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Homeowner issues warning against harmful garden mistake after learning the hard way: 'This is so discouraging'

There is a lot of advice online about avoiding it, as it is expensive and interrupts a number of biological processes.

Landscape fabric, harmful garden mistake

Photo Credit: u/Frawggyx / Reddit

Landscape fabric may be the bane of many a homeowner's existence.

It promises weed-free living but cannot deliver.

One Redditor shared their experience with the failed fabric a couple of years ago, writing: "I just replaced the landscape fabric, so why are weeds growing here anyway? What do I do?"

Landscape fabric
Photo Credit: u/Frawggyx / Reddit

Their problem wasn't so much how they deployed the supposed remedy but rather what they expected.

Landscape fabric might work best under rocks and gravel, but it's not going to prevent weeds from growing no matter where it's used.

"Landscape fabric helps, but weeds can still poke through," one commenter wrote. "Also sometimes weeds get deposited on top (from wind, birds, whatever) and they will grow.

"Either pull them by hand, or make a little spray bottle with glyphosate and spot-spray carefully without hitting the plants you want to live."

Another user echoed that sentiment.

"This is so discouraging," the poster responded. "I'm learning all this as I go being a homeowner."

There is a lot of advice online about avoiding landscape fabric, which is expensive and interrupts a number of biological processes. Organic matter won't reach the soil underneath, and also worms can't aerate and fertilize the soil without access to the surface. 

That doesn't matter if you're laying the fabric under rocks like this poster did — it can stabilize the soil and keep erosion under control — but mulch, cardboard, or newspaper still might be a better option.

"Weeds will grow in concrete," one user noted. "Do you think landscape fabric will stop them from growing? Preen would be out of business."

In response, the poster asked if weeds would rip through the fabric. They can, over time. They can also get entangled with the fabric.

The best bet is to handpick them or spray a weed killer, though it's best to stay away from the latter — especially in a garden — because of their harmful effects on the environment.

Same goes for installing landscape fabric, which is more trouble than it's worth.

The poster's photos showed a beautiful rock garden abutting their house, but it was peppered with nutsedge.

"I wish I had asked Reddit before spending $60 on landscape fabric," they wrote. "Thank you for the advice."

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