malliedein
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:08 pm
Location: Macon, GA

Removing grass from a bed FOR GOOD!!!

Hey, I've got a bed that would be perfect for some semi-shade flower gardening...but it's full of grass. I'm removing, and want to ensure it doesn't come back. Herbicides, netting, what's the best attack? Thanks in advance for any assistance.
A bad day in the garden is better than a good day of golf!

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

It depends on what kind of grass.

I made Bermuda grass go away for 12 to 15 years (it might still be gone, but we don't live at that house anymore) by sifting the roots out of the dirt with a 1/2-inch-gauge hardware cloth screen over the wheelbarrow. The dirt that fell through went back into the yard; the root segments went away. :twisted:

And I could plant immediately. That yard was so situated that I planted roses, some bulbs, and zucchini; none of them were molested by Bermuda grass!

You might also smother the grass by solarizing it: use sheets of black plastic, weight them down with bricks or similar, and leave the plastic on for several nice, hot weeks. The grass will die. Then you can use Lasagna Gardening techniques or build raised beds over it and have fun!

No -cides needed. :D

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

I think that you can accelerate the solarizing process by tilling, rake and remove bulk of grass. Wait a week or two, till and rake again, then cover with black plastic. Between the heat and the absence of light, the remaining grass sprigs should run out of energy in just a couple of weeks.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

malliedein
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:08 pm
Location: Macon, GA

I've been hand rototilling, to grab down and get as many roots as possible. I appreciate the replies. At least in GA we get the hot and sunny early! I'll follow your advice and let you know how it goes. Tx.
A bad day in the garden is better than a good day of golf!

User avatar
Sharon Marie
Senior Member
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:25 pm
Location: Jeffersonville, IN

I read in another forum that boiling water is used to get rid of weeds. You could get all the grass out that you could, sift it, and then pour boiling water over the soil. I'm not sure if this will work. I asked another memeber and I was advised the boiling water does not harm the soil. What does everyone else think for using this as a tip for getting rid of grass?
Reduce - Reuse - Recycle.
Zone 6A - Jeffersonville, Indiana

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

I restrict my use of boiling water (and it may have been my comment you read...) to weeds only, and anthills.

The water will maintain the very hot temperature several inches down into the soil. This means it will kill or at least badly burn earthworms.

You probably wouldn't want to kill all the earthworms in your yard...solarizing and the "sifting" method would leave the subsurface critters alive.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

User avatar
Sharon Marie
Senior Member
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:25 pm
Location: Jeffersonville, IN

cynthia_h wrote:I restrict my use of boiling water (and it may have been my comment you read...) to weeds only, and anthills.

The water will maintain the very hot temperature several inches down into the soil. This means it will kill or at least badly burn earthworms.

You probably wouldn't want to kill all the earthworms in your yard...solarizing and the "sifting" method would leave the subsurface critters alive.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9
Ok, thanks for the tip. I was waiting for a reply :) I have an area behind my bedroom close to my house that I have removed the grass / weeds from. In working the soil - I did notice many earthworms. I decided not to use the boiling water to get rid of the weed roots, I'm only doing this on my patio area. However, I have these little fern looking weeds that are a real mennace. I haven't planted anything there yet, as I am waiting for my seeds indoors to mature. But, I have worked the soil about 10 inches deep, and they are still popping up!!! Help!
Reduce - Reuse - Recycle.
Zone 6A - Jeffersonville, Indiana

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

What happens is that, every time you "work the soil," you bring dormant weed seeds to the surface. They experience the water, the sunlight, the fresh air...and they grow.

This is one of the theoretical underpinnings of the "no till" school of thought: if those weed seeds are buried and dormant, let 'em stay there.

If this is a reasonably small area, just hand-pull the weeds--making sure you get their roots--when they start to show up. This is a long-term plan: my no-till eradication of certain weeds here took 3 seasons (3 years) to completely succeed. Now I'm starting on another eradication campaign for the last uncontrolled weed (oxalis).

But you'll need to be relentless in the hand-pulling. I recommend boiling water esp. for weeds in sidewalk cracks and other pavement, where it's often not possible to hand-pull *and* remove roots.

Cynthia

Timlin
Senior Member
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: Zone 3 Canada

Is this the ferny looking weed your talking about?

https://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/novak/rmnp/a338.html

This weed just cannot be gotten rid of. The roots go forever and I've redone my beds a million times and still they come back. You will be told if you use lime it will get rid of them....it won't!

They are the bane of my life in my perennial beds but all you can do is fight them, they come strong in the spring and then slow down and are not so much trouble after that.

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7492
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Equisetums are one of the oldest surviving plants, a primitive found in the fossil record. This one is a survivor for sure, but keep pulling; it'll give up eventually...

I love Cynthia's advice and wouldn't change a word; solarizing is a great way to kill off with little or no impact. Best practice!

HG
Scott Reil



Return to “What Doesn't Fit Elsewhere”