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Gardener realizes repercussions of detrimental landscaping mistake after other gardeners called it out: 'Get rid of that'

"They are dying or will die eventually."

"They are dying or will die eventually."

Photo Credit: iStock

A gardener who faced the devastating effects of using plastic as weed prevention shared two images of their yard on Reddit, reaching out to the r/landscaping forum for advice. 

"Replaced weed fabric with black plastic. New plants might be having root rot, solutions?" they wrote.

"They are dying or will die eventually."
Photo Credit: Reddit
"They are dying or will die eventually."
Photo Credit: Reddit

Redditors agreed the plastic cover was not beneficial for the garden and suggested ways to prevent weeds without hindering the plants' growth.

"Yeah I would remove the plastic asap. It is not allowing the normal exchange of air and moisture," one user said.

"Get rid of that plastic s***," another Redditor wrote. "If you want a weed barrier, use newspaper (six sheets work well, dampen first)."

"Do you have newspapers? Soak them in water, put one layer on ground, then cover with compost soil and peat moss. Add another layer of newspapers, then repeat with compost soil and peat moss," one user added. 

Plastic covers deplete soil of its nutrients and prevent proper air circulation in the ground. When you add a plastic cover to your yard, essential soil organisms, such as worms, insects, and bacteria, cannot move throughout the soil. 

After heavy rain, water can get trapped beneath the plastic cover, oversaturating the plants and causing root rot. Plastic covers also leach toxic microplastics into soil, causing harm to the local ecosystem as organisms ingest those microplastics. 

Instead of using synthetic weed covers, consider installing a native plant lawn in your yard. Native species, such as clover and buffalo grass, discourage weed growth and require less maintenance than traditional grass lawns. 

They also require less watering, reducing your water bill. You can save $275 on water, $50 on fertilizer, and $50 on pesticides and weed control each year by switching to a native plant lawn. 

By growing native plant species, you can not only save money in the long term but you can also promote your local ecosystem. Native species attract key pollinators and foragers, such as birds, butterflies, and bees, all of which support the growth of your garden. 

Redditors encouraged the homeowner to remove the plastic cover from their garden.

"Plastic is suffocating the plants. They are dying or will die eventually. Tear it up and don't consider using it again," one user wrote.

"Never use plastic," another Redditor commented.

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