How To Stop Weeds Using Sheet Mulch
Rob Scott from Holland Park in London shows you an organic method of stopping weeds by covering the soil with a layer of fibre membrane.
Step 1: You will need
- Fibre membrane which you can buy from garden centres
- Organic matter or slate, gravel or bark chippings.
- Pegs, stones or bricks to hold the membrane in place
- A rake
- A garden fork
- A trowel
Step 2: Prepare the site
Use a fork to loosen the soil and remove any visible weeds, roots and stones from the soil. Rake the ground to create a level, compact surface.
Step 3: Lay the fibre membrane
Roll out the fibre membrane over the area you want to cover. Cut the material to the required size and shape, and peg it to the ground. You can also hold it down with bricks or stones. If you are laying material around established plants, Rob recommends making slits in the fabric and fixing it around the base of the plant. You can also cut a cross shape in the fabric and push the plant through the gap you have made.
Step 4: Plant
If you are planting shrubs through the membrane, cut a cross shape in the fabric before digging a hole in the soil. For more information on the planting process, see VideoJug's other planting films such as 'How to plant winter bedding plants'.
Step 5: Apply additional mulch
You can apply a layer of mulch such as organic matter, slate or gravel on top of the membrane. This will provide further protection for your plants as well as looking more attractive. Apply a layer 5-7 centimetres thick, and rake to create an even surface. Top up this layer with more mulch if the fabric becomes exposed.
Step 6: Aftercare
If you need to add nutrients to your plants in the future, pull back the membrane before adding anything to the soil. Use a trowel to mix fertiliser around the base of the plant and water well.