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Those who design areas or paths with gravel and gravel often use a weed fleece as a separating layer. A fleece does not make sense for all surfaces and it does not protect against weed growth.

In a nutshell

  • Plan the use of weed fleece in advance
  • Fleece can encourage the colonization of pests
  • Fleece as a root barrier against weeds
  • Weed fleece as a base for new plants with substrate fill
  • Near-natural gravel gardens without fleece as a root barrier

Advantages and disadvantages

Gravel and crushed stone in the garden often divide people's minds, because many see advantages in simple care, but the fleece can also cause problems. Gravel areas are usually laid out in such a way that the bottom layer forms a fleece that blocks root weeds. The application for this purpose makes sense in some cases.

An assignment is advantageous for:

  • Areas with root weeds
  • Areas that lay fallow for a long time
  • Risk of other plants growing into the area

However, the weed fleece does not only have positive sides, because it promotes the colonization of pests, for example. These include, for example, voles. Therefore, you should consider in advance whether the fleece is helpful or can possibly cause more damage.

Notice: Weed mats only protect against root weeds that are already present. They do not prevent new weeds from developing from seed above.

create paths

It is helpful if you use a weed control mat when laying out new paths. Here, the fleece takes on a double function, because it also prevents the loose material from being carried out of the intended area. The fleece has the advantage that it is flexible and you can create not only straight paths, but also winding paths through the garden.

Fleece for gravel gardens

Gravel gardens are trendy because they look tidy and have clear lines. It is quite possible to use a fleece for a gravel garden, if plants are used, the fleece has to be cut open at this point. It is important that the fleece is cut generously, because the plants not only need space to grow, but the water supply must be ensured.
Many weed fleeces are permeable to water, but it takes time for the water to really seep through. As a result, it can happen that a large part evaporates from the surface and the plants in such areas may not have enough water.
In gravel gardens, a fleece has other disadvantages such as:

  • Weeds are superficially difficult to remove
  • Holes in the fleece encourage weed growth
  • Holes are usually difficult to repair
  • Leaves can only be removed with a leaf blower

Differences to the rock garden

Gravel gardens and rock gardens do not have much in common except for the rock, but are often mistakenly equated. You can also use fleece as a root barrier for a rock garden. However, a thick layer of substrate is piled up above, where the plants for the rock garden will later be planted.
It is important that the fleece only serves as a barrier for plants that have shallow roots. Otherwise you would have to cut the fleece again so that they can grow through. You can apply any thickness of substrate to the fleece. But it should be at least 8 cm thick.
Rock gardens are usually laid out on a slight slope. If a fleece is used as a separating layer, additional points must therefore be observed:

  • Fix fleece with large stones or suitable hoes
  • Water must be able to drain
  • for large areas, fixing every 2-3 m offers additional stability

If the substrate is applied to the fleece, the problem usually arises that the substrate slips away on the smooth surface on a slope. Additional barriers made of stone, for example, prevent the substrate from slipping and offer the plants additional stability, especially at the beginning.

Natural gravel beds

Gravel and gravel can become a valuable biotope in the garden. In addition to ornamental gardens that you design with this material, you can also use it to create a so-called ruderal area. These areas provide a habitat for a variety of animals and plants.

Weed fleece has no place in a near-natural gravel bed. The aim of such beds is that they offer certain plants a habitat, but they also need contact with a layer of earth. It is wanted and even desirable that they continue to multiply there or, in the best case, that other suitable plants settle there themselves.

Tip: Near-natural gravel beds are much easier to care for than gravel gardens, because they can simply be mowed with a lawn mower at the highest cutting height in autumn.

frequently asked Questions

How long do weed control fleeces last?

The durability depends on the strength and the load. Fleece under gravel paths does not last as long as in a bed due to the load.

How should old weed mats be disposed of?

An old weed fleece is disposed of in the residual waste.

How are weeds growing on the fleece removed?

Weeds that have settled in the layer above the fleece can, for example, be removed manually by weeding out. You should avoid using devices so that you do not damage the fleece.

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