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Using weed mat in the front garden

ambily
Junior Contributor

Using weed mat in the front garden

Hi I am very new to the site and not good at DIYs.

We have made a garden box with sleepers but not sure what flowers to plant.want somethng needs less attention and flowery most times.

Do I put weed mat first and garden soil on top?

Please help...

Moderator Walter
Moderator

Re: front garden

Hey ambily,

 

Welcome to the community.

IMHO, Soil, Weed mat, Flowers, Wood Chips, in that order.

 

I have a rose garden in the front on one side and a absolutely really productive strawberry area on the other side.

To prepare for it,  I softened up the soil in each area, put down garden soil and mulch, THEN the weed-matting.  After that I cut small holes in the weed mat, and put the roses in. Then I put wood chips around all of that  I've never had an issue with weeds there, sure some try to get started, but I keep a look out, and top up the wood chips once a year. Normal feeding and pruning of the roses.

 

On the other side, I softened the soil, put the weed mat down then put pots of strawberries down, and spread woodchips.  The strawberries grew so fast out of their post, I just let the runners take root along the wood chips and keep them watered.  Now they say strawberries don't last a long time and you have to uproot them and start again.  We are on our second year of strawberries, that have completely taken over that side, and I cannot see the weed mat, because it's so thick. We share the strawberries with the native birds. If they get there before we do, they win, so we have to get up early in the morning, and see how the ripening is going.

 

This year should be another bumper crop, though the leaves need a bit of a trimming and thinning out.

 

Hope that gives you an idea. I know others on the community will jump in with ideas.

ambily
Junior Contributor

Re: front garden

Thank you.

Really confused as someone said to me to put weed mat first and then garden soil and plant.

Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: front garden

No worries @ambily.

 

Perhaps @Noelle might like to share her vast experience with you to reassure you. 

 

Let me also extend a very warm welcome to the Workshop community. We're really pleased to have you join us and I'm sure you're confidence will grow as you get helpful advice and encouragement from our wonderful members. 

 

Jason

 

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Noelle
Junior Contributor

Re: front garden

Hi ambily

I agree with Walter - Soil, Weed Mat, Plants, Wood Chips or Mulch is the correct order.

The wood chips or other decorative mulch covers the weed mat so you're not looking at it and will also help keep the soil beneath cool. Any improvements to the soil (like compost, fertiliser, topsoil) should be the starting point. Once the soil's good and has been levelled, put down the weed mat so it is in close contact with the soil (no air pockets), then cut planting holes and put in your plants. Water well after that, then spread the wood chips or other mulch over the top as the finishing touch.
ambily
Junior Contributor

Re: front garden

Thank you very much Walter and Noelle.. Good information in depth..

ProjectPete
Trusted Contributor

Re: front garden

I'm confused like @ambily. Why wouldn't you put the weed mat at the bottom, followed by soil, flowers, mulch? That way the weed mat will prevent weeds from growing up from the bottom of the planter box. In your suggestions @Walter and @Noelle, if the weeds first come into contact with soil they'll thrive before reaching the weed mat and either find their way through or just suffocate the soil and root system of the flowers. But I'm not the gardener...
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Noelle
Junior Contributor

Re: front garden

Hi Project Pete

 

Weed mat can be used in many different situations, including as a planter box liner or to keep weeds at bay in the garden.

 

If you are building a planter box, then the weed mat isn't used to control weeds but rather to line the box to stop potting mix or soil washing out, contamination from the soil beneath and to prevent any roots in the underlying soil growing up into the box.

 

In the garden, the aim of putting down weed mat is to supress weed growth completely.  If you put soil on top of it, weeds can germinate and grow in that soil, defeating the whole purpose.  Before laying weed mat, it is important to ensure the soil underneath it is weed-free. The mat is then laid on "clean" soil and forms a barrier preventing weed seeds and runners from taking root in the soil beneath.

 

Before weed mat, which is a breathable, permeable fabric that allows air and moisture essential for healthy plant growth to penetrate into the soil beneath, thick black polythene was used . It still is in some market garden situations - commercial strawberries for example to keep the fruits clean.

 

Weed mat, when laid correctly over garden beds, minimises weed growth - put soil on top of it and you might as well not bother putting the mat down at all!

 

 

ProjectPete
Trusted Contributor

Re: front garden

Interesting and thanks for taking the time to explain it. I'll stick to woodworking and such 

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