The Q&A Archives: Grass And Weeds Growing In Pachysandra

Question: How can I prevent grass and weeds from growing in my pachysandra? Before I purchased my home, the builder threw grass seed everywhere. I did not want any grass at all. I covered most of my property with wood chips - and planted pachysandra on either side of the front walk. However, I had an enormous grass and weed problem last year - and want to eliminate it for this year.

Answer: As the pachysandra fills in it should be able to outcompete the weeds. You might spread a layer of dampened newspaper on the soil between the plants and cover that with an organic mulch layer several inches thick. This should prevent new weeds from sprouting and should smother existing weeds. If some pop their way through that, apply an herbicide containing glyphosate to control them, being careful to protect the pachysandra from any spray drift. A wipe-on application method may be easier to control. Follow the label instructions carefully and allow ample time for the chemical to translocate to the roots. Finally, make sure you don't let any of the weeds go to seed -- that's one of the biggest steps in getting a weed population under control.

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