Finally, a weed barrier that works!

Posted on January 20, 2015 by Peter Comart  |  31 comments
Weed Barrier

A weed barrier that works!

We researched material all over the planet for a weed barrier that would work. We started with what was available. And frankly, that was not much and not that good. We looked at every product we could find manufactured in the US and abroad. Believe me, we looked.  Although the quality varied greatly, we concentrated on woven landscape fabrics and fiber landscape fabrics.  We even looked at road fabrics, pool cover fabrics, trampoline fabrics, and all kinds of biodegradable fabrics.

One thing we quickly learned, most of the weed barriers available were not worth a nickel.  And none were reusable except for maybe black landscape fabric. The biodegradable fabrics were the best in concept, but they did not work predictably or that well either. The rest were flimsy and lasted barely a season. Weeds grew under them, or on them, or the material disintegrated after one or two seasons because it was not UV protected.

Have you ever tried to pull weeds from underneath some fiber weed barrier fabric?  No thanks. Or have you ever had to pick crumbled black plastic out of your garden? What an ordeal.

Go to any local nursery, hardware store or nursery or agricultural store and study what weed barriers are available. You will quickly discover nothing can come close to Garden Mats. Nothing. Even the best commercial landscape material won’t be as good. Why?

The cost of materials to make the highest quality fabric possible are very expensive.  And there is enormous pressure on manufacturers to make and mass market a weed barrier that is as inexpensive as possible. Everyone markets a “high quality” weed barrier, but the truth is no one makes (puts the money into) one that works all that well. It’s called mark-up. All of the other products promise more than they deliver. Compare and you will see.  We deliver.

Garden Mats start with the highest quality woven polypropylene fabric, not the cheapest.  The unique green and black weave attracts the right amount of sunlight (heat), but the material does not bake the soil underneath. It blocks sunlight and it lets just the right amount of air and water through. For more information on the features and benefits of Garden Mats, click here.

Tell your friends, neighbors, relatives or some new gardening acquaintance.  Word of mouth is worth its weight in gold.  It’s the oldest way to market on the planet.

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31 comments
  1. Larry Huber says:

    The photo on this page shows some nice tall red tower supports. Can I ask where those are from? Are they available on line anywhere. They would fit perfectly with new mats as opposed to the cages I have. Please advise where I can find those towers. Thanks!

    • Peter Comart says:

      You have a good eye.

      We bought our ladder tomato cages from Agway. They cost about $17 each. But they are really sturdy and will last a long time, just like Garden Mats. They may even last longer than our mats.

      Before we found these ladder cages we used the round tomato cages. They were good, but they were 9 gauge galvanized steel. The cages you saw in our pictures are even heavier steel and painted.

      I looked online to see if I could find a supplier, but no luck. I will check with Agway and see what I can find out.

  2. Ethel says:

    Looking for heavy duty mats for paths around raised gardens.Eth

  3. Dario says:

    I am looking for holeless arterial to use for landscaping. Do you have any?

  4. Holly Keegan says:

    Do you pierce the garden mat to put in the tomato cages? Does this cause problems with the longevity of the mat?
    This is my one concern about using the garden mats.
    Thank you in advance for your input.

    • Peter Comart says:

      Mat #7 is designed for round or ladder tomato cages, which is why we have an 8″ hole. Or you can do it the old fashioned way with a wooden stake. The objective is to reduce weeding 95%.

  5. Gavin harris says:

    Can you use this in your backyard to lay down under a layer of topsoil? I have a lot of weeds growing in my planting areas so I’m going to dig down and remove about 6inches of dirt, lay down the barrier, than do topsoil. Is that ok?

    • Peter Comart says:

      I am sorry, but your idea will not work with our material or any other landscape fabric. Our material is not meant to be buried, ever. It is strictly a top cover, meaning you put nothing on top, not even mulch or stone. Weed seeds blow in the wind and are dropped by birds and other animals. So if you put dirt, or mulch or stone on top of the material, weeds will eventually grow in the dirt, mulch or stone and will will root into the mat material and pin it down.

      There is no easy solution for your problem. Sorry.

  6. Ryan barkdull says:

    Will this work in our pumpkin patch. We need 8000 square feet of cover. Do you make it in any wider that 4 feet?

  7. D. Stiegen says:

    Your reply to Mr Harris seems to have answered this, but our case is slightly different. We want to kill all the grass in our backyard and put down about one inch of 1/2″ gravel. No soil, and we’ll never plant in the area. We were hoping a mat would help more than hurt. But no?…

    • Peter Comart says:

      Our material is designed as a top cover. It blocks sunlight and prevents weeds from growing underneath the material. Once you put anything on top, for example, stone or bark mulch, eventually weed seed will blow onto the stone or bark mulch and grow. Our material will help, but it will not be a 100% solution. Many people use our material the way you describe, but you will still have some weeds I am afraid.

      • D. Stiegen says:

        Thanks. It’s not weeds we’re concerned with so much as the grass. It’s the “Midiron” variant of bermuda. It’s seedless and spreads via rhizomes. It propagates like mad with sunlight but does very poorly in shade. We want to never see it again. So it seems that your mats may be very helpful.

        We’ll spray any weeds that appear. There should be far fewer of those than without a mat.

        I think our only remaining question is how long the mat might last… under gravel but rarely walked on, with fairly hard clay soil underneath.

        • Peter Comart says:

          Our material is designed strictly as a top cover. But people do use it with an application of bark mulch or stone. All we can say there is our material will block weeds from growing underneath. But as soon as seed blows onto bark mulch or stone, it will eventually find a way to grow. Weeds have learned how to do that successfully for thousands of years. But if you keep after the weeds that do appear on top of the bark mulch or stone, you will be ahead of the game. Unfortunately, if you let it go, it is a losing battle. Weeds always win.

          • Peter Comart says:

            I forgot to answer your last question about how long will they last under gravel. Actually, they will last as long as they would on top of the surface, and I suspect longer because there will be no UV exposure. But honestly, I have no idea since I have never done it. Would you be willing to get back to me in about ten years? Then we’ll both know. What I will tell you is my wife used it in her flower beds 16 years ago and put bark mulch on top. It was great for 4 years, but then the weeds started to invade. And now I have to dig what remains out with a small backhoe because the weeds that grew on top have now rooted through the material and pinned it down!!! We will stand by for the answer.

  8. barbara goolsby says:

    I had 650 sq ft artificial turf set down on 6/7/18, I had asked dealer to add extra weed block, he said they use weed block used by industry and should not have any issues with weeds. LOL, now have a lot of weeds everywhere turf company tried to come out & pull weeds, lol, now have agreed to supply my own weed block since they refuse to excavate more & they will reapply new block, so researching for the best product and plan to add PREEN BEFORE new block is added. I saw you wrote not intended for anything to go over mat, would this include artificial turf?

    • Peter Comart says:

      Unfortunately, I think your situation may be a losing battle, even with our material underneath artificial turf. The problem is most weed seeds blow onto mulch, or in your case, artificial turf. As soon as these seeds get a little rain or moisture and they find any nutrients, they will germinate on top of whatever is there. They will eventually root into the mulch or artificial turf if you don’t get rid of them. Seeds may blow onto our mat material, but when nothing is put on top of our material those seeds will also blow off before they can germinate. Our material is designed as strictly a top cover.

  9. Hello Peter.
    I have experimented with similar mats in the past. They are effective for preventing weed and save a lot of time but they create another problem: You have to remove them each season to work the earth, otherwise replanting in the same holes every year will decrease yield.

    • Peter Comart says:

      François Lemieux,

      You are absolutely correct. You have to pull the mats up at some point to replenish the soil. We pull our mats up at the end of each season, hose them off, roll them up and put them in storage for the next season. We put fresh manure on our garden each fall and let it sit for the winter. In the spring we till the soil and then put the mats back down.

      If you do not replenish the soil certain nutrients get depleted, especially if you grow the same crop in the same place year after year. We recommend rotating crops every year.

      Thanks for your feedback.

      Peter

  10. Vance says:

    Can I cut your mats down to only be 2 foot wide? I was not sure if the material (mat) would stay strong if cut length wise. Thanks

  11. Richard Grafton says:

    I want to plant a strawberry patch. I am looking for weed control that will last for many many years. I dont want to pull it up each year because that will disrupt the strawberry plants. Will your product work for that?

  12. Barbara says:

    Can I use your producy to plant flowers in gardens around the house?

    • Peter Comart says:

      Yes, but if you put bark mulch or stone on top of the material you have to get after the weeds that do appear. Otherwise they will grow and root through the material and pin it down. Then you will wish you had used just bark mulch. Our material is designed as a top cover, meaning nothing on top. But some people use it the way you describe.

  13. Kristin Gage says:

    I am interested in your garden mats and understand that they block the growth of weeds. However, do they also discourage the fungus spore in the soil from getting on the shaft of the garden plants like, tomatoes and low lying vegetables like cucumbers, squash etc.

    • Peter Comart says:

      Great question!! Fungus spore has not been a problem we have heard about in association with our product in the nineteen years we have been in business. We have found that Garden Mats promote healthy soil. They let air and water through so the soil can breathe and absorb. Keep in mind, there are thousands of different fungal spores in the world and most are carried in the air. Fungal spores need other organic material and microbes to survive. Since our mats are inorganic, they cannot host or promote fungi, and spores cannot survive on them, especially over the winter. Our mats do, however, have to be free of debris, plant stalks and so forth, before they are stored for the winter. Hope that helps answer your question. Oh, we also recommend rotating your crops. That helps kill off spores that survive on rotting stalks, roots and other organic material, that are looking for the same host material for the next year!!

  14. Ronnie Ann Herman says:

    I want to put this material around my 35-year-old large blueberry bush and then cover it with mulch so that it looks good and keep the mat there permanently, or at least until the bush dies. Will the bush get enough water with a 2″ of mulch on top of the weed barrier fabric?

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