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Rags as Landscape Fabric

 
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Location: Ontario Canada
dog food preservation cooking
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Who has used old rags, bed sheets and other cloth as alternatives to landscape fabric?  I would like to try up cycling my old clothes as landscape fabric under mulched walks ways. Has anyone else has tried it and knows of the pros and cons?

I have used with success old newspapers and cardboard. But on hilly paths, it slips a bit until it gets super soaked.
 
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Beware that many fabrics are plastic blends and using them in the garden may result in tiny plastic fragments getting into the soil.  Look for 100% cotton, linen, hemp, wool.
 
Donna Lockey
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This product seems like a good idea. Strawberries without weeds. oooooh.  But back to using up old clothes. ...Yes I was thinking only natural products . I am now wondering about leaching of chemical dyes.  Thanks for the hemp and wool idea. Yes, I know. Weeds will grow where ever soil begins. And mulch does break down after a year or so. I was thinking the lasagna method for the pathways. and this stuff around trees and shrubs.

http://www.auri.org/2004/10/blanketing-the-garden/
 
steward
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Location: Carnation, WA (Western Washington State / Cascadia / Pacific NW)
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Donna Lockey wrote: This product seems like a good idea. Strawberries without weeds. oooooh.  But back to using up old clothes. ...Yes I was thinking only natural products . I am now wondering about leaching of chemical dyes.  Thanks for the hemp and wool idea. Yes, I know. Weeds will grow where ever soil begins. And mulch does break down after a year or so. I was thinking the lasagna method for the pathways. and this stuff around trees and shrubs.

http://www.auri.org/2004/10/blanketing-the-garden/



Oh, wow! Look at this picture from that wool landscape fabric:



It seems those wool producers are finding a use for otherwise waste or not very valuable wool. Good thinking!

I did a quick permies search on burlap or other fabrics used as mulch, which is what this topic made me think of. I found these threads:
Growing organic and using burlap or jute netting
Does anyone use the Ruth Stout method with success?
Cotton sheets instead of cardboard for mulch?

Other mentions in these threads include coffee sacks, old jeans, etc. Some folks say they are fine if the fabrics are not completely organic and natural, others would prefer to ensure anything going into the soil is not tainted by chemicals. It seems burlap might be a bit of a challenge to find out if it's treated or not.


 
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Donna Lockey wrote:Who has used old rags, bed sheets and other cloth as alternatives to landscape fabric?  I would like to try up cycling my old clothes as landscape fabric under mulched walks ways. Has anyone else has tried it and knows of the pros and cons?

I have used with success old newspapers and cardboard. But on hilly paths, it slips a bit until it gets super soaked.



Hi there, seems like great idea! I am using commercial landscape fabric, which is expensive! Next time I will try to save some money!!
 
pollinator
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Welcome Sujan!  So glad to have you with us.

I gave up on landscape fabric.  Once the mulch begins to decompose, weeds grow on top of it, then through it.  Repairing is so much worse than plain old weeding!  I just use cardboard and mulch.
 
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Has anyone ever used paper towels as a fabric to put around new baby fruit trees?
Here's what bothers me, I want to prevent some drying out of new topsoil,
and kind of lock in some moisture.
If I use newspaper, what about the printing ink, is this a concern?
Lynn
 
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