the rows in your garden. Cons: It is a task to pull it up and store at the end of the season. Sometimes the holes stretch from pulling it over the dead plants.
We have decided that the durable fabric is the right option for us, we try to limit our expenses from year to year and the time it saves us with not having to re-cut and measure out holes is worth it to us!
We practice what is called high-intensity farming, where we plant the flowers really close together to help with canopy and to maximize production on the amount of land we have. Most of our annual flowers require the same amount of space. Due to this, Tyler was able to make me a template using a drill. For the ones that need more room, like dahlias and branching sunflowers, I choose to not use weed fabric. I am not an expert on the amount of space vegetables need but Shonda Hahn sent me this photo of the template they made. She made one template with the different sizes of holes she will need depending on the plant.
We purchased the De Witt SBLT6300 Ground Cover Sunbelt. It measures 6 feet across.
The yellow lines make it easy to line up the fabric across the garden. We overlap it a bit to help hold everything down. We used a torch to burn the holes by laying the wood template on the fabric.
As you can see, the plant soon covers the hole and creates a canopy that blocks out sun to growing weeds but weeding is important in the beginning when the plant is still small!
Let me know if you have any questions!