If you have perused the gardening aisle of any plant nursery, you have seen the large rolls of landscaping fabric, also known as weed blocker. Most people assume when planting shrubs, flowers, or a garden that landscaping fabric is a must. However, here’s why you should not use it.
It drains the life out of your soil
Soil is home to billions of microorganisms that break down organic materials, which provide nutrients to your plants. These nutrients are necessary for the growth of plants. If you block your plants from receiving these nutrients or prevent the breakdown process altogether, you will need to fertilize your plants on a regular basis. Why waste money on fertilizer when the natural environment can do that for you?
Earthworms don’t like it
Although the fabric may not kill the earthworms, it drives them out, which is no good for your soil or plants. Earthworms help aerate the soil by digging tunnels underground, and they help compost organic material, which is necessary for healthy soil and plants. Without earthworms, the soil becomes hard and not so friendly on the neighboring plants.
Plant roots grow above the fabric
This may not sound like a big deal, but it is. When plants cannot grow their roots deep into the soil, they are more likely to succumb to drought or stress. The fabric prevents the roots from digging deep into the soil where they can find necessary nutrients and moisture from the dirt.
It contains petroleum
There probably have not been any studies on the effects of chemicals from landscaping fabric to the environment. However, we know that this stuff is made using petroleum and other chemicals, such as BPA. It seems almost inevitable that some of these chemicals will leech into the ground, contaminating the soil. Since we have not seen BPA-free landscaping fabric, it is probably best to assume this stuff is not safe for the environment.
Mulch is an acceptable alternative to using landscape fabric. Weed-free mulch will break down slowly as it removes nitrogen from the top layer of soil, which actually helps suppress the growth of weeds. Plus, if you decide later on that you want to redesign your garden, you can easily do so without having destroyed the soil underneath.
Promier Landscapes combines expertise and knowledge while incorporating your ideas to design a magnificent outdoor space for your enjoyment. To schedule a consultation, give us a call today at (423) 246-7977. Promier Landscapes serves clients in Kingsport, Bristol, and Johnson City, Tennessee.