Using Landscape Fabric

Brandon Brooks

Last fall I decided to do something different outside of my office so it wouldn’t be so boring and plain. Though the building itself looks nice and modern, outside of the windows is not up to par with creating a fun, colorful environment. The best thing I could think to do was to plant some beautiful, low maintenance flowers.

There are a couple of area that are planted at my office, but for the most part, it’s rather dismal. There is not a lot of space in front of the building since it is right up near the road. All the green is generally behind the building where the general public, or those working in offices at the front of the building, cannot see. There are a few shrubs in the front but most of the area is just bare mulch. I decided to plant one hundred daffodil bulbs into the mulch to spruce things up but quickly ran into an issue. Under the mulch was a thick layer of landscape fabric. It seemed the fabric went on forever. I tore enough of the fabric to get my bulbs into the ground. It took a lot of work because the ground below the fabric came up in huge, heavy clumps. I used my shovel to break it up as much as possible then piled the dirt back on top of the bulbs. I hoped that the bulbs would find their way through.

A few months later, the daffodils started coming up. They brought a ray of color with them. It seemed to make my manager realize just how dismal the rest of the mulch area was, though, so now we are going to redo the entire bed after getting permission from the landlord. I guess through all of this, my question was why did they choose to use landscape fabric? There were still a lot of weeds coming up through it. Besides that, the much was thick on top of it and serves the same purpose but also benefits the soil below. The landscape fabric merely suffocates the soil. As gardeners, it is our duty to ensure the soil stays healthy, so next time you see someone buying or using landscape fabric, stop to teach them why they shouldn’t.