The grass is both a friend and nemesis to a landscaper. When growing at the right place and mowed to the height, it presents magnificent scenery. That is until it creeps into the flower bed and other unwanted areas. If you have ever tried to pull out grass, then you understand why it can be a nightmare to gardeners and landscapers.
By nature, the grass is a creeping plant that can cover an area within a short time, especially during summer, when the weather conditions are favorable. This is an advantage when the grass is growing at the right place, but a menace when creeping into the flower bed.
Uprooting grass might as well mean uprooting all other plants growing with it. The roots spread out far and wide. When thinking of how to get rid of grass weed in your flower bed, therefore, forget about plucking lest you end up uprooting all your flowers. However, this can still be viable if the grass is still very young.
Table of Contents
Killing Grass by Uprooting
When thinking about how to kill grass in flower beds without killing the flowers, uprooting the weed will come to mind first. This is viable when the grass is just sprouting. Matured grass broadcasts its seeds all over the garden, and there is no way of controlling this.
You will only get to know where the seeds fell once the grass starts to grow. Once you have planted your flower bed, you need to pass by several times in a day to ensure that no weed is coming up. In case you spot any, do not procrastinate uprooting it. Some weeds grow overnight and become harder to get rid of without destroying the flowers.
Unless you are on site every day, this might not be practical. There is also a chance that you will get tired of policing weeds and leave them to grow, compromising the aesthetic value of the flower bed.
Broad Spectrum Herbicides
As a gardener, broad-spectrum herbicides such as Martin’s Eraser A/P and Landmark XP herbicide broad spectrum bare ground might not be your choice of herbicide because, by their nature, they clear all vegetation on sight. Unless you want to replant the entire flower bed, then this should not be an option. We will therefore not concentrate on this much, since it is used in different scenarios.
Use of pre-emergent weed killer
Pre-emergent weed killers such as Dimension 2EW Dithiopyr, Snapshot 2.5 TG Granular, and Southern AG – 12401 – Surflan A.S. prevent the weeds from growing, by inhibiting germination of seeds in the ground.
For best results, it should be applied just before irrigation or during the rainy season. The wet soil ensures that the herbicide sips deeper into the ground.
It is important to note that pre-emergent weed killers do not interfere with roots that are already developed. This makes it the most suitable for an existing flower bed.
Selective herbicides are specially formulated to kill specific weeds. The most common types that are used in flower beds to kill grass weed include Natra Grass and Weed Control with Root Kill, Compare – N – Save 016869 Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer and Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer, among others.
Selective herbicides are the best option for the gardener who intends to kill flowers in the flower beds without killing the flowers. Each product comes with instructions on how to dilute and apply. Be keen to follow the instructions to avoid contamination or destroying the flower bed.
Herbicides are chemicals and need to be handled with care to prevent adverse effects on the soil, air, and even human life. Some of these adverse effects include:
To prevent this, it is first important to read the chemical composition of the herbicide before purchasing. Ensure that you or the people around you are not allergic to any of the components. In some cases, manufacturers recommend that you stay away from the area for a few hours after spraying.
You need protective gear before handling the herbicides. These include a mask and goggles, (some herbicide manufacturers recommend the best type), chemical resistant gloves, a coverall body suit and protective shoes. In case the coverall does not have a hood, you can get an air respirator hood.
Lastly, you must mix the herbicide with water precisely as recommended by the manufacturer. This is because, if you dilute too much, it will not work, and if it is too concentrated, it might destroy the soil and flowers. If you do not get this right, then the whole process is futile.
Herbicides are mostly applied by spraying. Most of them come with a sprayer, but in case it does not have, you will need either a backpack or handheld sprayer. You spray the weeds and try as much as possible to avoid the flowers. You can use a cardboard to cover the flowers or wrap them in polythene paper when spraying. Remember to remove the paper once the herbicide has settled to prevent the flowers from suffocating.
How to Prevent Grass from Growing in the Flower Bed
Herbicides are an excellent way of controlling the growth of weed grass. But frequent use can alter the composition of the soil. After killing the grass that has already grown, and that would have grown shortly, you will need to prevent this from recurring.
One way of doing this is by building a barrier around the flower bed. The decorated stones we see in landscaped spaces are not just ornamental. They are placed there to prevent the lawn grass from creeping into the flower bed. For them to be effective, the stones should go at least an inch into the ground.
Well-manicured grass lawns together with well-kept flower beds are every gardener’s dream. Neat outdoor spaces spell out relaxation and ambiance. There is the ornamental lawn grass, and then there is weed grass. The lawn grass is planted, while weed grass grows naturally, just like any other weed.
Both the weed grass and the planted grass can be a menace to the flower bed. Lawn grass, however, is easier to control as mentioned above, by putting up a barrier around the flower beds at the initial stage of landscaping.
Weed grass, on the other hand, exists naturally. It is the grass that you find growing in unutilized land. It is plucked during tilling, but in most cases the roots and seeds remain in the soil, just to sprout later. As a gardener, therefore, you need to be on the lookout and deal with the problem before it’s too late.