Asked on Jun 06, 2014

Can you use old carpet as weed mat in the garden?

by Carole

Has anyone tried using old carpet as weed mat for their garden? If so, how successful was it and were there any drainage issues. Thanks in advance!

Best weed killer around!

Nip weeds in the bud with this Roundup weed killer that Amazon reviewers swear by!

  16 answers
  • Terri Lewis Lyons Terri Lewis Lyons on Jun 06, 2014
    yes, my husband is a flooring installer and we have used it successfully. I would suggest using some kind of weed killer first then carpet. No drainage issues.
    • Wwc49080547 Wwc49080547 on May 23, 2020

      Thank you Terri, what about pests and other nasty creatures. Did you cover it mulch

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 06, 2014
    WOW! I had not see this before! But when you see that there is a product that is rubber mulch, you have to ask, "why not old carpet?"
  • Carole Carole on Jun 06, 2014
    Thanks so much, I want to make some flower beds but we have weeds coming up all over at present and using wood chip mulch to suppress them. If we make flower beds, the mulch will need to go so we can bring in some good soil as we are on thin sandy layer over rocks here in the mountains.
  • Michelle W Michelle W on Jun 06, 2014
    Hi Carole, I have seen carpet used as weed mat around native plantings in gullys etc and it works really well, but not so much in a home garden. I think the most important thing would be perhaps to use a wool carpet, rather than nylon as you might find it could have chemicals leaching into the soil.
    • Carole Carole on Jun 06, 2014
      @Michelle W Thanks for the advice Michelle. We have a large bush garden and as yet to make any flower beds as such.
  • Janice R Janice R on Jun 06, 2014
    my father in law used old carpet to line the rows in his garden, it was a graet way to hold off the weeds
  • Cindy Trobaugh Cindy Trobaugh on Jun 06, 2014
    Work great for Us..Spray the weeds first then lay down...:)
  • Ryan Ryan on Jun 06, 2014
    If you have less than nice weather like we do here in the UK, just remember when you come to move it and its been raining a lot, that carpet could be heavy to shift and get rid of depending on the size! If you can get black plastic bags, they work. Split them open and peg them down. Easy to move after.
  • Starr Pease Starr Pease on Jun 06, 2014
    I had a problem with weeds coming up under a Meyer Lemon and climbing rose. Difficult to reach to pull weeds. I cleared the area and laid down pieces from my new carpet installation. Added wood mulch. No more weeds... very clean. Drainage was easy. Have you ever spilled something on your carpet and it went straight through? Same difference.
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Jun 07, 2014
    Sorry guys, but I'd be very reluctant to use carpet in my garden, especially around vegetables, since you have no way of determining what the carpet is made of, nor what was used in it's manufacture. Cardboard or layers of black and white newspaper work very well and are not so dangerous to either you or the environment.
  • I have to agree with Catherine. Carpet belongs in the house. Sorry:(
  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Jun 07, 2014
    I agree. We really only want organic/natural products near the food we will be eating. You can smother weeds/grass using cardboard first and then inches of bark chip. Join Back to Eden Gardening group for all the details. I'm a member and have learned a lot.
  • Vicki Vicki on Jun 07, 2014
    I do use old carpet among the fence with pine straw to cover the old carpets but will remove old pine straw to cover nice pea size beige rocks over the old carpets. be sure no pets on those old carpets or they will flock to spray over those old carpets that had dogs or cats. that is why I prefer old carpets that has no dogs or cats.
  • Mtddts Mtddts on Aug 29, 2015
    my worry would be mold.
  • Nee49345721 Nee49345721 on Jul 26, 2020

    my Neighbor put it it and it stinks after two weeks, I cannot even stand near it, it’s that bad😖

  • Teri Miles Teri Miles on Jun 05, 2023

    I have been using old carpet in my vegetable garden as a weed barrier for years and I love it. It is easy to move around, rarely gets blown away by the wind even without staking or weights and is comfortable to sit on when planting, weeding or harvesting. You don't have to weed before placing the carpet. Weeds die when covered. I kill weeds all the time by covering with carpet. Saves lots of time and energy. I use drip lines so the water is added under the carpet so I'm not sure about watering on top of the carpet. When I plant carrots, I sow the seeds, water the soil well, place carpet over the whole area then water over the carpet until it's saturated. After about a week, I start peeking under a corner daily until I see tiny carrots sprouting then remove the carpet. I have great success with this planting method. Last year I harvested about 350 lbs of carrots. Because the seeds are so tiny and planted so shallow its difficult to keep them moist consistently long enough in our dry, desert climate. Carpet is worth its weight in gold. I use it mostly on the pathways where I walk. It sometimes gets blown by the wind when it hasn't been there long but after it gets wet and sticks to the soil it stays in place. A little tug when you're ready to move it and it releases from the soil easily. Underneath there are zero weeds and lots of good worms and bugs. I plant multiple blocks of corn in succession plantings every 2-3 weeks. I cover the area until time to plant and when I pull back the carpet at planting time, it is usually weed free and ready to go. I think weed seeds probably sprout under there and die because my patch, done this way, needs very little weeding the rest of the summer. After I harvest something and there is a bare spot, I just throw on a small scrap to cover until I'm ready to plant something else. The plant matter does and decomposes under the carpet so it helps with composting as well. Carpet is the best secret to success in the garden I've ever found. I absolutely love it! And it's free!!!

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 07, 2023

    I have used this and it works well. About 20 years ago when we replaced our carpet I used the old carpet as a form of weed control outside of our grilling area. Dug down about 3 inches all the way around that area. Laid down the old carpet cut to size. It allows the water to pass thru and has kept that area almost weed free for over 2 decades now. But if there are a few weeds to pop up remove them immediately.