What To Put Under Deck To Prevent Weeds? 6 Different Options

When you lay a ground-level deck, one frequent problem you might face is wild undergrowth. As much as the deck adds beauty to your home, it requires constant maintenance to remain in a good state. Exposure to rain and sunlight can cause weeds to grow under the deck.

If you are struggling with a similar issue, you might be interested to know how to prevent weeds from spreading?

You can stop weeds from growing underneath the deck by following different methods. One such way is to lay a landscape fabric before installing the deck. You can also add another layer of protection, such as gravel, or go for long-term weed killers. Avoid using plastic sheeting or mulches beneath, and keep a check on your deck to prevent weed growth on time.

A deck is a dream place for many homeowners where they relax with their family and friends. But it can be a pain to deal with weeds peeking through the deck boards. Now, you don’t have to worry anymore as I have got some practical and hundred percent workable solutions for you.

How To Stop Weeds From Growing Under The Deck?

Decks remain a top-ranked option for extending the outdoor space, and there is a valid reason for that. They quickly and easily transform a garden into a fully functional area. However, many homeowners face a recurring problem with decks: weeds growing underneath them.

How To Stop Weeds From Growing Under The Deck?

In an extreme case, they will grow up even between the deck boards and give a shabby and rough appearance. If you do not get rid of them on time, they may cause irreparable damage to the deck for which you paid so much money. In addition, weeds can also attract unwanted insects and animals to the area, making it unbearable to stay there.

Whether you already have a deck installed or planning to have one, there are many ways through which you can prevent the weeds from spreading. I have gathered some of the most effective ones for you below. Let’s take a brief look at them!

1. Place Landscape Fabric On The Ground:

Your best bet to stop the weed from growing is by laying landscape fabric on the surface before installing the deck. It creates a water-permeable barrier that will not allow the weeds to spread wildly. It’s crucial to cover every inch of the ground where you plan to build the deck. Leaving a spare space would be an open invitation for the weeds to take over.

Place Landscape Fabric On The Ground

The landscape fabric does not permit sunlight to reach the weeds and seeds, which means that they will not be able to grow. They are good at stopping even the wildest and most stubborn weeds from spreading.

2. Spread Gravel Over Landscaping Fabric:

Covering the ground under your deck with gravel can make the underneath space look more attractive and neat. However, it alone might not be enough to prevent the weeds from sprouting all over the place. Thus, you need to lay landscape fabric first and spread 3-4 inches of gravel over it afterward to keep the area beneath the deck safe from weeds. Besides, it will also help protect the landscape fabric layered under the deck and prolongs its life.

Also Read: Can You Install Composite Decking In The Winter

3. Avoid Using Plastic Sheeting:

Many people might find plastic sheeting under the deck a good alternative, but it might not work well. When you opt for plastic sheets, there is a high chance that water will start to collect in the form of puddles. As a result, it would turn into a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects and give out an unpleasant smell.

If you want to avoid this happening, it is much better to consider landscape fabric because it allows the rainwater to pass through easily and soak away.

4. Use Long-Lasting Weed Killers:

The real trouble arises when you have already installed a deck and don’t’ know what to do with the growing weed. Taking the entire deck apart to add landscape fabric and gravel can be time-consuming. So instead, you can go for long-lasting weed killers. You only have to apply them once a year, and it will prove effective in keeping the area underneath the deck weed-free.

Use Long-Lasting Weed Killers

5. Say No To Mulches:

It is not wise to use mulches or wood chips under the deck, and there are several reasons for that. While they are inexpensive and organic, they do not last for an extended period. Over time, they tend to break down due to the absorption of rainwater, and as a result, it causes fungal growth and wood rot.

It can even spread to the deck and the rest of the house and smell terrible. So, it is best to opt for gravel to protect your landscape fabric. Another good alternative is synthetic mulch which is made from recycled materials.

6. Pay Regular Attention To Your Deck:

Whether you are handling the problem of weed growth before or after the deck installation, it is necessary to pay attention to it regularly. If you leave the deck unchecked and without maintenance, the weed can spread like wildfire, and it would be tough to control later. Thus, when you keep an eye out for any weed growth and spend a few minutes maintaining the surrounding and the underneath of the deck, you’ll successfully curb the unwanted spread on time.


Leaving a deck unchecked can lead to the growth of weeds underneath them. They give an unappealing and shabby look and also cause damage to the deck boards. Thus, it becomes necessary to get rid of them as soon as you notice them around or under your outdoor space. For decks that are yet to get installed, you can add a layer of weed control fabric and an additional layer of gravel. For already installed decks, long-lasting weed killers will work well for you. Besides, it is also crucial to look after your outdoor space now and then to stop weed growth on time.

Also Read: How To Protect Your Deck From The Weather?


What Is The Best Material To Put Under A Deck?

The best material for use beneath a deck is a layer of crushed gravel, with or without plastic or weed barrier cloth. It provides many benefits, such as shedding moisture instead of absorbing it, keeping the area under the deck dry, and protecting it from early decay.

Should You Remove The Grass Under The Deck?

It is not always necessary to eliminate the grass underneath a deck unless you want to make the area more attractive looking. Some decks get installed very close to the ground, which ultimately blocks sunlight from getting through and causes the grass to die naturally.

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