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How to get rid of landscaping cloth

 
Posts: 128
Location: kent, washington
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I am dealing with the plastic landscaping fabric everywhere it's really hard to remove and expensive to get rid of. Any thoughts?
 
gardener
Posts: 6270
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Sadly there is only one way to get rid of that stuff, dig it out. If it is buried under soil it can last for quite a few years.

Redhawk
 
master pollinator
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I always let it dry out, and then get my customers who were foolish enough to get it in the first place, to use their old hand shears and cut away any tree roots that came up with it.

One lady asked me "Isn't this stuff supposed to stop weeds from coming up?" My reply was no. "This stuff is designed to get you to open your wallet."
 
master pollinator
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I hate the stuff.

I am building an access road across my farm now and being a government grant it is required. I tried to fight them, but to no avail. Still even the Soil Engineer admitted that another road this one intersects with is "one of the best in the county". We built that using the old fashioned stuff...rock.

At one point the ditch of my new road makes a 90 degree corner which is not good for erosion. The soil engineer was worried the water would slam into my old road and "blow it out". I told her not the way we built it. We laid in 4 feet of rock some as big as washing machines as the sub-base of the road. Nothing is going to blow that out. But if we had built it to government specifications, it would because they require 4 inch rock and smaller and geofabric.

Stupid.

To answer the question though, I think the best way is to stop putting it down to begin with. It should NOT be part of regulatory compliance.
 
trinda storey
Posts: 128
Location: kent, washington
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The garden I am regenerating is full of it! Would it be harmful to use it as a filler in a herb spiral?
 
gardener
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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My property had two different kinds of landscaping fabric when I first moved in.  There was a black rubbery mesh-like fabric with little holes in it.  And there was a grey fabric that was more solid.  The back rubbery stuff came up much easier, as tree roots didn't get to tangled up in it.

But the grey stuff . . . the grey stuff is from hell.  It goes down almost like paper.  It's got a smooth texture and it cuts like craft paper or some sort of thicker fabric.  But once its been in the ground for a couple of years, it starts to delaminate.  It doesn't rot away, but it gets soft and turns into a big mess of fibers.  So when you uncover it and try to pull it up, it's like a giant spider web of grey tangled fibers.  You pull and pull and pull and the stuff just keeps coming up.  Tree roots tangle themselves into it.  It's just a nightmare to try to get all of it.

NEVER use that crap.  Awful.

 
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Ugh! You have my sympathy. I discovered last year that there is black plastic in my back yard a few inches underground where there is supposed to be lawn. No wonder the grass doesn't grow.

Just keep digging out the largest pieces you can. Little pieces probably won't impede your plants too much. Too bad you can't make whoever planted it come take it out.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3118
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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I want to try an experiment with the landscaping fabric common around here, where I put Oyster mushroom-inoculated substrate into a bag sewn from said landscaping fabric. As was the case with the person who stored supposedly spent oyster mushroom substrate in hanging plastic bags in a humid mudroom and found the plastic bags being eaten by fungi, I wish to have that happen with landscaping fabric.

I don't think it's that unlikely. The compositions are probably roughly similar, insofar as fungi are concerned, and the fact that root hairs readily tangle in the mess only means more surface area for mushroom habitation.

Does anyone have any information about the breakdown of landscaping cloth or any other similar petroleum-based material by fungi?

-CK
 
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