Ask a Question forum: How to deal with weeds/grass around plants I want to keep?

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San Jose, California
Jorenm
Jan 14, 2018 2:02 PM CST
I've been doing some landscaping on my front yard, but am having some issues with plants/weeds. The path between the rocks in the picture has new ground cover I've planted. I didn't lay weed cloth because I want the ground cover to be able to spread and re-root, but the Gorilla Hair hasn't dissuaded the grass much, and it's a constant struggle to keep it clear.

Does anyone have a suggestion for how I should deal with this?


Thumb of 2018-01-14/Jorenm/2b2e85

Name: Sam
Massachusetts (Zone 5b)
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gradient
Jan 14, 2018 2:19 PM CST
Landscape fabric placed right under your stone border is the easiest way to keep the weeds and grass from rooting through the rocks. If you wanted your ground cover to root around and through the stones, you could put cardboard under your stones which would disintegrate into the soil fairly quickly but give you some time for the plants you want to spread. Getting a new bed established, particularly over what was once lawn often takes a couple seasons of serious weeding to keep it mostly clear. At least that has been my experience.

I have done the cardboard under a stone border, and it got me through a season.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jan 14, 2018 2:31 PM CST
As the grass is already there, what type is it?
You can pull all the grass. If it does not pull easily, which means deep roots or rhizomes.
You can buy some vegetation killer, not weed killer vegetation, and not spray but control the trigger so you literally just put a few drops on each plant.
Then until it is gone, gone, do that with each new sprout. Drops, not spray.
You have to bend over or kneel but it puts it where it counts.
San Jose, California
Jorenm
Jan 14, 2018 3:03 PM CST
RpR said:As the grass is already there, what type is it?
You can pull all the grass. If it does not pull easily, which means deep roots or rhizomes.
You can buy some vegetation killer, not weed killer vegetation, and not spray but control the trigger so you literally just put a few drops on each plant.
Then until it is gone, gone, do that with each new sprout. Drops, not spray.
You have to bend over or kneel but it puts it where it counts.


I have no idea what type of grass it is. Our front yard has been mostly untouched since we bought the house. Will the vegetation killer poison the ground, or mostly just kill the plants I put it on directly?
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jan 14, 2018 3:09 PM CST
If you do not do it before it rains, or you sprinkle, it will not spread.
That is why I said drops not spray.
It, though, is easier said than done and takes a little practice to control the trigger.
If you get the nozzle right over , nearly touching the grass, a short spurt is OK but I have found drops works best.
One of the big jugs with a separate hand-gun are easier to control.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jan 14, 2018 3:50 PM CST
Well, in SA Jose... A weed killer that kills the root, Will !!! Damage nearby plants, even if applied with a small pencil size paintbrush .
Right now, weeds look like annual, winter weeds/grass. Hand pull, carefully, roots are large, snip off with scissors, or just leave them, they will die when weather gets warm.

BIG THING ! We need to know ! Is, the type of grass that was there before, Bermuda, or what ???
It really matters ???

😎😎😎








Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jan 14, 2018 5:32 PM CST
Welcome! to NGA, Jorenm


I'd probably take a completely different approach ... Hilarious! Hilarious!

I have to admit, I do have a lazy streak and do try to avoid working too hard ... Hilarious!

I would pull the plants you want to keep and put them in a holding area and prepare the bed using the lasagna gardening method. It's a whole lot easier than fighting weeds.

Here's a link to an article on our site with some threads with questions and answers about this method of gardening:

https://garden.org/ideas/view/...

Of course, you can ask your own questions, too ... Smiling

There are several other articles in the database that provide more information. Just put "lasagna gardening" in the search field.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
San Jose, California
Jorenm
Jan 14, 2018 10:40 PM CST
RoseBlush1 said: Welcome! to NGA, Jorenm


I'd probably take a completely different approach ... Hilarious! Hilarious!

I have to admit, I do have a lazy streak and do try to avoid working too hard ... Hilarious!

I would pull the plants you want to keep and put them in a holding area and prepare the bed using the lasagna gardening method. It's a whole lot easier than fighting weeds.

Here's a link to an article on our site with some threads with questions and answers about this method of gardening:

https://garden.org/ideas/view/...

Of course, you can ask your own questions, too ... Smiling

There are several other articles in the database that provide more information. Just put "lasagna gardening" in the search field.


That looks like a great option, I think this is what I will do.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jan 15, 2018 8:43 AM CST
Agree, I've learned through a lot of trail & error (and extra unnecessary work) that preparation and waiting is so much easier than trying to force a spot to be a "flower bed" without the preparation. And being practical about edges. I also LOVE that rock appearance but it will always trap seeds and create a spot where occasional weeding is necessary. A smooth border like bricks or landscape timbers can be edged with a string trimmer, preventing the need to hand-pull unwanted sprouts along the edge, and preventing creeping grasses from being able to invade by climbing over. Hopefully you don't have any grass that can invade from below.
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The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
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SunnyBorders
Jan 15, 2018 12:39 PM CST
I can really identify with avoiding edging with rocks. Where I've had to do so, having very largely buried plastic edging between the rocks and the lawn (with just the top exposed) has made the subsequent weeding much easier.

I've never used Roundup myself, but understand that as a systemic herbicide it spreads through a plant it's painted/sprayed on but does not move on into adjacent plants. It's also broken down through microbial action in the soil (reference below). But likely the type of soil is a relevant factor.

http://forestinfo.ca/faqs/how-...
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jan 15, 2018 2:17 PM CST
Charlie ... I must be a whole lot lazier than you ... Smiling

I live in the mountains and we have an endless supply of all kinds and sizes of rocks, so rock borders are the norm up here.

I try to do all of my work at the beginning stages of bed prep. I dug a trench ... not all that deep ... and after weeding, lined it with newspaper and cardboard. I put a couple of inches of course sand down and placed my rock border, but since I made the trench wide enough for a mow strip beyond the rock border, I continued filling the trench up to the level of the lawn with a few inches of gravel, then some larger stones and ended with small cobbles. Over the years, I've had very few weeds or grass grow in the mow strip.

Of course, I don't have much of a lawn. It's only about 400 sq ft and is essentially the cover crop for my maple tree roots. I can weed whack it in about 10 minutes. Also, I have no need for a tidy lawn, so if I do see any weeds in the mow strip, I just get to them when I am working on the bed. There never are enough to worry about.

Just my two cents about how to deal with rock borders.

Edited to add:

Oops ... since I am blithering on about how I built my mow strip, I think I should add a caution. Always put the smaller particles, i.e., sand, at the bottom and the larger particles at the top, i.e. cobbles. Otherwise, you are building a perched bed that inhibits drainage and that creates a real mess !
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
[Last edited by RoseBlush1 - Jan 15, 2018 2:40 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1621445 (11)
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
Image
SunnyBorders
Jan 15, 2018 2:51 PM CST
Lyn, rather, perhaps smarter!

I certainly agree that many future problems with flower bed maintenance can be avoided, or reduced, by thought and knowledge at the time when the beds are first envisaged.

Still I do like neat (perennial) flower beds and then perhaps "need to weed" is also part of a gardener's personality.
[Last edited by SunnyBorders - Jan 15, 2018 2:53 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1621464 (12)
Wyoming (Zone 4a)
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Ape_Goblin
Jan 20, 2018 10:50 PM CST
The way I see it, where there is a weed there is a niche. Pull it and replace it with a colorful grass, or purslane or plantain.

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