I had drastically scaled down the farm that year and was desperate for ways to reduce labour with weeding. Before using fabric, we spent at least 10 man hours of labour a week, managing weeds. This was no longer practical for me because I reduced my farm down to 1.5 people at this time and could not spend any significant time on this task.
The first way I started using fabrics was to cover the perimeter area of all my bed blocks. This reduced all the close by weed pressure, but also eliminated the need to maintain it.
Then we started making fabric templates for all beds that had transplants that could be planted at 6 inch centres or more.
Then, we took it further by cutting strips into walkways. One disclaimer on walkways, it works best if you have paths that are 12 inches or more, and it’s a good idea to move the fabrics at the end of each season. Meaning, take them off, shake off the dirt, repress your beds, then put them back. If you don’t, they will eventually get covered in dirt from your beds and they’re start growing weeds, which defeats the whole purpose of them.
Hold down your fabrics with landscape U-shaped pins. On every 3 feet.
The most recent way we use fabrics is to temporarily cover beds that are cropped out, but won’t be replanted for a week or so. This starts the decomposition process early and keeps weeds under control. Having about 5-10 pieces, cut to your standard bed length is really handy.
We now prefer 4 foot wide fabrics for any bed covers.