CHOICE membership

Weed Mat safety


#1

Can anyone recommend a weed mat product?

I have been looking at two products advertised on:
https://www.shadeaustralia.com.au/weed-mat-premium
http://www.weedgunnel.com.au/

Weedgunnel says their product is certified (organic) and has been tested for toxins and heavy metal release by Queensland University.

I recently emailed Australian Organic for information on Weedgunnel’s certification as they do not appear to be on their database:
http://aco.net.au/Pages/Search/SearchProducts.aspx

I also emailed Shade Australia about the makeup of their product but they have not responded.

To that end, ha anyone looked into weedmat safety or know if there are any concerns related to their toxicity?

Cheers
Alicia


#3

Every weedmat I have seen is plastic, which breaks down over time due to UV radiation, heat and cold, creating millions of pieces of microplastics, which is bad news environmentaly. I don’t know what your planned use for it is, but IMHO it is much better to use thick mulch to suppress weeds, instead of plastic matting.


#4

Is the purpose for a garden or for gravel overlay or something else?

All my experiences with the plastic woven mats are very negative and as @gordon suggests mulch works well without adding all those micro plastics to the future environment.
There are all sorts of weeds that find their way through the woven plastic. It only makes them harder to pull out when they come up. I have fellow land care members who use the jute or equivalent eco mats to suppress weeds around planting’s, as they do break down over time.

For garden beds I now just use loads of mulch and a little hand weeding. I still use initially if needed a herbicide mix on selected grasses and let them expire first to minimise push through. There are some here that grow to 4m high.

If it is to be a paved area there are plenty of environmentally unsound and poor solutions. My one preferred solution, is to remove the top soil layer for at least 15cm, to remove all the seed rich organic layer. It’s full of microorganisms and too valuable to waste. If you turn it over regularily just like compost you can slowly exhaust the seed bank if it is weed prone to use elsewhere.

Replace the top soil with at least 10cm - 15cm thick layer of well compacted road base, then overlay with at least 5cm of crushed rock, paving etc. the greater the depth the better. How deep you go with the road base depends on the soil you are working on and what you are going to be using it for.

For foot only pathways in shaded areas, hand weeding first and a generous layer of sawdust or fine wood chip works well too.


#5

I am planting along a fence line of around 200m. It has some really tough couch grass. I had a friend turn over the soil with his ‘machinery’ and am now looking at how best I can avoid grass / retain water along the same.

Mulch is too expensive and therefore looking at other options.

Thank you for all your comments and advice - I will look into Jute matting. If this fails I guess wood chips is another option.

Cheers
Alicia