For so many of us, garden paths, patios and other paved areas form important parts of our garden. Yet they can all-too-often look below their best and become a drain on our resources and time. That's right, we are talking about those pesky garden weeds that love to grow between our paving slabs, concrete, bricks and other ground clockwork. Using a chemical-based weedkiller may seem like the best option, but even if you do manage to kill the entire plant you won't prevent more from growing and you'll be engaged in on ongoing battle, while cutting them with a strimmer is never a final solution.
Using weed control fabric prevents not only the current weeds, but also future weeds appearing in the cracks of your paving slabs. In this article we'll be taking you through a quick step by step guide, so you can do the job once and then you can get on with your life and enjoy your garden.
In the above picture we can see these slabs are overrun by weeds; the weeds have been treated several times with potent weedkillers yet keep coming back. Here is our solution:1
Remove the Paving/Slabs
In most cases this will be a straight forward process and can usually be achieved be levering the slab with a shovel. Ensure you take care when lifting any heavy slabs.2
Number the slabs
This is an optional step, but it's a good idea to number the slabs with some chalk so that they go back in the same way they came out. This is particularly important with irregular slabs such as the ones pictures.3
Prepare the ground
You'll now be left with the bare ground, which you'll need to make level before laying the weed control fabric. Although weed control fabric can be laid directly onto weeds, in cases such as the one pictured the weeds will need to be removed to provide an even surface for the fabric to be laid on. You can also add some soil or sand to level the surface further if required.4
Lay the fabric
It's now time to lay the fabric - this is when Polyfast comes into it's own as we provide rolls and custom sizes perfect for your job. Fabric purchased elsewhere will need to be cut several times and patched together, resulting in waste and excessive joins, which may be vulnerable to weeds coming through. You can use the chalk from earlier to now mark where you'll need to trim the fabric if needed. It's a good idea to aim to have the fabric slightly smaller than the area it's covering to prevent edges poking through.5
Cut the fabric
We can now cut the fabric with scissors - our fabric features handy guides that make it easy to cut in a straight line, and although our fabric is tough it remains easy to cut.6
Get it snug
You can now low the fabric down and make sure it's a good fit - remember that we don't want any fabric poking through the edges once the slabs are laid again.7
Peg if required
You may wish to secure the fabric if required. In our example we chose to use pegs as the slabs are heavy and did not want the fabric to be moved when placing them down. Simply use a rubber mallet to gently tap them in (our pegs are purpose-made galvanised steel, helping prevent them from breaking as easily as plastic pegs, or rusting in wet weather). In the example above we also used a staple gun to secure the fabric to the edge of the timber to help prevent gaps but this is an optional step and in most cases won't be required.8
It's now time to replace your slabs, taking note of any ordering you labelled them with earlier. You'll most likely want to fill the gaps between your slabs with sand (weed-preventative sand is available) by sweeping it over your slabs and then sweeping away the excess.
You're done! You can now enjoy a weed-free paving area without the need for regular maintenance.