How to Kill Grass in the Flower Bed

How to kill grass in the flower bed

A healthy green lawn is a sight to behold, but the lovely grass creeping into your flower beds is a nemesis of the gardener. The invasive grass will compete with your beautiful flowers taking up their water and nutrients. Worse, they are hard to pull up by hand.

Preventing the creeping and seed migration of grass into your lawn is challenging for a gardener. 

But, don’t fret! Even though grass in flower beds looks chaotic, there are specific methods that require special attention to eradicate it. That’s good news, true?

Read on.

How to Kill Grass in the Flowerbed

Undesirable grass raiding your flower beds is an annoyance. Luckily, you won’t sweat on your knees and hands anymore trying to pull out the grass for the entire growing season. Start to take care of your flower beds using the following less tiring and effective methods.

Use of Organic Methods

If you would instead not use chemicals in your garden, there are organic ways to kill grass in your flower beds. Such as;

Solarisation:  This is useful in case a large area has grass as an intruder. Use a black plastic sheet layer to cover the grass. Black or dark colours absorb a lot of heat; therefore choose a time when the sun is hottest. The grass under the plastic sheet will bake, killing the seeds and roots as well. This is perfect if you are getting rid of grass to create a flower bed.

Boiling water: Have your water boil to the maximum and pour it over the grass. Boiled water will kill the whole plant, including the roots.

Corn gluten: Application of corn gluten is an organic way of controlling perennial crabgrass and other variety of weeds. It averts the crabgrass from invading the garden but can hardly remove turf grass already in the garden.

Vinegar: You can use the horticultural or home vinegar. Using diluted vinegar will need multiple applications to kill the grass. But, it is worth a try.

Flame torch: propane torches use too high heat to spot kill grass and other weeds. However, not always are they successful in killing even the roots.

Use of Selective and Non-Selective Herbicides

When it comes to using chemicals such as herbicides, it is better to be keen on their instructions.

The selective herbicides are safer since they will not harm your desirable plants growing with the grass. There are those especially for certain types of weeds, and others are for general weed eradication. Apply selective herbicides just as you would use the non-selective type.

Conversely, the non-selective/ broad-spectrum herbicides are the most effective in removing grass from flowerbeds. However, the broad-spectrum herbicides will not just kill grass but even other plants close to the grass. They are strong enough to damage even the soil inhibiting further growth of plants for a period. Also, you can get them premixed or come as liquid concentrates to mix with water. This is how to use herbicides to kill grass from your flower beds.

What you will need;

  • Protective gear
  • Wand garden sprayer
  • Trowel/ hand fork
  1. Choose a day that is not windy or rainy. Put on the protective gear before using any chemical.
  2. With a wand-sprayer, you can target the grass only avoiding other desirable plants. Also, you can block the useful plants using cardboard for the herbicide not to get into contact with them. Spray thoroughly.
  3. Give the sprayed grass time for the herbicide to work through to the roots. Dead grass will turn to brown but if not, repeat the process till you get desired results.
  4. After a few more days the grass will be completely dead. Dig out the dead grass using a trowel.

Caution: Use herbicides as the last resort as these chemicals pose a danger to humans, pets and environment.

Manual/Hand Removal

Hand removal is ideal for small grass infestation since it is less challenging. Perennial grass will regrow even when a small piece of root remains. To make sure that not even the least bit of root remains, work loose the soil to remove the entire root system from the ground.

Hand removal should be a continuous process even when doing the regular maintenance of your garden. With grass, remove it immediately you spot it.

How to Prevent Grass from Growing In Flower Beds

Killing grass on your flower beds is a solution to a healthy flower bed, but the best approach would be keeping it from growing in the wrong places. This will help relieve the stress of pulling grass one by one.

  • Use a barrier between beds and lawns. You can try the landscaping bricks or other means that need sinking into the ground. However, even after placing barriers be on the watch out to pull out any that may be stubborn to creep in the beds.
  • Also, you can use mulch about 3 inches to layer around the soil of the flower beds. The mulch will stop new grass seeds from germinating.
  • Before planting flowers, first, build a foundation. With a suitable spot, edge the flower bed, so it stands out from the rest of the garden. After determining the location, use plastic sheets to place in the soil dugout. Add organic material to fill in the dugout area with the plastic sheets.
  • Add a pre-emergent herbicide to avoid any grass seeds present in the soil from growing. The pre-emergent herbicide will only work on seeds that haven’t sprouted. Look for Trifluralin as an active ingredient in the pre-emergent herbicides.

How to Kill Grass in the Flower Bed without Killing Plants

Most times, the only effective method of killing grass without damaging desirable plants is by hand removal. Unfortunately, it can be impossible if the grass such as Bermuda grass is grown and intertwined deeming it hard to pull out. Moreover, pulling out grass that has sprout will leave behind root fragments in the spoil, causing regrowth.

Conversely, a selective grass herbicide will be your best bet in killing grass without harming close ornamental plants. These products are especially active in killing a variety of grass types, annual and perennial.

Though prevention is always the best deal, it may not be enough to keep grass out of your flower beds completely. So, a combination of herbicides (selective, pre and post-emergent) and barriers will give you the best results in killing only grass from your flower bed.

Grass Killer for Flowerbeds

It’s such a turn off to spot even the least weeds in a beautiful flower bed. This is especially after having spent money and time growing a magnificent flower bed arrangement in your home.

Grass killers for flowerbeds are a great way to save the beauty of your garden. You can use them to kill already grown grass or preventing new growth. Such as;

Roundup ready-to-use weed and grass killer: Do you want a guarantee grass killer? This non-selective grass killer will eliminate even the roots. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup will kill anything it comes in contact with. Even though it is non-selective, it comes with a wand sprayer that helps you target only the weeds away from the desirable plants. Roundup does a sure job in as less as 3 hours and it is rainproof 30 minutes after spraying.

Preen Garden Weed Preventer: As a pre-emergent, Preen Garden does not disappoint. Although it does not kill existing weeds (that’s what it’s supposed to do), it will avert fresh grass from growing. Incredibly, it lasts up to 3 months once applied. Spring is the best time to use it, after layering mulch on your flowerbed. Moreover, it is safe to use even on edible plants.

Ortho Grass B Gon Garden Grass Killer: For the best selective herbicide for the invasive grass, trust the Ortho for a flawless job. Fluazifop-P-butyl as an active ingredient will kill several grass types and other weeds without damaging your flowerbed and other plants. For significant results, apply twice with seven days apart.

Final Thoughts

Do you need to kill or prevent grass growing in your flowerbed? The best answer is, both! Prevention techniques should apply before or after killing the grass successfully. However, remember that even after killing grass, some will still try to creep back into the flowerbed even after using a prevention measure.

Timing is key. Once you spot grass or any other weed on your flowerbed, could you act promptly and remove it immediately?