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New Hedges Planted - Weed Suppressing Fabric?

Hi - At long last the final stage of the garden make over is complete and almost 60M of new hedging (Elleagnus & Photinia) has been planted on the north, east and west borders. 

The soil is clay based but has been easy to turnover and was cleared of all weeds prior to planting. I don't want to mulch (especially as the borders seem to be good at retaining moisture anyway) as the work, cost and mess (dogs / birds) will create pain in terms of my pristine lawn but was thinking of applying a weed fabric (maybe biodegradeable) in an attempt to keep maintenance low (ie. having to weed consistently until the hedges are established) 

Is this a good idea? Is it worth it or a waste of time? If it is whats the best method to apply on the basis that the plants are already 'in' (1x plant every 750mm) Do I cut a slit for every plant or cut a cross?

Please advise - cheers  Chris


  • Forgot to mention - not bothered about the 'aesthetic' at this stage as have lived with ugly post and wire fencing all summer - this is about low maintenance until hedges have established . . and a modicum of protection from the dog sniffing out bonemeal / digging etc
  • HelixHelix Posts: 631
    I use it everywhere!  More difficult if you’ve already planted but easily doable.  Best with 2 people as can unroll and cut/slit without getting into a muddle.  Needs to be weighted down tho’ or it will flap.  We use coarse mulch, leaves, whatever we have to hand. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,530
    "biodegradable weed fabric" surely that's an Oxymoron?
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,208
    Flipping awful stuff. Should be banned from use in gardens. Does not suppress weeds and eventually looks an appalling mess which is incredibly difficult to remove. Better mulch heavily with bark or compost.
  • HelixHelix Posts: 631
    Depends what type you use! 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,530
    Have to say, I'm with @Palustris.
    AND it stops worm activity.
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,208
    I have used the incredibly expensive stuff and the very cheap stuff. Both are equally useless in my experience.
  • It doesn't belong anywhere near plants... keep it for under gravel driveways!
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    And mulch will benefit your young hedge, enabling it to grow well. It is true that birds chuck it about for a few weeks after you put it down but it is easy to tidy up and the dog will only be interested if you feed with chicken manure or bfb.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,910
    I'd agree with @Posy. A bit of mulch will finish the hedge off, benefit it all, and the birds will do  a little flicking around, but it's  a small price to pay  :)

    The blackies chuck all sorts out of my borders onto the grass or gravel paths, but I  love having them. They're more inportant to me than the tidiness of the surrounds.
    An alternative would be a layer of gravel.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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