Weed fabric - pro's and con's
I do use weed cloth in certain situations, but the question still lingers of whether it is a long term solution or just a quick fix.
I find that certain mulches break down rather quickly, and when applied over a weed cloth can actually create a new medium for weeds to root into. So, then I'm back to square one with weeds which are now growing on top of the weed cloth.
In areas where I have stubborn weeds like spring blooming Oxalis, for example, I cover the area with weed fabric which does suppress the winter growth, although this stubborn weed will for sure find any gaps in the fabric. I have even seen it pop up through the weed cloth!, making it difficult to pull them out.
In areas with gophers, I have noticed that a heavy layer of weed fabric will in fact keep the gophers from popping up throughout the yard. You might get a few that still manage to get through the cloth from time to time, but it makes it more difficult for them. They will however find the edges of the cloth, where they can tunnel out.
In conclusion, I find that weed cloth can be useful in the garden when used properly. Leave a good sized hole around any plants for water, nutrients, and insects to move about, and whatever weeds manage to come through, well, no better way to bond with your garden than to get on your hands and knees and pull them out.