Planting through membrane and mulch – a step-by-step guide

Planting through weed membrane and covering it with gravel or bark chippings is a great way to reduce weeding and create an attractive low maintenance border.

However, the planting can be a bit tricky, so here are 5 simple steps to make it easier:

cut a cross in the membrane for planting


Step 1 – clearing the gravel/bark

If you can plant before you apply the mulch to hide the membrane, that is best, but if you aren’t able to do so, rake back the mulch to expose the membrane beneath.

Cut a cross in the membrane as shown

hold back the membrane flaps with tent pegs


Step 2 – preparing for planting

Hold back the pieces of membrane so that you can dig the hole.

Tent pegs work very well for this or you can use rocks or other heavy objects you have to hand



fold back the membrane flaps around the plant


Step 3 – planting

Dig out the soil and put into a trug or bucket, taking care not to spill any onto the gravel.

Place the plant into the hole, making sure you tease the roots.



finish off by raking back the mulch


Step 4 – folding back the membrane

Once you have refilled the hole with soil and added compost and fertiliser to give the plant the best start in its new home, remove the tent pegs and fold back the flaps of membrane around the plant stem to cover the soil surface.




all finished


Step 5 – the finishing touch

Rake back the gravel around the plant stem to hide the membrane from view for a neat finish

Now you can just sit back and watch your gravel garden grow!

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