The weed control fabric works...for *one* season. Then you're fighting the stuff tooth and nail.
My FIL passed away in April 2007. To help my MIL cope with the landscaping, my husband's brother hired landscapers that summer to put in new plants around the house. BIL doesn't know a weed from a wisteria, so the landscapers just did as they pleased and presented BIL with a $$$ bill.
When I visited in September 2007, I found the weed-block fabric.
I learned of its presence while trying to apply a "color corrector" to MIL's hydrangea. She wants it to be blue, as does BIL. But the weed-control fabric doesn't allow the water to be applied around the drip line of the plant, just very narrowly at the main emergence of the plant from the ground.
Then, in January, when the rains brought forth the annual weeds, the weed-control fabric started to show its nasty side. I started pulling up what would normally have been easy weeds: baby dandelions, small sow thistles, whatnot. THEY WOULD NOT YIELD. They could not yield
to my pulling. The pores of the landscape ("weed control") fabric trapped them so that the weeds broke off at the beginning of the root.
was a fine mess: I ended up with the green part of the weed, but the root stayed in the ground.
If I pulled harder, the landscape fabric came up from the ground, but I *still
* didn't get the root to come out of the soil (to me, it was dirt at this point, and maybe a few other
Now, 3.5 years later, the stuff is still there, but very loose where I've been pulling at the weeds. I'm almost ready to take some broken-down scissors and just cut the stuff away from the plants so that I can apply compost water and worm "tea." The plants need so much help, it isn't even funny, and the landscape fabric just sits there, in the way and being a complete pain in the posterior.
So that's one gardener's experience with the evil, nasty landscape fabric, aka "weed-control fabric." Save your money and your frustration: leave it at the store. Go to an independent nursery/garden-supply shop--not the big box type--and talk to the experienced and knowledgeable staff. They'll give you good advice for your local area re. weeds, lawn, etc.
And DO read the Stickies at the top of the Lawn/Landscape Forum. There is a TON of information already posted, by people who have worked on lawns for years but who may no longer be active here. Their knowledge, however, has been saved in the Stickies. Go to the index page of the Forum (the one that you see when you sign in). Then select Lawn/Landscaping. The messages at the top of the list that say "Sticky: ........" are the ones you want.