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Homeowner seeks advice after uncovering landscaping mistake inherited from previous owner: 'One of the most evil additions modern landscaping has brought'

"Pull it up and toss it. … The soil underneath is just terrible."

"Pull it up and toss it. ... The soil underneath is just terrible."

Photo Credit: Reddit

A homeowner quickly discovered that other Redditors couldn't say enough bad things about an unnatural lawn-care solution left by their property's previous owners. 

In the subreddit r/landscaping, the original poster shared a photo of a mature tree surrounded by a circle of mulch. While the dreaded volcano technique was thankfully nowhere to be seen, landscaping fabric was visible and creeping toward the trunk of the tree. 

"Pull it up and toss it. ... The soil underneath is just terrible."
Photo Credit: Reddit

"Is this normal? Could I plant anything around this tree?" the OP asked, feeling like the previous owners had gone overboard with the fabric.

Others warned that it wasn't just a nuisance — it could actually harm the tree.

"Honestly surprising the tree isn't dying from that," one person said

"IMO, landscape fabric is one of the most evil additions modern landscaping has brought to our age," another person boldly stated. "It starts out being permeable, but with time, the holes in the fabric get filled in, and you might as well have put down plastic. It is a soil killer."

It's unclear which brand of landscaping fabric the previous owners installed, but most types contain fibers made from the dirty-fuel-based material

When it comes to lawn care maintenance, natural solutions and native plants are typically best for a healthy, thriving retreat

Avoiding toxin-containing materials in landscaping can also save homeowners the painstaking trouble of digging up disintegrating, environmentally harmful chunks of fabric in the future.

Additionally, native plants don't just require less maintenance, but they also could increase property values, as more people are discovering the benefits of rewilded spaces, including lower water bills and less money spent on fertilizers, pesticides, and weed control. As a bonus, they tend to attract pollinators, which helps humans since they pollinate crucial crops such as bananas, potatoes, coffee, and chocolate, per the USDA

Clunky plastic barriers and fabrics, on the other hand, can ruin a yard's aesthetic appeal.

Partial lawn replacements also provide similar perks as fully rewilded spaces, with clover and buffalo grass options that don't require a substantial initial investment.  

The OP didn't share which types of plants they wanted to introduce to their yard, but commenters overwhelmingly agreed that the first step was getting rid of the fabric.

"Pull it up and toss it. I have a large yard and the previous owners put it everywhere," another person shared. "... The soil underneath is just terrible." 

"If nature does not do it then you should not either," another person said. "I would get rid of that [plastic] asap. … Soil needs to breathe."

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