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Homeowner shares frustrating photo of results after spending nearly $50K on professional landscaping: 'It can't be helped'

"Just have to work with it."

Landscaping fabric weeds

Photo Credit: iStock

Weeds can be a menace in anyone's garden, so finding solutions to slow their growth is the dream for many green-fingered individuals.

One Redditor thought their days of picking weeds were over for a while after a professional landscaping job on their garden. However, they were dismayed to find the problem persisted.

After posting a picture of several weeds peeking through recently laid gravel, the Redditor said: "I thought the landscaping fabric under the gravel would keep out weeds for at least the first year or two, is it normal for weeds to penetrate the fabric so quick?"

landscaping fabric weeds
Photo Credit: u/Temporary-Ferret4013 / Reddit
landscaping fabric weeds
Photo Credit: u/Temporary-Ferret4013 / Reddit

It's a frustrating situation at the best of times, but after the Redditor revealed they had spent $45,000 on the work, they might have expected a slightly better result.

However, as one user astutely commented: "Seeds gonna seed. Roots gonna root. Weeds gonna weed. … It can't be helped just have to work with it."

Unfortunately, landscaping fabric does not keep out weeds as many might hope. While it does offer some solutions, such as providing a way to stop rocks disappearing into the dirt and slowing the growth of weeds, it won't stop the problem entirely.

One TikToker explained the problem. Permaculturist Angela (@axeandroothomestead) posted a video showing that instead of stopping weeds from growing, the fabric provides an anchor for the root network, which leads to more 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

Incredibly, though, removing that fabric can help eliminate the weed problem — at least for a few months. It might take a lot of work, but it could lead to some respite. 

Some landscaping fabrics are also made with plastic, which does not fully decompose and could lead to microplastics in the soil and wider environment. Some gardeners have even suggested using something as simple as cardboard for a better experience, even if that too cannot be a miracle cure-all. 

For our Redditor, one user also pointed out a different issue: "Seeds most likely come from above and root. Same with the weed you get between pavers." 

So while the fabric might stop the weeds in the short term from growing underneath, that doesn't stop seeds from blowing in from above and growing within rock beds. 

Consumers might want to think twice about investing in garden fabric. But there is no real permanent solution to stopping weeds from growing in your garden, so perhaps the short-term relief the material provides from garden toil might not be so bad — especially if you're able to access it easily to rip it from the ground.

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