Weed Suppressant Fabric

I need to try and stop my neighbour's invasive shrub, which I think is a Spirea, from sending suckers under the fence and into my garden. The suckers are very difficult to dug up, and digging a trench and lining it with plastic only worked for a year, so I am desperate. Neighbour won't do anything and shrub is huge spreading all along his fence. Help! Would weed suppressant fabric help?


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 12,418

    I would have suggested digging a trench and lining with plastic or planks of wood, or a strip of metal. I'm surprised the plastic didn't work.

    I'm afraid that weed suppressant fabric wouldn't be strong enough. The roots would go under it then suckers would grow up lifting the fabric up. That happened to me with Spirea Billardii.

  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 5,871

    Hi Clancy,

    My experiences with weed suppressant fabric have been a mixed bag. It sounds brilliant in principle but the reality seldom matches up. I doubt if it would work in your situation...it certainly didn't with my neighbours trees.

    It sounds as though the plant is really very invasive and needs something quite drastic done. I hope it's not near any foundations or there could be serious problems. 

    What happened to the plastic? Did the plant penetrate it or did it break down? I have heard of people having to use metal plates but that's a bit drastic. We're getting closer to engineering with that. I'm sure someone will have come across this problem before and will be able to suggest a more permanent fix.

    It's also worth noting that it will probably take your neighbour's fence with it if it's that much of a thug. He'll have to do something then!

    Good Luck

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,480

    I would buy some wriggly tin sheets and bury them, should work for 10-15 years

  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 5,871

    We call it wrinkly tin around these parts.

    I knew I'd seen it mentioned before. Good call treehugger.

    I had visions of 3/4" plate!!!! Always with the over-engineering! image

  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 495

    Depends how much you like your neighbour!

    1. You could line your trench with paving slabs instead.  Or a military-grade flooring sheet.

    2. There's nothing to stop you putting weed killer down to kill off the suckers, it may happen to take the entire plant with it but what can you do ;-) *

    3. Just cut off the suckers as they appear, there really can't be that many of them!

  • Clancy22Clancy22 Posts: 14

    Thanks to all of you for replying. I've tried killing the suckers with a strong weed killer-didn't work. It just seemed to stimulate more growth! I do cut them as far along the roots as I can, but they are appearing further and further into my garden. Thanks for the comments about weed suppressant fabric though. I won't waste my time and money trying it!  Guess I'll just have to keep cutting them off as they appear however tedious and short term It is!

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