Weeds are the bane of many a gardener’s life, and if you don’t want to spend time pulling them up but are reluctant to turn to chemicals, a simple and ecological solution is to lay a membrane.
The problem is, there are a lot to choose from, and finding the right one can be tricky. So to help, here are our top picks for best weed membrane to ensure you find the one that’s best suited to your needs.
The Best Weed Membrane on UK Market 2021
1. ANSIO Weed Membrane
This weed membrane from Ansio is a great option for controlling weeds in your garden, allowing you to grow only the things you want. It’s easy to cut – you can do it with nothing more than just a pair of scissors or a Stanley knife – but at the same time, it won’t tear easily.
We like the way it’s water permeable, which is important because you don’t want rainwater to collect on top. It will also allow nutrients to pass through, reaching the soil below and feeding your plants. It’s air-permeable too, so it will allow oxygen through for your plants to breathe.
Another plus is that it’s UV-stabilised, so it isn’t prone to biodegradation in sunlight, and it’s an all-round tough and rugged membrane making this a solution you can rely on.
That said, the edges can sometimes become frayed, so you need to be careful when you cut it and also while you lay it – although once in place, this will usually be less of a problem, especially if covered by a layer of soil, stones or similar.
A more minor gripe is the fact that this membrane comes folded rather than rolled, which some people may find less convenient to work with. However, most people will still manage, and you can always unfold it and roll it up yourself, so this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
Overall, a solid option if you need a membrane to help control the weeds in your garden. It’s available in a range of sizes and sells for a very reasonable price, making this an option that’s well worth considering.
- Easy to cut – just use scissors or a Stanley knife
- Water permeable – allows water and nutrients to pass through
- Breathable material – will let air through for your plants to breathe
- Tough and heavy-duty – won’t tear easily
- UV-stabilised – prevents biodegradation
- Can fray at the edges – be careful when cutting and laying
- Comes folded – less convenient than if rolled
2. GroundMaster Heavy Duty Weed Control Membrane
Here’s another solid pick if you’re looking for a simple, effective and affordable weed membrane for your garden. It’s easy to work with and is suitable for a range of different applications.
Since you can cut it with a small knife or even a pair of scissors, it’s very simple to create any shapes or sizes you need – and the material itself is available in a range of different size options.
For the price, it’s a rugged and durable membrane, and it’s versatile too. It’s even suitable for walking on, so you can lay it in areas that see a certain amount of foot traffic.
The membrane is porous, so it won’t cause rainwater to pool on top, and since it’s made of environmentally-friendly spun-bonded polypropylene, it’s a good ecological option too.
On the downside, this membrane also suffers from the same minor issues as the membrane we just looked at above.
Since it arrives folded, it’s a bit more awkward to work with, and you may find annoying creases in the material once you unfold it.
Also, the edges are prone to fraying, so you need to be careful not to make the problem worse while cutting it and fitting it in place.
However, despite these slight annoyances, this is still a product that does exactly what it’s designed for, so if you’re looking for a versatile weed membrane that sells at a very reasonable price point, this is an option that should be on your radar.
- Versatile solution – suitable for a range of uses
- Porous material – doesn’t cause water to pool
- Environmentally friendly material – sound ecological choice
- Easy to cut – create the shapes and sizes you need
- Suitable to walk on – can use in areas that see some foot traffic
- Arrives folded – may have annoying creases
- Edges prone to fraying – need to pay attention when preparing it
3. Pro-Tec Weed control membrane
If you’re looking for a weed membrane and you require something that’s particularly heavy-duty, this could be just what you need. Rated at 125GSM, it’s thicker than a lot of other options, so you know you’re buying a quality product.
In fact, the manufacturer is so confident with how rugged it is, they claim it will last around 40 years. Furthermore, it allows water and nutrients to pass through while smothering weeds and preventing them from becoming established, making it an effective weed-killing solution.
One thing we appreciate here is that it comes on a roll rather than being folded – this makes it easier to work with, and you don’t have to worry about smoothing out any annoying creases.
The main negative to point out here is that this product is slightly more expensive than some comparable items – although it doesn’t cost a huge amount more, and since it’s of superior quality, most people won’t mind the difference in price.
Also, like many other membranes, this one can fray when you cut it – but in this case, it’s not so bad, so it’s something that’s not difficult to put up with.
In sum, a slightly more expensive option but one that represents great value for money thanks to its higher quality. It’s easy to work with and will last practically forever, making it a weed membrane that most people will be happy with.
- Thick and heavy-duty – 125GSM
- Designed to last – manufacturer claims around up to 40 years
- Allows water and nutrients to pass thhrough – no puddling on top
- Comes in a roll – easier to work with
- Effective at preventing weeds – doesn’t let them grow
- Higher price – although still great value
- Can fray – but probably not as badly as many other brands
4. FIXKIT Heavy Duty Weed Membrane
For those who need an affordable, versatile weed membrane for a range of uses, this is another product that should be of interest. It’s easy to cut to the desired size, making it simple to work with, and it’s also resistant to tears, making it rugged and durable.
One thing we like about this membrane is that it’s highly effective at stopping weeds from growing, partly due to its ability to prevent UV from penetrating the material. It’s also breathable, so it won’t suffocate the plants you are trying to grow.
Furthermore, although it is permeable, it reduces the rate of evaporation, keeping the soil moist for longer and giving your plants more time to absorb the water.
That said, its permeability is also one of the drawbacks of this product since it only allows water to drain through slowly. This is fine in normal circumstances, but during periods of heavy rain, you may find that water begins to pool on top.
Also, just like with many other weed membranes, this one can fray at the edges when cut – although one way round this is to burn the edges after cutting it to create a seal.
In short, this is a reliable membrane that does a great job of preventing weeds from growing and that’s suitable for a range of uses. It might not be the best pick if you’re worried about water collecting on top, but for most other uses, at this kind of price, it could be a smart pick.
- Great at stopping weeds – won’t allow them to grow
- Easy to work with – simple to cut into shape
- Rugged and tough – resistant to tearing
- Breathable material – won’t suffocate your plants
- Keeps moisture trapped – prevents rapid evaporation
- Poor permeability – may have trouble with drainage
- Edges can fray when cut – like a lot of other membranes
5. Dihl Weed Control Membrane
If you’re the kind of person who likes to get great value for money, this is a weed membrane that should appeal. Although it sells at a very reasonable low price, the quality is still more than acceptable, making this product a real bargain.
As with all the best membranes, it’s permeable, meaning water and nutrients will pass through to the soil below – and you won’t need to worry about pools of water building up on this membrane during rainy periods.
This is a weed membrane you can expect to last a long time too since the manufacturer claims it can remain in place for up to 40 years when used with a mulch covering. It’s also fairly heavy-duty for the price, so it shouldn’t rip or tear easily.
The only problems with this membrane are some of the same issues that are common to many other similar products. For one, it comes folded rather than on a roll, so some people will find it less convenient to work with.
Also, the edges tend to fray when cut, but as long as you’re careful while laying it, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem once it’s fitted.
To summarise, another solid pick that does the job it was designed for at an especially attractive price point. So if that sounds like the kind of thing you’re after, this could be just the product you need.
- Great budget option – excellent value for money
- Allows water and nutrients to flow through – won’t cause puddling
- Long-lasting – up to 40 years when used with mulch
- Heavy-duty – won’t rip or tear easily
- Includes lines on the fabric – makes it easier to measure and cut
- Comes folded – most people prefer membrane fabric on rolls
- Edges fray when cut – a common problem with almost all membranes
6. iropro Weed Membrane
This weed membrane from Iropro features a high degree of permeability, giving it good drainage and making it a possible option for areas that see higher levels of rainfall. It allows water and nutrients to pass through, feeding your plants and helping them stay healthy.
Since it’s easy to cut, you can use it for a range of applications – you can customise it to suit your requirements. We also appreciate the fact that it’s supplied on a roll rather than being folded, which makes it more convenient to work with.
It’s made from woven polypropylene and features UV protection, so it’s an environmentally-friendly option as well as being highly effective at preventing weeds from establishing themselves where you don’t want them.
There are no huge problems to report with this product, but we should point out that it is particularly prone to fraying. However, this can easily be dealt with by cutting off the fraying end and burning it to create a seal.
We should also mention that it perhaps isn’t the most heavy-duty option available, but for what it costs, it’s more than acceptable – and having said that, it’s still perfectly strong enough to use in places where it will be walked on frequently.
All in all, this is the kind of product that will appeal to anyone who needs a versatile and effective weed membrane for their garden that sells at an attractive low price. So if you don’t need something made of extra-strong material, it’s an option that should be of interest.
- High level of permeability – gives excellent drainage
- Easy to cut and customise – makes it a versatile fabric
- Supplied on a roll – more convenient than if folded
- Environmentally-friendly material – good ecological choice
- UV-resistant – helps protect against the sun’s rays
- Not the most heavy-duty option – although still rugged enough for most uses
- Frays a lot – need to cut the edges carefully and burn them to seal
7. Wokkol Weed Control Membrane
One of the most important features of a weed control membrane is its ability to block UV rays since this prevents weeds from receiving sunlight and so stops photosynthesis, without which they can’t grow.
In this area, this membrane performs well, and after laying it, you shouldn’t have any more trouble with anything growing beneath it.
Rated at 100GSM, it’s a relatively thick membrane, and it’s also highly resistant to rips and tears, meaning it’s one you can expect to last a long time.
At the same time, it is permeable to both air and water, so it will allow your plants to breathe and drink freely.
Finally, another plus to mention with this product is that, unlike most of the others we’ve seen, it comes with some pegs for installation.
That said, some people might complain that the number of pegs supplied is insufficient – for a large piece of membrane, in reality, you’re going to need more than you receive, so if you want to rely on pegs to hold in place, you’ll probably need to buy some extra ones.
Also, like the majority of membranes, this product has issues with fraying, and small pieces of fabric can drop off when you cut it. However, by cutting carefully and burning to create a seal when you’ve finished, this shouldn’t make it unusable.
This means that, despite its faults, this is another reliable weed membrane that can do a great job of keeping weeds under control while allowing you to grow just the plants you want. And for this reason, this is another product that should be on your list of possibilities.
- Thick membrane – rated at 100GSM
- Blocks UV rays – prevents weeds from photosynthesising
- Permeable for water and air – allows plants to drink and breathe
- Highly tear-resistant – tough and durable
- Includes pegs – for installation
- More pegs would have been appreciated – although still useful to have at least some
- Issues with fraying edges – small threads can come off when cutting it
If you’re in the market for some weed membrane for your garden, you’re probably wondering about the kind of aspects you should be looking at to help you make up your mind – so let’s think about that now.
Rugged and durable
When choosing a weed membrane, you’ll want it to last for more than a few seasons – so you need to choose one that is up to the job.
If you choose a good-quality membrane and cover it in mulch or wood chippings, you can expect it to last anything up to around 40 years, but if you want something with such durability, you need to make sure you don’t buy one of inferior quality.
Related to the ruggedness and durability of a weed membrane is its GSM rating. GSM stands for Grams Per Metre, and it tells you how thick and strong the material is.
A common rating is 100GSM, which would provide you with a good level of thickness – this kind of material should last a long time and stand up to a bit of wear and tear.
Something of only 75GSM would be less rugged, making it more suitable for lighter jobs – but if you need a heavy-duty membrane that will have to stand up to a lot of rough treatment, you are better off opting for something with a GSM rating of 125.
Easy to cut
One of the best things about weed membranes is that they are easy to work with. You simply buy enough to cover the area you need it for and then cut it down to shape.
However, before buying, you should check how easy it is to cut and work with. The best options are membranes that can be cut with just a strong pair of scissors or a Stanley knife but that are still resistant to rips and tears.
Fray-free – and a simple solution
A big problem with lots of weed membranes is that once you cut them, the exposed edge becomes prone to fraying. However, some membranes are worse than others, so you should look for one that won’t fray too much once you start cutting it up.
At the same time, you need to realise that almost any weed membrane will fray to a certain degree, and this is just something you’ll have to expect.
However, when this happens, there is something you can do to solve the problem – if you take a lighter and burn the frayed edges, it will melt the fabric, creating a sealed edge again and preventing it from fraying further.
Water-permeable – and to what degree?
An important aspect to look at when buying weed membrane is whether it is water-permeable – and to what degree.
All weed membranes need to have a certain amount of permeability to allow water to drain through if it rains, but some are more permeable than others.
A high level of permeability will allow water and nutrients to pass through to reach the soil and feed your plants, but if it is less permeable, water will sit on the top in puddles before it is able to drain into the ground.
Another point to consider is the fact that once the moisture reaches the ground, a good membrane should also help slow evaporation, giving you plants more time to absorb the water they need from the soil.
If you want to grow plants beneath the membrane, you should also make sure that it has a certain amount of breathability. Plants need to breathe, and seeds need to be in contact with the air to germinate, so if the membrane is suffocating them, they won’t be able to thrive.
One other key feature of a good weed membrane is its ability to prevent UV rays from penetrating it and reaching the ground.
Weeds need rays from the sun to photosynthesise, without which they will die. This is how a weed membrane stops weeds from growing, but if UV rays can pass through it, you’ll find it isn’t very effective at stopping weeds from taking root and invading your garden.
Plenty of great options to choose from
As you can see, when it comes to weed membranes, there are plenty of interesting options to choose from. If you’ve decided you need a weed membrane for your garden but you’re unsure which to go for, any of the picks in our review would be a great place to start your search.