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Should I Put Plastic under My Mulch?

Plastic on the ground, stones around the edges, mulch in the middle – that used to be the standard setup for garden bed care. The truth is that landscaping plastic and fabric are now considered outdated, and they may do more harm than good. Before you buy rolls of plastic to cover your landscaping, you need to learn how that could damage your garden beds.

Why You Shouldn’t Put Plastic under Your Mulch

The theory behind using plastic under mulch is that the plastic will prevent weeds from forming. That is slightly effective, but it has a big drawback. The plastic acts as a shield that prevents water and nutrients from getting into the soil. It also prevents the soil from natural moisture and temperature regulation. None of this helps your plants.

If your soil is covered in fabric, you can’t turn it and aerate it. The soil will become compacted, making it all the more difficult for plant roots to take shape. You’re not doing your garden any favors with plastic lining.  

What about Landscaping Fabric?

Landscaping fabric has a bit more breathability than plastic, but it’s still not a great choice. Weeds can poke through the fabric pretty easily, unless you put enough mulch down to suffocate them. At that point, you might as well commit to just using a thick mulch bed. Without the fabric, you can cultivate your soil and better fertilize your plant roots throughout the year.

Create and Maintain a Thick Mulch Bed to Keep Weeds away

A 3-4 inch mulch bed is ideal for controlling weeds. This creates a thick enough barrier to block the weeds from sunlight, but it still allows other plants to take root and thrive.

Note that mulch is designed to break down over time. This feeds the plants and provides them with easy-access nutrients. The downside is, you need to top off your mulch beds periodically to maintain the 3-4 inch thickness. We do this routinely as part of our professional gardening services.

Enjoy Hassle-Free Mulching and Garden Care from Berns Landscaping

If you want a healthy, hassle-free garden bed that looks great all year long, call on Berns Landscaping. We’ve proudly served Southeast Michigan communities for 30+ years, and we are passionate about lawn and garden care. From mulching to landscape design to fertilization and more, we have specialized teams to tackle each task.

Reach out to (586) 756-1145 to set up a landscape maintenance plan for your property.