Laying A Weed Control Membrane

February 4, 2020
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If you’re thinking of laying a new gravel driveway, path or decorative border, the last thing you want is for the gravel to become dirty and for weeds to grow through. Our high quality woven weed control membranes are perfect for preventing weeds and unwanted growth and for keeping gravel clean and in place.

dove grey 20mm before

Step 1 – Choosing the correct membrane for the job:

You can purchase membranes in different thicknesses. For light domestic projects such as beds and borders or area with light footfall the thinner varieties are a good option. They’re easier to cut to your desired shape and size and help to keep the soil beneath healthy by allowing water and air permeability and will retain moisture levels without drowning plants.

membrane blog cutting to size

In areas which will take heavy footfall or where a sharp angular gravel will go, thicker membranes are available. Although these are more resistant to damage and allow the needed nutrients and water to pass through, they are harder to cut and shape.

membrane close up

Although weed control membranes are extremely effective at reducing unwanted growth, they do not eliminate the need for surface weeding from such things as seeds dropped from birds. In areas prone to very invasive or aggressive weeds/grasses such as Mare’s Tail, Bindweed, Crocosmia, Ground Elder, Couch Grass, nettles and brambles apply a weedkiller first and a double layer of membrane.

Our woven geo fabric Polypropylene membranes are the perfect thickness for all gardening and landscaping jobs, thin enough to cut and shape but thick enough to be durable and long lasting. The woven geotextile fabric can be used for weed suppression, ground stabilisation in both soft and hard landscaping schemes and can be used beneath MOT Type 1 or 3 aggregate, sharp/angular stone and gravel, including areas subject to pedestrian or vehicular traffic such as pathways, patios and driveways. Our membranes are available in a variety of sizes: 1m x 15m, 50m &, or alternatively, 2m x 10m, 20m, 50m & 100mm.

Pix: Shaun Flannery/ COPYRIGHT PICTURE>>SHAUN FLANNERY>01302-570814>>07778315553>> 16th January 2019 Gravelmaster - Suburban Membrane/pegsStep 2 – Clearing the area:

Prepare the space by strimming down any existing vegetation down to ground level, taking care to remove short stems and sharps rocks which could pierce the fabric, for areas where the membrane will be used as a weed control membrane. If the membrane is going to be used as a ground stabiliser for block paving or patios, excavate soil to the required depth allowing sufficient room for a layer of sub-base, a base course layer and the final surface finish. Spray areas prone to weeds with a subtle weedkiller.

Step 3 – Laying the fabric:

Lay out the fabric to entirely cover the area and overlap any joints by a minimum of 100mm for suppressing weeds and 300mm for ground stabilisation, keeping as few overlaps as possible. Secure in place using our Plastic Membrane Fixing Pegs or the Galvanised Steel Weed Membrane Pegs by ‘spitting’ or ‘trenching’ the membrane 100-150mm into the soil. It is generally recommended that you use 1 peg for every 1m around the edges of the weed barrier, and along any overlapping edges. Cut away any excess fabric once the membrane is secured.

Membrane blog plastic and steel pegsStep 4 – Laying the surface:

The membrane can then be covered with your chosen surface or gravel. For pathways we recommend using a gravel between 14mm and 20mm at a depth of 50mm, for driveways use a 20mm gravel at a depth of 50mm. Anything smaller than 20mm will breakdown quicker under the weight of cars and will get stuck tyre treads.

If the area is to be a patio, you are now ready to lay the next layers, sub-base and base layer, before the final surface finish can be laid.

Membrane blog


Should you need any help or advice, contact us on 0330 058 5068 8am-5pm. We love receiving customer photographs, if you have any tips for laying a membrane or have completed this job yourself, send us a photo to  and we will feature it on our social media pages.

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