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Homeowner issues warning after enduring consequences of common landscaping mistake: 'It may not work out to your advantage'

"Think long and hard before you go throwing fabric down."

"Think long and hard before you go throwing fabric down."

Photo Credit: iStock

After dealing with the landscape fabric the previous owner had installed, one homeowner recently shared a warning with fellow members of the r/landscaping subreddit.

"Since buying the house two years ago I've been weeding non stop. I noticed a lot of the 'roots' were under the fabric. So in order to hope [to] eradicate the majority of them I had to tear out the fabric," they wrote. "So think long and hard before you go throwing fabric down. It may not work out to your advantage. Maybe short term but surely not long term. Also notice how so many weeds were on top. That's because the mulch was breaking down but had no place to go."

"Think long and hard before you go throwing fabric down."
Photo Credit: Reddit
"Think long and hard before you go throwing fabric down."
Photo Credit: Reddit

All of the points this homeowner made were good ones and have been echoed by basically anyone who has had to deal with the long-term effects of landscape fabric.

"The idea behind using landscape fabric is that it will permanently eliminate the need to weed the garden by forming a barrier that blocks weed seeds from germinating, while still being porous enough to allow water to reach the roots of shrubs and perennials," an explainer on the University of New Hampshire website reads. "If that sounds too good to be true, that's probably because it is."

Instead, while landscape fabric suppresses weeds initially, over time, it does the opposite, allowing the weeds to grow rampantly and making them virtually impossible to remove.

In addition, most landscape fabric is made out of plastic, meaning that it releases tiny plastic particles into the soil — surely not a good thing for the health of your plants.

Taking an interest in your yard and garden can be a great way to get outdoors and contribute positively to your local ecosystem, but that works a lot better when you use native plants and support pollinators while avoiding toxic chemicals, plastic products, and anything unnatural.

Many of the commenters on the thread in the r/landscaping subreddit were very sympathetic to the original poster's problem, having gone through similar ordeals themselves.

"I feel your pain. Just finished ripping up about 400sq ft of fabric that had been grown through with tree roots so it just ripped to shreds if you pulled on it. Had to essentially cut out chunks at a time like it was grass," wrote one commenter.

"Previous owners of my home put down landscaping fabric and 5" of white pebbles on top of that… it's been a three-week process just to clear half out," wrote another.

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