Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You Talkin' To Me??????

Landscape Fabric?  You talkin' to me?  Don't EVEN go there!

Since you bring it up, here are some facts about Landscape Fabric.

Landscape Fabric is made of Polypropylene, which is this:

Polymerization is Zieglar-Natta, metallocene catalysis and is highly crystalline and highly atactic.  Melting temperature is 174 degrees Celsius. 


The only thing that I know for sure is: LANDSCAPE FABRIC BITES THE BIG HOOTER. 

Except for some uses in the vegetable garden, and perhaps in some retaining wall construction, this crap has NO use in the landscape or garden.  The claim is that it "prevents weeds" and is better than plastic because it allows water and oxygen to get through.  Hmmmm......plastic or landscape fabric?  Which should I buy?  WHAT!  YOU DON'T NEED EITHER!  (Sorry, I digress, I'll talk about plastic another day.)

Although landscape fabric IS permeable, it in NO WAY keeps weeds out. 

As any gardener worth their compost knows, most weeds come from airborne seeds.  Without soil disturbance, many weed seeds in the soil will not germinate, and regular mulching with organic mulches can ensure this. 

If one chooses to go down the road to landscape fabric hell, here is one possible scenario that may be waiting:

So, ya put down your (expensive) landscape fabric with much difficulty, sweat, swearing, ect.  Then you cut little holes and put your plants in the soil.  Then you put some mulch (probably some hideous colored mulch) down which will probably either wash away, blow away, get moved around, add no nutrients to the soil, and will look crappy.  All is hunky dory! Wow!  A no maintenance landscape!  But Wait!!!  Here are some weeds!  Dang! The root is stuck in the fiber, and you pull up some fabric.   A few weeks pass.....more weeds....more fabric pulled up.  No worries mate!  I'll get the hoe!  Oops, that doesn't work, you can't cut the root because of the, arghhhh....landscape fabric!  Maybe if I add more plants, some annuals perhaps, there will be less room for weeds!  A great idea!  What? The shovel won't go down!  I have to cut little holes in the landscape fabric!  Will these plants ever spread? What have I done?  Dispair....Depression...Anger....

There are several possible endings to the scene:

a.  Wow!  I just read Gardening with Gabby and now know that I should have not used landscape fabric!  I'll remove it, add compost, lots of plants, and use organic non-colored mulch!

b.  The HELL with this gardening crap!  I'm going to pave everything!

c.  Maybe this colored mulch is not working, I'll put rock mulch over the landscape fabric!

d.  I'm going to consult a professional (gardener that is), meditate, do some yoga, take a sauna and flagellate with birch twigs, and have several shots of aquavit!

Polymer Schmolymer!  There is no need to choose one of these outcomes (although d is pretty appealing) if you don't go down that road paved with bad advice and landscape fabric.

No comments: