Skip to Content

Can You Use a Tarp as a Weed Barrier? Will It Work?

You may be wondering how to keep weeds out of your garden in the most effective way possible. Probably because you do not want to use a herbicide or you just want a more effective but less harmful way.  One option you may be looking at is to use a tarp. But can you use a tarp as a weed barrier, and will it work?

You can use a tarp as a weed barrier. This is an exceptionally great option if you are looking to cover a larger area for a garden. After laying down the tarp you can then add mulch or stones for a more scenic garden.

This may leave you wondering if any weeds can grow through or how long a tarp can take to kill the weeds that are underneath. This article is full of information about tarps as a weed barrier and what a tarp can be used for.

Can Weeds Grow Through Tarp?

Essentially you want your tarp to protect your garden from weeds and prevent any growth. The good news is that tarps are effective at preventing weeds from growing in your garden. However, there may be a few weeds that tend to pop up even with the tarp as a barrier.

Sometimes you need to cut holes in your tarp to allow for water and air to get to plant roots. This can cause tears and risk the chances of weeds growing around your plants, but not throughout your garden.

It is also possible for weed seeds to be carried via wind and animals. This is going to create weed growth in odd areas and typically can just be pulled out when seen.

Here’s a cool video showing how tarps work as a weed barrier:

Check out these Professional Quality Weed Barrier and Weed Barrier Stakes from Amazon to see the most current selection and pricing.

How Long Does It Take for A Tarp to Kill Weeds?

When you are planning your garden and what to plant, the last thing you want to do is wait for the weeds to die out. Using a tarp is a great way to block any weed growth, but it can take some time to kill all the weeds that are underneath. (source:

For the most effective time for weeds to be killed when using a tarp, you should wait at least three weeks. That is taking into consideration that your garden has shorter grass or has been cut. The longer grass and weeds can cause the time to take longer.

Of course, the longer you wait the better when it comes to ensuring that there are no weed growth and that existing weeds are dried out. Because tarps are great barriers that prevent sunlight, air flow, and water from getting into the soil, picking the right tarp can determine if you need to give more attention to your garden.

Will Blue Tarp Kill Weeds?

You may be wondering what type of tarps to get for weed prevention. There are so many colors that you can ultimately choose form but what is the best color, and can you use blue tarps to kill out weeds?

There is an increased chance that weeds will still grow if using a blue tarp.

The reason behind this is because one of the main reasons that weeds can’t grow underneath a tarp is because there is no sunlight. Weeds need sunlight to grow and tarps are a great barrier between the weeds and the light.

If you opt to use a blue tarp for weed prevention, there is an increased chance that the sunlight is not being blocked fully and allows the weeds to grow underneath.

This can cause them to poke through little holes that are present or allow even further growth that will need to eventually be maintained or the tarp to be replaced.

When purchasing a tarp, you will need to choose a tarp that is a dark color like black or even a dark grey to allow the optimum coverage from the sun. This will reduce and prevent weeds from growing and can keep your tarp from needing to be replaced and your garden from being overridden.

Can I Use a Tarp for Landscaping?

In theory, using a tarp for landscaping can be a great possibility. There are both positives and negatives to using tarps as landscaping.

One thing that gives tarps a negative effect on your garden is that they do not allow for ample water supply to get to your plants. Since tarps are around and essentially over your plants, the water can not drain through onto the ground below and be absorbed by the plants roots.

There is a way to reduce this. Simply placing edges of the tarp next to the plant and creating a barrier instead of placing the tarp over the plants or cutting a hole out to place plants. This helps aid in allowing water and nutrients into the plants to absorb.

A positive impact that tarps can have for landscaping is that they are easier to use and can cover larger ground. They are also effective in killing grass and weeds that are otherwise unwanted in those specific areas.

Tarps generally are great for protecting soil and plants in damaging weather. They are great as a cover for frosts and snow to aid in preparing the ground for planting seasons as well as for gardens around your yard.

Check out these Professional Quality Weed Barrier and Weed Barrier Stakes from Amazon to see the most current selection and pricing.


When it comes to tarps, they can be used for a vast number of things. Using a black or dark tarp will prevent any sunlight from reaching any weeds and weed seeds to prevent growth. The darker the tarp is the better weed growth is halted.

Since weeds generally use sunlight to create growth, black tarps can decrease this sunlight and kill out any weeds. If the tarp is too light, the sunlight will not be blocked.

When you use a tarp for landscaping there are so many things to keep in mind. One of these being that tarps are great for keeping out water and air supply.

This can be beneficial for reducing weed growth but can alter how your plants grow. You may need to try different placing methods to ensure the correct coverage but also give room for an adequate amount to reach your plants.

Sharing is caring!