Q: I’d like to make the irrigated flower beds at the school where I work more low maintenance. The pine straw mulch is very thin so I will remove it and then install weed barrier fabric and new pine straw. Is my plan the proper way to go?
A: The weed barrier fabric will work fine ^IF^ you remember to remove and replace the straw on it ^every^ year. Otherwise the irrigation system will cause the straw to decompose rapidly, creating a layer of compost on top of the fabric. Weed seeds will germinate in the compost and you’ll be back to square one. Make it a yearly parent project to remove the straw, sweep off the fabric and replace with fresh mulch.