Recently I was watching one of the morning shows in my area and they had a garden person featured who did not think using weed mat was such a great idea. This person’s opinion was that the weed mat would prevent the bio-degraded organic material from percolating down to the root system of the plants in the flower bed. I disagree with part of this. As the organic material bio-degrades in to the soil, the nutrients will still percolate down to the root system. As the nutients mix with the water, they are buffered and carried down to the root system of the plants, just like worm tea.
The weed mat will prevent you from turning the soil over and mixing in the bio- degraded material into the soil, but the tradeoff is that you will have a great reduction of weeds in your flower bed. I think that this tradeoff is well worth it. I try to set my flower garden up so that there is less labor involved in caring for it. Using the weed mat is a great help in doing this. Before putting the weed mat down, I did condition the soil with a quality soil conditioner. On the West Coast, our flower beds are active all year long. Since there is no resting period our soil needs nutrients on a regular basis. The organic nutrients area valuable source of food for the plants and even with the weed mat, these nutrients will make their way down to the root system of the plants in your flower bed.
I think that the benefits of the weed mat far out way any disadvantages. However, if you feel up to it and want to be in your flower garden every weekend or every day off that you have, do not use the weed mat and let those weed seeds propagate to their hearts content.
This way, you will always have more work to do than you will have time for. For me, I am trying to make my yard easier to take care of and create less work for myself. That is one of the great things about this wonderful country of ours. We have the freedom to choose.
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