When most people think of carpet, they think of the material that lines the inside of their home. Yet, for those who enjoy reusing materials, one thought might come to mind – using it outside as a weed barrier. Will it work? Can you successfully use carpet as a weed barrier?
Carpet can be used as an effective weed barrier to kill existing weeds and grass and prevent new weeds from growing. Any type of carpet can be used as a weed barrier. It’s a cheap and efficient option that is slow to degrade and easy to get.
Curious about using carpet as a weed barrier? Then keep reading. Below, you will find all the essential information regarding whether or not you can use carpet as a weed barrier. You’ll also uncover other handy info, such as alternatives for weed barriers and whether you can use carpet as mulch.
If you have some old carpet lying around and don’t know what to do with it, you’ll be happy to know that you can successfully use carpet as a weed barrier.
Carpet acts in the same way a typical fabric weed barrier would. It blocks sunlight from reaching weeds, which stunts their growth. Yet, it allows water to seep through to not destroy the soil underneath.
There are a few significant advantages to using carpet as a weed barrier.
For one, it can be cost-effective. This is especially true if you’re using old carpet from your home that would otherwise be thrown out. However, cheap carpets can be found at certain stores. You can even ask around to see if anyone is planning to get rid of old carpet anytime soon.
Secondly, carpet is super simple to use as a weed barrier. All you need to do is place it down on the area you wish to stop weed growth. There are no tools or equipment necessary. Yet, keep in mind that carpets are a little on the heavy side.
Finally, carpet is highly efficient at suppressing weed growth and won’t degrade anytime soon. In fact, you likely won’t need to replace the carpet for years.
And, by using carpet in your outdoor space, you’re saving it from otherwise being left in a landfill for thousands of years. That said, using carpet is an A+ choice for the environment.
Here’s a cool video showing carpet used to smother areas of a garden:
There are a few drawbacks to using carpet as a weed barrier.
The most significant disadvantage is that carpet gets very grimy over time, especially when presented with moisture. So, after a few months of sitting in your outdoor space, the carpet will likely grow mold and bacteria.
While not harmful, it’s not the most glamorous thought. Luckily, a dirty slab of old carpet won’t stick out like a sore thumb in the outdoor area.
Another issue is that removing the carpet can pose a major challenge – especially if roots have twined through the fibers. Luckily, you shouldn’t need to replace it anytime soon. However, it’s important to note that when the time comes, you might feel like you bit off more than you can chew.
If you look out onto your outdoor space and notice it’s riddled with pesky weeds, you might wonder if you can toss old carpet on top of it and call it a day. Technically, you can. Old carpet can be used to kill weeds.
Old carpet is an excellent choice when it comes to an effective weed barrier. But it’s not the sole solution for hassling weed problems.
There are many other options. Which is deemed the “best” depends on many factors, such as your goals (using biodegradable materials, going with the most efficient barrier, etc.). Here are the top three choices:
One of the most popular options for weed barriers is landscape fabric. This unique fabric is specifically designed to block sunlight from reaching weeds.
Yet, it’s porous enough to allow water to seep through – like carpet. Landscape fabric is impressively successful at blocking weed growth, but it is not biodegradable and must be replaced over time.
Those seeking biodegradable and more attractive solutions should consider wood chips. Wood chips look great in any outdoor space. Yet, it’s not all about their looks.
Wood chips are biodegradable and will provide nutrients to the soil beneath. They also retain moisture and regulate soil temperatures, both of which are highly beneficial to the ground.
If you’re not in a rush and can wait a few weeks (or months), you can use compost. Compost is the most nutrient-dense and environmentally-friendly option out there for weed barriers.
It will provide nutrients to the ground slowly and steadily while blocking weed growth. However, keep in mind that the compost must be fully decomposed before it’s used as a weed barrier.
Carpet can be used as mulch. It is a material that will cover the ground and choke out weeds underneath. Yet, it is porous enough to allow water to seep through the fabric, which is helpful to the soil beneath.
However, unlike other types of mulch, the carpet does not offer any kind of nutritional value to the soil. That said, if you’re looking for mulch that can stop weeds while enhancing the ground, you should choose a different type of mulch, like wood chips or compost.
Before you think about tossing your old carpet, think again. Carpets can be used as a weed barrier. It does an all-star job of choking out weeds, ensuring you don’t end up with ugly and annoying weeds in your outdoor space.
It won’t need to be replaced for several years, but keep in mind that the carpet is not biodegradable and will eventually need replacing.