How to Install Landscape Fabric: A Step-by-Step Guide

When installing a new landscape, the ground is usually one of the most visible and accessible areas. The ground also is often where the most work needs to be done in order to make it ready for plants, paths, lighting, and other elements. In order to control weeds and erosion without sacrificing too much access to the ground, many landscapers turn to landscape fabric as an effective solution. Although it may look like a simple piece of cloth, landscape fabric can be used for multiple purposes in a new landscape installation. It helps keep weeds from sprouting or growing through gravel or other materials you’d rather they not reach. It also keeps soil from washing away during rainstorms and prevents roots from growing into pipes or other structures underneath the ground that could become damaged.

What is landscape fabric?

Landscape fabric is a permeable fabric used for a variety of soil protection and weed prevention applications. The fabric can often be found in rolls of various sizes and weights, and is most often black or dark green in color. Landscape fabric is most often used for landscaping around sidewalks, driveways, and other areas of pedestrian traffic, as well as for protecting plants during construction or other areas where the ground needs to be exposed. Landscape fabric can be found in hardware stores and online. If you want to get a bit fancier with your decorative landscape fabric, you can also find it in different colors, including colorful prints. It’s more expensive than the black stuff, but it’s also more visible, and therefore might be better if you have a landscape design that’s heavy on the color. Landscape fabric is also sometimes referred to as weed fabric, ground cloth, weed barrier, or mulch fabric. It’s a piece of fabric that you lay on the ground to help prevent weeds from growing and also to keep the soil underneath it from eroding away. It’s often used in gardens and other landscaped areas where people walk a lot or you want to protect plants from foot or vehicle traffic.

Step 1: Mark the area you’ll be working on

Before you start any installation, you’ll want to mark the area that you’ll be working on. This will help you stay organized as you work and keep track of what parts of the landscape fabric you have in place. In addition to marking the edges of the area you’re installing landscape fabric in, you’ll also want to mark where the needed utility lines are. This will help make sure that you don’t accidentally bury anything below the ground that shouldn’t be there.

Step 2: Lay the weed blocker

After you’ve marked the area of the landscape fabric installation, it’s time to start working on the weed blocker. If you’re installing landscape fabric over an existing lawn, you’ll want to lay the weed blocker down first to prevent roots from growing through to the soil below. For a typical weed blocker installation, you can simply lay the weed blocker down. Make sure to lay it away from the edges of the area you’re installing it in so that it doesn’t interfere with the next layer of landscape fabric.

Step 3: Lay the erosion fabric

After you’ve laid down the weed blocker, or if you’re installing landscape fabric over a bare patch of ground, you’ll want to lay the erosion fabric down next. You can simply lay this layer down as well. You’ll want to make sure to align it with the edges of the previous layer of landscape fabric that you put down. This will help prevent one layer of fabric from rolling up or wrapping over the other one. You can use stakes or other weights to keep the edges in place.

Step 4: Mix your soil and add other elements

Now it’s time to start adding your soil and other elements to the landscape fabric. If you’re installing landscape fabric over an existing lawn, you’ll want to use the soil from the lawn to help fill in the landscape fabric. If you’re installing landscape fabric over a bare patch of ground, you’ll want to create a soil mixture to add to the landscape fabric. You can do this by mixing commercial soil with compost, topsoil, or other organic materials. Once you’ve added the soil to the fabric, you can start adding other elements. You can add paths, walkways, or even plants to the landscape fabric at this point.


Landscape fabric is an easy, cost-effective way of preventing weeds from growing in your new landscape. It’s also a great tool for keeping the soil in place and preventing erosion. When you’re installing landscape fabric, make sure to lay the weed blocker first, followed by the erosion fabric. Mix your soil, and then add it to the landscape fabric. Once you’ve finished your installation, you can rest assured that your landscape is protected.

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