(by Kelly White)
One of the myths about xeriscaping is that landscape plastic or landscape cloth is environmentally friendly. NOT! Plastic and even cloth inhibits water and oxygen from getting directly down into the soil where the tree roots can access it. And it is through the roots of the tree that both water and nutriments are fed to a tree and provide nourishment.
We are also told that covering the soil with these products and then covering the plastic/cloth with rock will deter weed growth. Perhaps for a season, maybe two, but what really happens is all the topsoil being blown into the yard settles down between the rocks and on top of the landscape cloth creating a nice little garden area for the weed seeds (also blown into the yard) to germinate. In spite of ones best intentions, they have actually encouraged a weed garden and hindered the trees capacity to access what it needs to thrive.