• Home Home

Gardener seeks advice after discovering harmful material in new vegetable garden: 'It's only going to get worse with time'

"It all needs to come out."

"It all needs to come out."

Photo Credit: Reddit

Gardening can be full of surprises, but not all of them are pleasant. This Redditor discovered an irritating addition buried beneath the soil of their new garden.

A Reddit user asked r/Permaculture for advice after finding deteriorating landscaping fabric under their soil.

"I took over a vegetable garden for which I guess they used some plastic protection against weeds," they wrote. "So awfull that it is degrading into so many small pieces. … I was wondering if you would happen to have any thoughts or advice on this."

The post showed a white plastic sheet under garden soil, and it was visibly tearing and shredding into small pieces. Users in the comments shared their advice and sympathized with the user's troubles. 

"I would get a shovel and start emptying the soil from the bed, picking out the plastic, and try to get it out," one user said. "It's only going to get worse with time and it all needs to come out."

"Always avoid plastic," another warned. "Just [put] down cardboard instead next time. It'll break down [without] leaving chunks of unwanted plastic behind."

While landscaping fabric is a common option for those looking to protect their gardens, it has more cons than pros. It is not biodegradable and can leach chemicals such as petroleum into your soil. It also quickly becomes ineffective at preventing weeds and breaks into smaller pieces of plastic that make it difficult to remove. 

Instead of using landscaping fabric or other non-biodegradable materials, try cardboard, newspaper, straw, or other eco-friendly choices. These options are cheaper for you and safer for your garden. 

Gardening is tough, but it doesn't have to be. For a simpler gardening experience, explore our guide on how to rewild your lawn.

One comment perfectly summarized the subreddit's opinion on landscaping fabric: "Plastic is the worst."

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider