Landscape fabric is one of the easiest ways to keep weeds out of your beautiful garden. Landscaping fabrics are made from woven polypropylene or burlap, and can be installed in your garden beds to prevent unwanted growth, create pathways and flower beds, and even protect your plants from unwanted critters searching for something to snack on.
You can install your own landscape fabric in ten easy steps, but first, make sure you have these gardening tools:
You want a clean start, so begin by ridding your garden of any existing weeds.
Using your tiller or garden fork, turn your soil. If you’re choosing to use any compost or soil additives, this is the time to add them. You won’t be able to add to the soil once you’ve laid your landscaping fabric.
To smooth the area, use your rake to clear the soil of any extra debri like sticks, rocks, or roots. Dispose of all debris, and then rake over the soil once more.
Lay your roll of fabric down at one end of the garden, and unroll to the desired length.
Now take out your scissors knife. Cut this long piece of fabric so it covers the entire area. You’ll also want to cut additional large sized pieces of fabric. Overlap these extra pieces by 12 inches for added protection against weeds managing to escape through the gaps.
Use your knife to cut slits in the fabric where you already have plants. Place these lit around the base of the plant’s stem.
You don’t want your new garden bed to have unsightly bunches of lumps, so take this time to smooth the cover over your soil.
Push a landscape staple into the fabric every few three or so feet. Make sure you secure all edges as well as the places where two sheets of fabric meet or overlap.
Now you’re ready to place your new plants. Cut an X into the fabric according to your new garden plan. Dig a hole where you’ve placed the X. Now you can place your plant. Cover the exposed roots with extra soil, and place the landscape cover back over the soil.
Once you’ve completed planting all of your new plants, cover the entire landscape fabric with two inches mulch. You want mulch around your plants as well, but be careful not to pile it up against the fragile stems.
Preparing for the first frost can help prevent the unnecessary loss of your fall garden. Don’t let the first cold morning catch you by surprise. Follow Commercial Bag & Supply’s guide to prepare your garden for the first frost, and you can protect your flowers and autumn crops.
How to Prepare your Garden for the First Frost
-Cover your plants with a nursery cover before the sun sets. This will help retain heat underneath the cover and prevent frost from affecting your plants.
-If you use a plastic cover to retain heat, make sure to remove it in the morning as it might “cook” the plants by retaining too much heat in the daytime.
-If you’re growing cucumbers, cover them with newspapers. You can also use old bed sheets or straw since they are low-growing.
-Use paper grocery bags or trash bags to cover caged tomatoes, peppers, or eggplants.
-Vegetables that don’t need to be covered include cabbage, Chinese cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower.
-Vegetables that can handle some frost include chives, peas, carrots, lettuce, and spinach.
-When a freeze is forecast, bring potted plants and flowers inside.
-Spread 2-2.5 inches of mulch around rock garden plants, perennials, alpine, strawberry, or plants with shallow roots after the soil has frozen. This added mulch will help protect your plant roots by preventing the soil from freezing.
After the First Freeze
If you’ve already experienced the first freeze, not all hope is lost. You’ll know when your plants have been damaged by a frost if the leaves have turned dark brown or black, or if they appear shriveled or look water-soaked. You can also protect plants from impending frost damage by watering them. This seems somewhat contradictory, but the water will help to maintain the internal temperatures of your plants above freezing.
No matter the month, there’s always something you can do in the garden. Follow Commercial Bag and Supply’s October Gardening Guide for simple tasks to complete that ensure the beauty of your garden come spring.
October Gardening Guide for Vegetables
Finish harvesting beans and peas by cutting the plant away at ground level.
Harvest all of your squash and pumpkins before the first frost.
Leave the root of your harvested cabbages in the ground and make a cut across the stem to encourage a bloom of smaller leaves.
If you have any green peppers or tomatoes, you can take them inside and hang them upside down to ripen.
Wrap your autumn cauliflower heads in their outer leaves and secure with string to protect from frost.
Plant autumn garlic bulbs and autumn onion sets for cropping next summer.
October Gardening Guide for Flowers
Plant tulip, Allium, and daffodil bulbs for a beautiful spring bloom.
If you’ve grown any perennials or biennials from seed, plant them now.
Plant barefoot ornamental shrubs and trees. October is also a great time to move shrubs and trees, or plant hedges.
Plant wallflowers, winter pansies, primulas, and bellis for a bright spring bedding.
Prune rambling and climbing roses once they’ve bloomed. Tie in the stems to prevent any damage from autumn winds.
Prevent diseases like black spot by cleaning up fallen rose leaves. Don’t compost these leaves.
You can either leave the dead foliage of perennial plants for over-wintering wildlife, or cut them back.
After you’ve cleaned up your garden, mulching with leaf mold, bark chips, spent mushroom compost, or well rotted manure will insulate your plants’ roots for the winter while keeping weed growth in check.
September 22 has come and gone, but it’s not too late to grow a fruitful fall harvest.
By following our fall vegetable garden guide, you’ll have fresh homegrown produce on the dinner table in no time.
What veggies can you plant during fall?
With winter weather right around the corner, you’ll want to plant vegetables that can go from seed to table in 40 days or less. In some areas of the country, like zones 8-10, growing season can last as late December, and a light frost will make your veggies taste a little sweeter. For the best harvesting outcome, we suggest these fall vegetables:
Plants that can grow despite light frosting include:
Preparing your Fall Vegetable Garden
Clear the space for your new veggies. Pull out all of the plants that are no longer performing well, like tomatoes and peas, or remnants from crops already harvested, like your potatoes, onions, or sweet corn. Pull out all of the weeds to give your new vegetables their best chance at growth. Any remaining weeds can absorb the moisture that your new plants need to grow. If you’re working with clay-heavy soil, you might find it helpful to add some organic matter, like compost, to the planting area.
Tending to your Fall Vegetable Garden
If you live in an area with particularly warm falls, you’ll want to be sure your garden is well-watered. Fall veggies will grow best with about an inch of water per week. Once your seedlings are established, you can transition from several lighter waterings to one deep watering each week.
As fall moves closer to winter, and frosts become more consistent, you may want to consider protecting your vegetables with a nursery cover. Commercial Bag & Supply is happy to asset you with custom garden fabric orders for any of your fall vegetable garden needs.
You already know that plants will die if they can’t withstand the cold temperatures that come with winter. Uncovered plants can suffer from “winter burn,” which occurs with a combination of winter sunlight and depleted soil moisture. Some people use plastic to wrap their plants, but this actually constricts the airflow of your foliage. Instead, you should use burlap to protect your plants during winter months as it allows the plants to breathe, air can circulate, and heat is not trapped.
What plants need to be covered?
If you live somewhere with mild winter temperatures, you might be able to get away with a thin layer of mulch protecting your plants. Perennials often last, but need protection if they’re planted in poorly drained, soggy soil.
Newly planted trees and shrubs need covering for the first three winters.
Broadleaf evergreen shrubs like azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons all require covering.
Potted plants are extremely susceptible to cold and need several burlap layers to effectively protect the roots.
Using stakes on any plant wrapped for winter protection is necessary to prevent molding. If a plant is wrapped without stakes, the fluctuating temperatures can cause mold. Using the stake method will keep the burlap from smooshing against the needles, and will prevent you from having the replace the trees come Spring due to molding.
Place the stakes so they’re submerged about 4-5 inches into the ground.
Using twine, tie the stakes together with secure knots.
Wrap enough burlap around the stakes to create a double layer around the tree, shrub, or other plant.
Secure the burlap wrap around the top of the stakes by using more twine.
Cut away the remaining fabric.
Take one more piece of twine and wrap it around the secured burlap to keep it in place.
Tie the last bit of twine around the base of one of your stakes to secure the protective mechanism.
Think you missed the seasonal boat for sprucing up your garden? Think again! By following our best practices for summer landscaping, you’ll be able to feast your eyes upon new blooms in just a few weeks’ time. For all your landscape fabric and nursery cover needs, Commercial Bag & Supply can help your summer garden with nearly any custom order.
Summer Landscaping Tips
Focus on planting hot-season vegetables rather than cool-season ones. This includes tasty treats like sweet potatoes, cowpeas, okra, eggplant, yardlong beans, and cowpeas. In addition to hot-season veggies, tropical bulbs are also ideal for summer gardens. Caladiums, cannas, gingers, and elephant ears will actually grow faster in the heat.
Try to be water-conscious. Don’t water your plants unless it’s necessary. This step can be helped by creating a drought-tolerant garden. Now, that doesn’t mean you can just forget about your plants entirely, but it does mean a low-maintenance garden. Make sure your soil remains moist until your plants have taken off.
That being said, make sure you’re watering your garden at the right time of day. That means morning time. By watering in the early hours, your roots will have a better opportunity of absorbing the moisture.
Don’t forget about the wellness of your grass. High summer temps can be particularly damaging to your lawn. Pick up some fertilizer from your local garden store, but avoid fertilizing on days that reach 90 degrees or higher.
Last but not least, don’t forget the weeding. You can let the weeds grow for a little while, but make sure you’ve pulled them before they bloom and go to seed. We suggest using a hook or mattock for established weeds and a hoe or cultivator for new weeds in looser soil.
Planting and harvesting your garden can be one of the most rewarding seasonal activities on your own or with your loved ones. Using these seed storage tips, you can keep growing your vegetable strains year after year.
How long will stored seeds last?
Depending on what kind you’re storing, seeds can last anywhere from a year to more than five years.
Seeds to use quickly:
Seeds that last last 3-4 years:
How should you salvage vegetable seeds?
Vegetables that are more “fleshy” should be seeded when fully ripe. These vegetables include tomatoes, squash, melons, and the like. Other vegetables like beans and peas should be left on the vine until their pods are dried out and crackly. Corn needs to be left on the stalk until the kernels dent. For fleshy-vegetables seeds:
– Scoop out the seeds
– Spread them out on a paper towel
– Leave the seeds to dry in a well-ventilated area
Is freezing bad for seeds?
Freezing seeds is better for long-term storage. The cold temperatures will actually extend the lifespan of the stored seeds.
Can you expect growth from frozen seeds?
The simple answer? Yes. You can check the germination rate by putting a damp paper towel in a plastic bag with some of the seeds. Then place the plastic bag into a warm area of the house. After about one week, you should begin to see germination occurring.
How to Store Seeds
Prepare the amount of mason jars you’ll need for proper separation of your seeds
Place a cheesecloth bag of dry powdered milk at the bottom of the jar
Put the seeds into each jar
Label and date the jars
Place the jars in a refrigerator or freezer for long-term storage
You can fail fertilizing in two ways: too much or not at all. Right in between is the way to go! Ask the expert at your local landscaping shop for the right kind of fertilizer for your yard, given weather conditions and what you’re planning to plant. It’s best to fertilize twice per year, in Spring and again come Fall. Always water your lawn afterwards, and don’t fertilize when the sun is very bright.
2. Don’t Overwater
Your lawn only needs about an inch of water per week, but also keep in mind the conditions of your lawn. What’s the weather like? It’s best to water during the morning hours so your yard and plants have plenty of time to dry.
3. Can’t Forget the Maintenance
You might get carried away with the planning and purchasing of plants, but don’t think the work is done once the planting is over. Most gardens need to be weeded once or twice a month. Part of planning your garden should be considering how much time you’ll have throughout the year to maintain it.
4. 360 Degree View, Night or Day
When you’re planning your new landscape, you might be standing in the middle of your yard, mid-day, imagining all the flowers blooming in their beautiful colors. But what about sitting at the kitchen table, looking out the windows? What about when the sun sets? The best gardens look great from every angle – even inside your home! And looking into lighting for your new landscape isn’t such a bad idea either. Who doesn’t want to admire their garden over a candlelit dinner?
5. Functional Beauty
In the haze of planting beautiful flowers, don’t forget that you’ll still want to be able to use your lawn. What about dinner parties? Children running wild? In the early planning stages, you’ll want to be sure your landscaping is just as functional as it is easy on the eyes.
An easy way to control weeds without chemicals or sprays is by using landscape fabric. It’s usually made with burlap or woven polypropylene. With two choices, how do you know which material to use?
Woven polypropylene is a synthetic material that does not easily decompose. It’s the perfect material for long-term use under mulch. Its tight weave allows for moisture to penetrate. Unlike burlap, are stronger and rot-resistant over time.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, burlap is the way to go. Burlap is a natural fiber made from Jute. The material is strong and biodegradable, so chemicals do not seep into soil. Burlap is typically more resistant to UV deterioration but less so moisture than the woven polypropylene.
Landscape fabric is also used to prevent erosion, walkways, flowerbeds, paths, planting, and landscaping. It’s great to protect your seeds from pesky animals and birds.
At Commercial Bag & Supply, we are able to cut the fabric to any shape or size to meet your needs. Since we import bulk quantities of both woven polypropylene and burlap, we can supply any commercial or industrial use you might have. Our cutting room can process quantities from 10 – 10,000; just let us know what you need!
How do you control weeds in your garden? If you’re conscientious about using chemicals or sprays around your home, a landscape fabric is an effective alternative to controlling weeds and other unwanted growth. Fabric for landscaping is typically made from two textiles: woven polypropylene and burlap.
In addition to weed control, landscape fabric can also be used to prevent erosion, as well as create walkways, flowerbeds, and paths. Burlap or woven polypropylene landscape fabrics can also protect your seeds from birds and other animals.
Woven Polypropylene Landscape Fabric
Woven polypropylene does not easily decompose so it’s an ideal material to be placed under mulch for long periods of time. Woven polypropylene offers a tight weave design that allows moisture to penetrate. Many gardeners prefer woven polypropylene to burlap for landscape fabric because it’s stronger and rot resistant, though it’s more costly.
Burlap Landscape Fabric
Burlap is another strong fabric that’s biodegradable and more affordable than woven polypropylene. It’s biodegradable quality prevents chemicals from seeping into the soil, and burlap’s material makeup is more resistant to UV deterioration.
Burlap can also be used to protect your gardens during the colder months. Cold temperatures, sun, and wind are all culprits to injured plants during winter months. Contrary to popular belief, though, low temperatures are actually less damaging to your plants than the fluctuating temperatures.
When exposed to direct sunlight, tree bark can crack. In below freezing temperature, root damage is likely to occur. If root damage does occur, the roots might wilt come spring. Instead of letting your trees brave the winter cold on their own, use a burlap landscape fabric and wrap it around the base of your trees, shrubs, and bushes to prevent undue damage.
Burlap is an ideal fabric for winter protection because it allows enough sun and rain to get to the plant while simultaneously preventing frost and excessive sunlight.
Use burlap landscape fabric to minimize winter damages:
Create an outline for the burlap by driving 3 or 4 stakes into the ground around the plant you want to protect
Cut a piece of burlap large enough to wrap the plant at least twice
Use twine to loosely tie the burlap so it stays in place
You can also wrap burlap around your planter boxes, and secure the fabric with rocks or something similar in weight.
Both burlap and woven polypropylene wholesale landscape fabric from Commercial Bag & Supply can be customized to your exact specifications so no matter what season, your garden is protected. Contact a Commercial Bag & Supply specialist today if you have any questions about landscape fabric for your home garden.
Commercial Bag & Supply
1244 2nd Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50314
Toll Free: 1-800-383-1269