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Farmer shares how common maintenance tool became his biggest regret this growing season: 'We ended up losing about $15,000'

"They are not a long term solution and in fact can hinder landscape plant health."

Landscape fabric, Thousands in losses

Photo Credit: @chrisinspiresyou / TikTok

The nightmare stories about landscape fabric keep rolling in.

TikToker ChrisInspiresYou (@chrisinspiresyou) shared in August that he lost more than $15,000 by using the material.

@chrisinspiresyou Scott's Commercial landscape fabric ruined my farm this growing season. Be careful in choosing the right fabric for your garden or farm rows...a lot of time and money wasted & lost. #chrisinspiresyou #growyourownfood #landscapefabric #failedlandscapefabric ♬ Sweet Sunset - Tollan Kim & dulai

Chris said he spent $34.97 for 18 strips of Scotts commercial weed barrier fabric but that it "ruined my farm this growing season."

He followed all the directions to install the supposed top-of-the-line product.

"And what we ended up with is this right here: a bunch of weeds just popping up underneath the landscape fabric, pushing the fabric up, or just growing through the fabric," he said in the 46-second video.

He asked Scotts to rectify the situation via compensation, and Chris said, "They essentially took the approach that it was user error and we ended up losing about $15,000 in income … I do not recommend buying this landscape fabric at all."

Many homeowners and others have had similar experiences.

One homeowner spent 100 hours landscaping their yard with drought-tolerant plants after laying down the fabric, only to have to tear it out and redo the project.

A farmer and a landscaper are among those who have also slammed the product.

Cardboard is one effective and environmentally friendly alternative.

"We must remain 'ever vigilant' in our battle with weeds and cannot rely on a product to do this passively," wrote Linda Chalker-Scott, an extension horticulturist at Washington State University. "The fact is that weed control fabrics are not permanent and will decompose, especially when exposed to sunlight." 

"Such fabrics are effective in agricultural situations, in annual planting beds, or where the landscape is regularly disturbed and the fabrics can be replaced when needed," she explained. "For permanent landscapes, however, they are not a long term solution and in fact can hinder landscape plant health."

Some of the problems with landscape fabric are that it prevents organic matter from reaching the soil underneath and keeps worms from aerating and fertilizing the soil.

It's also expensive, and when weeds and plants get tangled up with it, it's nearly impossible to separate them.

So, learn from Chris and others' mistakes, and steer clear of the microplastics contained in the ecosystem-damaging material.

"I had the exact problem!" one user wrote. "Purchased from Costco. It was a giant mess!!!"

Another said, "I'm pretty sure I used to same thing and the grass grew up into the landscape fabric anyway. I even had fill dirt over my garden area before putting down the fabric and I still have grass growing through it."

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