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Homeowner shares frustrations after learning about their landscaping mistake the hard way: 'It's really terrible'

"Awful stuff."

"Awful stuff."

Photo Credit: Reddit

Landscaping fabric may seem like an easy way to prevent weeds from springing up, but the internet is replete with stories warning against the material. 

Unfortunately, another person is finding out that there's truth to the old cliche: "If something seems too good to be true, it probably is."

In the subreddit r/homestead, a Redditor shared a photo of a grass lawn dotted with what appears to be ripped-up soil.  

"Awful stuff."
Photo Credit: Reddit

"Landscape fabric was a terrible weed suppression idea for trees," the original poster wrote. "Somehow actual soil even translocated itself on top of the fabric."

The OP explained that the seedling peach trees could not survive in their area and that they now intend to plant pear trees and other species that "won't be choked out." 

"Trees probably love wood mulch more than anything but it gets really expensive if you're planting a lot of trees," they explained of their initial decision.

Other Redditors commiserated with the OP.

"Landscape fabric is always bad. Learned it the hard way," one commenter said

"Yeah, it's really terrible," another wrote. "... I have one or two 6-7 year old chestnut trees that may have fabric embedded around them. Not good."

🗣️ If you were to switch from a grass lawn to a more natural option, which of these factors would be your primary motivation?

🔘 Making it look better 🌱

🔘 Saving money on water and maintenance 💰

🔘 Helping pollinators 🐝

🔘 No way I ever get rid of my lawn 🚫

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

Another person pointed out that choosing landscape fabric ultimately wastes time and money, as the OP is now, unfortunately, finding out. The original poster noted that they may have to "mow tight" and "live with the grass" for now. 

While it sounds like the OP isn't ready to say goodbye to their grass, clover and xeriscaping are popular partial lawn-replacement options that could aid the transition and save them money. 

Traditional grass yards are already far more labor-intensive than rewilded or natural lawns. In addition to requiring hundreds of gallons of water every day, they need to be mowed regularly. While electric and manual equipment are options, gas-powered mowers are still common.

According to the California Air Resources Board, running a gas mower for one hour is the equivalent of driving a car 300 miles. That's a lot of planet-warming pollution entering our atmosphere and irritating our lungs.  

Native species, on the other hand, don't need expensive fertilizers or time-consuming mowing, and they require less water because they are adapted to their environments. They also provide food and shelter for pollinators, which support more than one-third of our food crops. 

It's unclear if pear trees are native to the OP's area, but if they decide to sell their property, the future owner will probably be happy that they are taking steps to remove the fabric.  

"Awful stuff," one commenter said, sharing that they are still removing landscaping fabric after the previous owner of their house used the material — something others have painfully encountered as well.  

"Mulch can be really easy to do and work with," another Redditor advised. "2-4 inches out to the drip line and away from the trunk, add a little each year, handpick weeds. It goes a long way."

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