The Case Against Landscaping Fabric

The Case Against Landscaping Fabric

To use landscaping fabric or not to use landscaping fabric? That is the question.

If you’re tired of constantly watering and pulling stubborn weeds from your garden, then by all means, use landscaping fabric to save yourself a headache. On the other hand, if you want a lush garden full of hydrated plants and healthy soil, avoid using landscaping fabric.

The distinct goals of your landscaping and the specific features that you’re working with will be the largest factor in determining whether landscaping fabric is or isn’t advantageous for you to use. If you’ve used this gardening material before, then you are probably well aware of the state it can leave your garden in. If you’re thinking about using landscaping fabric at your property, keep reading to see if it’s right for you!

Disadvantages of Landscaping Fabric


One of the top disadvantages is that landscaping fabric is known for how it affects the soil. When it’s installed, it compacts the soil below, making it difficult to dig and plant new flowers or greenery. The soil beneath the fabric should be loose and crumbly for plants to spread their roots and grow effortlessly. Instead, once the fabric is installed, the soil below tends to become hard and compacted, making it more difficult for plants to breath and spread on their own.


Although landscaping fabric is quite effective at reducing the growth of weeds, it unfortunately can’t stop them from growing completely. That means when it’s time to pull those stubborn weeds, they’re very hard to remove as they grow entangled in the fabric. As a result, removing the weeds sometimes requires cutting of removing the fabric, undoing the work and further diminishing the efficacy of the material.


Not only does landscaping fabric contain petroleum and additional chemicals, it’s also expensive. Plus, beyond just the financial costs, landscaping fabric installation is time-consuming, meaning that it’s taking additional hours to finish the job – whether that’s your own or the landscaper’s billable time.


If the thought of reseeding has crossed your mind, we suggest you steer clear of this idea. It’s nearly impossible for plants to re-seed themselves with landscaping fabric. The fabric prevents seeds from the plants growing above the fabric layer from dropping into the dirt, meaning that the only effective way to get additional plants is to tear into the fabric and plant them yourself.

Advantages of Landscaping Fabric

If you are too busy at home or work to weed your growing garden, landscaping fabric could help. Your plants will continue to grow, unimpeded by weeds competing for the same resources. Landscaping fabric is also a good choice if you are looking for an erosion control solution. If your landscaped area is situated on a sloped property or on a hill, your plant roots, soil and everything else underneath the fabric won’t be as affected during a rainstorm.

All-in-all, landscaping fabric can be your best friend or your garden’s worst enemy – it all depends on your needs and your situation. Try basing your decision on what’s best for your garden or landscaping and what’s most convenient for you!

At VistaPro Landscape & Design, we work with properties of all sizes, from massive commercial properties to private residences. Whether you need a full landscaping plan with installation or routine maintenance and grounds management, we have a solution for you. To learn more – and to schedule a free consultation – call us today at 301-805-0119 or 410-878-2100.

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