How to Get Rid of Grass in a Garden

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A place for everything and everything in its place. That old proverb goes for grass too; it belongs in the lawn, not in the garden. Removing grass from new-and existing-garden sites can be a chore. Besides digging up and removing weeds by hand, there are several things you can do to deal with this gardening problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Old newspapers or leftover wrapping paper
  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Lawn fabric
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Weed prevention product
  • Herbicide
  • Plan to start ridding your garden of grass early by saving old newspapers to lay on top of the garden. If it’s right after the holidays, save the simple wrapping paper-not the fancy, metallic paper-it will work too. It doesn't matter if it is in good shape; no one will see it when you're finished with it.

  • Lay the newspapers or wrapping paper on top of the garden. The amount of paper needed will depend upon the size of the garden, but you want a dense layer of paper.Cover the paper with a layer of mulch to make it more attractive. In several months, the grass should be dead. Dig or till the paper and mulch into the garden when you’re ready to plant. This can also be done with existing gardens as well.

  • Lay lawn fabric over the freshly tilled garden or over an existing garden. Use a utility knife to cut it to the lengths to fit the garden and to fit the lawn fabric around established plants. After the garden is covered, spread several inches of mulch over the lawn fabric.

  • Plant any new flowers or vegetables. Use a utility knife and cut an ‘X’ in the lawn fabric big enough to get the roots of the plant through. Scoop out some of the dirt, and insert the plant through the hole in the lawn fabric. Replace as much of the dirt through the hole and around the roots of the plant. Smooth the lawn fabric and mulch around the base of the plant.

  • Prevent any grass that still might want to come up by spreading a weed prevention product, like Preen. Some of these products come in liquid form that you spray on the garden, while others are sprinkled on the garden. Be sure to use the right formula for the vegetable garden.

  • Kill any grass that tries to send runners over the edge of the garden by using an herbicide, like Round-Up. Again, be sure to read and follow the instructions on the product. You don’t want to kill the rose bush along with the grass.

Tips & Warnings

  • In addition to helping prevent weeds, lawn fabric will help the soil retain moisture.
  • Keep all chemicals and gardening tools out of the reach of children.

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