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Gardener urges others to avoid using a common, seemingly helpful backyard product: 'Worst thing I ever did'

"It's a nightmare to get rid of."

Landscaping fabric garden

Photo Credit: TikTok

A gardener is showing the world a very simple way to keep garden pathways free of weeds, and it actually requires spending less money than more. 

Angela (@axeandroothomestead), a certified permaculturist and TikToker who boasts close to 30,000 followers, recently explained how a product that is meant to help gardens is actually making gardeners' lives more difficult.

"It was during a random conversation with a family member that I discovered the problem…" she wrote in the video's caption.

The scoop

Angela begins the video by explaining how the gravel pathways in her garden were "an absolute nightmare to maintain and keep grass and weed free," until she received a tip that was "absolutely life-changing." 

She goes on to tell viewers she "had to take out the landscaping fabric" because, in the long term, it creates an anchor for grasses and weeds. 

According to Angela, the landscaping fabric leads to a kind of "root network that anchors itself on the bottom of the landscape fabric."

This leads to more grass and weeds. 

Angela tells us that after she removed her landscape fabric, she has been able to go an "entire month" without having to pluck out the weeds. 

@axeandroothomestead For years I have felt like I was pulling the same weeds over and over again in the exact same locations, in my garden pathways. Rye grass, crab grass, goldenrod. I would pull weeds for hours and two days later they'd be back. I used high-quality landscaping fabric and gravel in my pathways—and it was stunning and weed-free for a couple of months. Then it became a nightmare to keep weed-free. It was during a random conversation with a family member that I discovered the problem… landscaping fabric. I pulled it up and waited a month before creating and sharing this video to make sure this really worked. And it's been a complete game-changer. So if landscaping fabric is a no-go, what to use in the future? I'll be sticking with heavy-sheet-mulching with cardboard, compost and soil. This approach hasn't steered me wrong yet in creating growing spaces. In the future, I'll do the same on walkways, personally. #weedfree #naturalgardening #homestead #gardeningtip #gardeningtips ♬ original sound - Angela

How it's helping

Simple tricks like this can make gardening an easier and much more pleasurable experience, which can encourage others to take up gardening themselves. 

The benefits of growing your own plants, especially when they are also used for food, are numerous. 

For one, the act of being surrounded by plants, which also means having plants in or very close to your home, can actually boost your well-being while also helping to mitigate noise pollution

Turning your backyard from a traditional grass lawn into a garden also significantly reduces the amount of water you need, lowering your water bill along with your water footprint. 

What everyone's saying

One commenter passionately expressed their feeling that "landscaping fabric is a sham product!" 

"Landscape fabric is my arch nemesis," another added.

"Worst thing I ever did," one person admitted, while another one wrote, "People who lived in our house 20 years ago put it down all over, and now we have 6 inches of dirt and weeds on top of it. It's a nightmare to get rid of."

Another person suggested using cardboard, which they describe as "a game changer." 

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