How successful is using cardboard (free) vs black weed material?


I want to rid my back lawn of grass and cover with pebbles and stones around flower beds and paths. How is this done and can I cover with cardboard prior to adding pebbles etc?

  5 answers
  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Dec 11, 2018

    Brenda - last year I laid down newspaper before putting down pebbles. I overlapped the sheets and it worked great as a weed barrier!

  • Em Em on Dec 11, 2018

    Both cardboard and newspaper work well for a time. Thick layers of newspaper soaked in a tub overnight give good base. However both will decay in a short period of time. The weed barrier you buy in the store is not that great either. It lets in light and weeds grow underneath it if not totally covered. Don't waste your money. It is thin and tears easily. Go the extra few dollars and buy the contractor grade weed barrier. It lasts years longer! I have used all of these methods. The contractor grade is even tougher to cut to put plants in so you know it won't let weeds through.

    • Brenda Brenda on Dec 11, 2018

      thankyou so much, will definitely use the contractor weed barrier

  • on Dec 11, 2018

    We've also done the newspaper trick. I'd assume it would be similar to cardboard. It does hold up well for a season or two, but that's it.

    We now only use landscape fabric. For the price, you'll get at least 5 years of weed barrier - some of ours are approaching a decade and just showing weed issues now.

  • Em Em on Dec 11, 2018

    p.s. I have heard people have reasonable success with old sheets. Go to your local thrift shop and snatch up sheets when they have sale days. Layer two if you REALLY want them to last. It takes years for cloth to disintrigate.

  • Within the Grove Within the Grove on Dec 12, 2018

    I've tried both and honestly they both worked the same for me! Kept weeds out for about a year and then weeds started growing through. It was in an area that stayed damp so that could have something to do with it. Looking forward to hearing what you try!