woman laying out landscape fabric
ECO gardener

Is landscape fabric eco-friendly? How does it become eco-friendly?

Ask gardeners, and you’ll get a mixed bag of opinions. Some prefer using landscape fabric because they’re effective in keeping weeds at bay, but others question its sustainability.

Landscape fabric is typically made from synthetic materials such as polypropylene or polyester. These materials are selected for their resilience, tear resistance, and unique ability to block sunlight while permitting the passage of water and air.

There’s no question about its effectiveness in preventing weeds from taking over the garden but can landscape fabric be considered eco-friendly?

It depends on many factors, and in this guide, we are outlining ways landscape fabric enhances eco-friendly gardening:

How Landscape Fabric Can Improve Your Eco-Friendly Garden

vegetable garden greenhouse

Landscape fabric can become eco-friendly by being made from biodegradable materials such as organic cotton, jute, or hemp. These materials break down naturally over time, reducing waste and environmental impact. Additionally, using landscape fabric can help reduce the need for harmful chemicals and pesticides, promoting a more sustainable and eco-friendly landscaping practice.

Made from recycled materials

Being selective of the brand when buying landscape fabric can boost the product’s eco-friendliness. Many landscape fabric companies use recycled polypropylene that is bonded using heat instead of adhesives or chemical binders.

Landscape fabric made from recycled materials reduces the need for new resources. By repurposing materials that would otherwise end up in landfills, we can conserve natural resources and reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing new products.

Reduces chemical use

Chemical herbicides contain harmful toxins that may harm beneficial insects, wildlife, and even humans. Landscape fabric contributes to eco-friendly gardening by reducing the need for chemical herbicides.


Landscape fabric acts as a physical barrier, preventing sunlight from reaching the soil. This inhibits weed growth by depriving weeds of the light they need to germinate and grow. By effectively suppressing weeds, landscape fabric reduces the reliance on chemical herbicides to control weed infestations.

Without the need for toxic herbicides promotes a safer and more sustainable approach to gardening, benefiting both the garden ecosystem and the broader environment.

Finally, landscape fabric offers long-lasting weed control. This means you don’t need frequent applications of chemical herbicides. Once installed, the fabric continues to suppress weed growth for an extended period, reducing the frequency of weed management tasks and the associated use of chemical products.

Promotes Soil Conservation

vegetable garden greenhouse

Landscape fabric plays a crucial role in promoting soil conservation, contributing to eco-friendly gardening practices in several ways.

For one thing, it prevents soil erosion. Landscape fabric acts as a protective layer over the soil, shielding it from the erosive forces of wind and water. By stabilizing the soil surface, the fabric helps prevent soil erosion, which can wash away valuable topsoil and degrade the fertility of the land. This protects the integrity of the soil and preserves its ability to support healthy plant growth.

Using landscape fabric could also minimize the chances of soil compaction. When this happens, the soil becomes too stiff to till.

Compacted soil limits root growth by restricting the movement of air, water, and nutrients within the soil. Landscape fabric helps prevent soil compaction by providing a barrier between heavy foot traffic and the underlying soil. This allows the soil to remain loose and friable, promoting better root development and overall soil health.

Landscape fabric also reduces excessive runoff. Runoffs can carry sediment, nutrients, and pollutants into waterways, leading to water pollution and habitat degradation. Landscape fabric helps reduce runoff by slowing the movement of water across the soil surface and promoting infiltration into the soil. By minimizing runoff, the fabric helps protect water quality and aquatic ecosystems.

Promotes Water Conservation

Landscape fabric is a key player in promoting water conservation in eco-friendly gardening.

By covering the soil surface, landscape fabric helps to reduce water loss through evaporation. The fabric acts as a barrier that blocks direct sunlight and wind from reaching the soil, preventing water from evaporating too quickly. This means that more water stays in the soil, where plants can access it, leading to less water wastage and more efficient water use.

Landscape fabric also helps to retain soil moisture by preventing water from being lost to runoff or surface evaporation. Instead, water is absorbed into the soil and held there, where plant roots can absorb it as needed. This ensures that plants have a steady supply of moisture, even during dry periods, reducing the need for frequent watering and conserving water resources.

With landscape fabric in place, you can reduce the frequency of watering their plants. The fabric helps to maintain soil moisture levels, reducing the need for supplemental irrigation. This not only saves water but also time and effort, making eco-friendly gardening more convenient and sustainable.

Longevity and Durability

Landscape fabric contributes to eco-friendly gardening by offering longevity and durability, which ultimately reduces maintenance.

One of the main benefits of landscape fabric is its ability to suppress weed growth. By blocking sunlight and preventing weed seeds from germinating, the fabric significantly reduces the need for manual weeding. This saves you time and effort spent on weed control, making gardening more manageable and enjoyable.

Landscape fabric is designed to withstand outdoor conditions and can last for several years without needing replacement. Its durable construction resists tearing, puncturing, and degradation from sunlight, ensuring that it remains effective over time. By using landscape fabric, you don’t need to replenish mulch or other ground coverings often, which reduces waste and conserves resources.

Manual weeding, like pulling weeds by hand or using a hoe is helpful to maintain your garden. But this can also disturb the soil too much. It can tear plant roots.

Landscape fabric eliminates the need for these chores, as weeds are prevented from growing in the first place. This promotes soil stability and preserves the natural ecosystem within the garden, reducing the risk of soil erosion and nutrient loss.

With landscape fabric set in place, you can conserve resources such as water, mulch, and fertilizer. The fabric helps retain moisture in the soil, reducing the need for frequent watering. It also prevents the loss of mulch through wind or runoff, ensuring that valuable organic matter remains in place to nourish plants.

Additionally, by suppressing weeds, landscape fabric reduces the competition for nutrients, allowing plants to thrive with less fertilizer.

While landscape fabric isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to eco-friendly gardening, it does its part in enhancing sustainability. It’s not a perfect product but as you can see from our list above, it has many pros as far as eco-friendly gardening goes.

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