Landscape fabric. Literally the bane of my existence. Once you get started with that, it’s almost impossible to get rid of. I know a lot of homeowners have used landscape fabric to cut down on gardening maintenance tasks such as weeding but in no landscape fabric is going to cut down weeds by 100% or eliminated altogether.

      So, what is landscape fabric?

      This type of material can be all types including linen, polyester, or even recycled plastic. It’s typically a woven cloth laid in garden beds to prevent weeds. The problem is, it doesn’t break down and eventually, will be shredded all over your yard.

      If you ask any professional landscaper they will strongly discourage landscape fabric. So here are five reasons landscape fabric is a bad idea.

      #1. It prevents water to the roots.

      This type of fabric inhibits water from actually getting to the roots of your plants or trees. It might seem like a good idea to begin with but plants are forced to grow roots along the surface directly under the fabric in order to get the water. Many plants and trees could struggle and may eventually die.

      #2. When mulch is laid on top, it prevents it from decomposing.

      The whole idea of mulch is to hold in the water and eventually decompose becoming part of the landscape. When you put a layer of fabric between the mulch and the soil, the mulch can turn into a solid block, exactly what you don’t want. An inch of mulch should decompose every year and then be replaced. When you have fabric between the two layers, you prevent that decomposition.

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      #3. Weeds can actually grow down through the fabric.

      Weed seeds blow in from all different places and once they land on top of the fabric, they can grow downward through the landscaping cloth. Once they get routed, there next to impossible to remove without ripping up the landscaping and beginning again. They really don’t prevent 100% of the weed growth and really only work for about the first year or two.

      It’s better to use shredded bark or Fertil-Mulch to really cut down on the weeds and do the soil some good with great nutrients.

      #4. It’s full of chemicals.

      Landscape fabric contains petroleum and other chemicals and most landscapers and gardeners avoid using any type of petroleum products or products with chemicals around plants and trees. This is especially true for plants that are edible.

      #5. It’s expensive and not a lot of room for error.

      Landscape fabric can be expensive and to install it properly you’ll need pins to hold the fabric down. This not only increases the cost but now you have metal or plastic pins all over your yard or landscaping area. This takes a lot of time and if you’re an avid gardener, you may change your mind and want different plants in different areas. By pulling up plants, relocating trees, and messing with the landscape fabric, you further destroy the ground and just make a mess.

      There are other reasons why it landscape fabric is a bad idea. If you plan on re-seeding the area or change your mind, it can be a nightmare or practically impossible to reseed an area. We always recommend that homeowners use a different method to reduce garden maintenance. Of course, you can always use a professional landscaper for any and all of your landscape needs but I strongly urge you to stay away from any type of landscaping fabric or cloth. It’s just a bad idea all around.

      For more information on preventing weeds in your yard, proper type of landscaping, and how mulch can really do everything you want landscape fabric to do, give us a call.

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