Landscape fabric is often installed in gardens with persistent weed issues; the widespread barrier prevents weed seeds from germinating and sprouting. This fabric allows you to retain a neat garden appearance while permitting natural rainfall to permeate the soil below. Sand applications in the garden are endless, from walkway paver installations to desert landscape designs. Landscape fabric will not let sand through as long as the material has low permeability.
Each landscape fabric manufacturer creates different materials with varying permeability based on the garden application; they are clearly labelled so you can choose the correct material for your project. For example, fabric meant for weed suppression is often designed as a spun bond material. Water flows easily through the tiny openings, based on their manufactured size. Woven fabrics, however, tend to have a tighter configuration that improves overall strength. Use these fabrics with sand to avoid any grains from mixing in nearby soil.
Lightweight, sandy soil tends to flow with water, especially during heavy rains; you may lose a lot of soil to runoff if you have a desert landscape. Spread landscape fabric across your sandy soil, and cover it with more sand and rocks to create a realistic desert appearance. As you water the garden, moisture filters below the fabric and allows it to remain slightly longer than normal for maximum root uptake. However, do not overwater desert plants. Fabrics may hinder evaporation during excessive irrigation, causing root rot and decay.
Landscape fabric is a practical and inexpensive base for a walkway paver project. Pavers, or stepping stones, are often installed on sand bases that naturally hold the blocks in place; you vibrate the pavers into the sand rather than adhering them together with concrete. This sand base, however, can easily sink into the ground over time and cause widespread paver damage. Spread fabric down on leveled ground before applying the sand base. Sand does not move through woven fabric and stops paver damage with proper installation.
If you install a sandbox, you do not want the sand to work its way into the soil. Use landscape fabric as a base to hold the sand in place. It also provides a weed barrier while allowing rainfall to trickle through the dense sand pile. Typically, you build wood walls directly on the fabric to hold it; pin the fabric down with stakes to prevent shifting during installation. Although fabrics are commonly treated with ultraviolet-resistant sealants, fill the sandbox with enough sand to cover the base material. Fabrics can break down over time, and sunlight exposure is a main culprit.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images