The Q&A Archives: Grass Problems In Flower Garden

Question: Last year my teenage daughter tried to start a flower garden along our driveway. She dug up the existing grass and planted gladiola bulbs. Then she moved out, leaving me to take up where she left off. I tried to plant a few wildflower seeds in the remaining area, but I am having a lot of difficulty with the grass coming back in. This year I tilled the soil and bought a few small perennials to fill in. I have mulched twice, (the first time rain washed a river through my garden) but I still have grass coming up everywhere. I am afraid to use pesticides around the small plants I have growing now. How do I keep the grass from coming back? Also, I am thinking expanding this garden down the rest of the driveway, but it is grass now, and I am afraid of running into the same problem. How do I prevent this in the new area?

Answer: Usually, removal of the sod including its roots combined with mulching and a bit of weeding will control grass. However, if there is bermuda grass or other persistent weed grass type in the bed, then you will probably have to resort to chemical control such as glyphosate. This can be done as a spot treatment or, if the problem is severe, you may need to lift the perennials and apply it over over the entire area. Be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully. Your county extension should be able to help you identify the grass (or any other persistent weed) and recommend the best way and best application timing to control it. Once the grass is gone, you will need to edge the bed to keep it out.

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