The tedious task of getting unwanted weeds under control is a nuisance every landscaper has had to deal with. Weed control is fundamental to make sure every landscaping project stays clean and tidy, with no unwanted plant growth. Weeds spread quickly and grow rapidly making them difficult to manage. Traditional physical methods of weed control require time and attention and aren’t very efficient. Glysophate weed killers have become popular over the years. However using glyphosates clearly involves the introduction of unnatural chemicals to the environment which can enter the soils and any water run-off. Several countries around the world have either banned or have placed restrictions on the use of glysophates for reasons related to human health risks.
PREVENT WEEDS FROM GROWING
Using impermeable geomembranes and permeable fabrics is an alternative approach to effective weed management. Geomembranes & fabrics blanket to the ground horizontally to effectively kill any plants by removing their access to UV light.
Using impermeable geomembranes vertically is commonplace to prevent roots from spreading but when placed horizontally they will obviously restrict water supply to the underlying soil and roots of the plants that you do wish to thrive. That water is also likely to pool on top of the geomembrane, potentially creating other issues. Furthermore, impermeable membranes are ultimately likely to cause unhealthy anaerobic soil conditions thereby restricting vital microbial activity.
Specially designed permeable weed fabrics overcome the above issues by allowing air and water to pass through whilst still blocking UV and thereby controlling weed development and growth. TCS Geotechnics offers a range of permeable weed fabrics that will preserve a healthy environment for your plants, allowing them to flourish, whilst controlling any weeds. Furthermore, these weed fabrics are inert, so they are not introducing harmful chemicals to the soil and groundwater and are not deleterious to human health.
WEED BARRIERS FOR BASIC WEED SPECIES
TCS Geotechnics supply two high-quality permeable weed control fabrics that are designed to be used in landscaping applications and will effectively inhibit the growth of most basic UK weed species. Terram weed guard and DuPont™ Plantex® Gold are high-quality products that are favoured by professional landscape contractors. These products are considerably more robust and durable than the much lighter weight fabrics offered in many DIY stores. For example DuPont™ Plantex® Gold is designed to have a service life of 25 years if buried and protected from UV light and, even if permanently exposed to UV light, it is designed for a service life of 3 years.
WEED BARRIER FOR INVASIVE WEED SPECIES
Standard weed fabrics are not designed to cope with the aggressive growth of invasive weed species like Bamboo, Japanese Knotweed, and Himalayan Balsam. TCS Geotechnics offers a high-grade and superior strength geotextile designed specifically to control invasive plant species called Plantex Platinium. Platinium is permeable to both air and water so can be placed horizontally over any areas of invasive weeds. The specialist weed barrier is installed beyond the maximum growth radius of any plants thereby denying the opportunity for those plants to reach the surface and the light and air they require to survive. With laterally spreading shoots, the rhizomes aren’t able to break through to the surface and the plant will become dormant and will eventually die. This not only controls the growth and spread of the plant but negates the requirement to remove any contaminated soil from the site. This is a key advantage as soil containing Japanese Knotweed fragments is classified as Hazardous and can only be taken at a limited number of waste facilities, rendering disposal a very expensive operation.
CONTAINMENT OF CONTAMINATED LAND
For reasons already given, containment of any invasive weed contaminated soil on-site is often desirable. Even if plants have been treated with glyphosate there remains a strong possibility that enough live material may exist to regenerate and hence the soil is still a risk and will be treated as hazardous. The creation of a containment cell using Plantex Platinium as a cap and Plantex RootProtector for the sides will mean that the cell is water and air permeable and will not therefore adversely affect the local ground conditions. Constructing the same type of cell from impermeable barriers may lead to significant issues with trapped and ponding water and trapped gas.