Grass should never be in flower beds, and you should know how to kill grass in flower beds if it occurs. It is a nuisance because it is no longer grass; it is just stubborn weeds that are difficult to get rid of. Sometimes perennial turf grasses can escape the lawns and invade your flower gardens which are so annoying. Fortunately, there are so many methods regarding how to get rid of grass in flower beds that you can try. Let’s take a look and see which approach works best for you.
1. Chemical Strategies
Effective and fast, chemical products are one of the easiest ways to get rid of grass in flower beds. There are 2 approaches that you may apply to remove weed from your flower garden completely. Those two are:
You will come across a lot of herbicide options when you search for one, and many of them work wonders. One of the best herbicides to kill grass from flower beds is a broad-spectrum herbicide. The thing to have in mind when choosing this method is that it can also affect nearby plants upon contact. Therefore, I recommend using it in a spray bottle so that you can apply it to the weed without affecting the flowers.
1.2. Pre-Emergent Weed Killer
As for this herbicide, it works by preventing new seed germination so that weeds won’t regrow. What you should know about pre-emergent weed killer is that it does not cause any effects on the weed’s roots. It is more of a preventive measure to apply so that perennial grasses won’t grow in your flower beds. So after you remove the weed from your garden, use pre-emergents so that they will not bother your flowers again.
Another thing to have in mind is that it also prevents other seeds from growing, including flower seeds. Therefore, you may not want to use pre-emergents if you want to self-seed ornamental plants in the garden.
2. Natural Strategies
Chemical is not always the answer, and the good thing is there are many natural strategies that you can apply. You will find 8 natural ways how to get the grass out of flower beds below. Let’s see if any of them matches your preferences.
2.1. Baking Soda
If it is crabgrass, then baking soda is the efficacious option that you should go for. It can kill grass in flower beds fast, and it is very easy to find too.
- Pour water on the crabgrass to wet it completely. Then use a generous amount of baking soda to scatter it on the leaves of the crabgrass and surrounding area.
- It won’t take long for the crabgrass to wither away and die. Once it does, use a shovel to dig it up with all its roots so that it won’t grow back.
2.2. Boiling Water
Whenever you search for cheap and easy ways to kill grass in flower beds, boiling water always comes up. It is so simple since all you need to do is pour hot boiling water over the weeds. In this method, you have to:
- Select a large pot with a spout from which you can easily pour the water. Make sure that you can carry that pot comfortably when boiling water without risking burning yourself.
- If your flower bed is far from the kitchen, it is advisable to boil the water outdoors. This is to ensure that you can easily transfer it without having to walk far with a pot of boiling water.
- Add water and salt to make your natural weed remover even more effective. Once it starts to boil, take the pot and pour the hot water on the grass directly. The boiling water will kill the grass instantly, so make sure it does not splash on your flowers.
2.3. Corn Gluten
Corn gluten is an organic method that you can easily use to control weeds like crabgrass and many more. It works very much like the pre-emergent herbicide, but it is organic which is safer. Simply put, it inhibits weed seeds from forming roots after germination. With the perfect timing, crabgrass and other weed seeds will form shoots but without roots. That means they will die, but this approach is the most effective in dry conditions. For details on how corn gluten works, check out The Spruce.
Boiling water is hot, but the flame is even hotter, so it can get rid of grass in flower beds fast. In some certain areas in the garden, you may just ignite them and watch them burn. You can also use torches to scorch the grass and kill them as well. This may be time-consuming, but it is also an effective method to apply. It is more ideal for small areas or small amounts of weeds, and fire can definitely kill those.
This is one of the best ways to recycle your old newspapers while killing weed from flower beds. You will need plenty of newspapers in this method, and it may some time for it to work. Be patient, and the final result will be satisfying.
- Take the newspaper and lay them on top of the weeds; the layers should be at least 4. Some people use up to 10 layers if the grass is thick so you may do that too. Make sure that you cover the weed entirely by overlapping the newspaper piles.
- Soak the newspaper with water so that it remains in place even if it is windy outside. Then add a thick layer of mulch between 3 inches to 6 inches over the newspaper. Then spray the area again with water to add weight to both the newspaper and water.
- You will have to wait for quite some time for the darkness and dampness to kill the grass. Make sure to regularly water the mulch and newspaper to keep them wet so that the effects will show fast.
- The grass will die, and you can also easily remove the remaining ones that survive. Its effects will also show faster if you notice the weed and apply the method early.
Similar to flame, solarization is quite an effective approach that you can try to kill grass in flower beds. If you have a large area of flower beds, solarization is going to be a fast way to get rid of them. All you need to do is choose the hottest time of the year or days with plenty of sun.
- Mow the lawn, and make sure to cut it as short as you can so that the effects show faster.
- Lay clear plastic to cover the area with grass and simply lets the sunlight do the job. You can also use black plastic, but the clear one allows you to see the progress better.
- The sunlight will heat the soil beneath the grass while the plastic helps with additional insulation. This method will kill the grass and even roots of all plants in the soil that are beneath the plastic.
Another way how to get the grass out of flower beds is by using vinegar, the classic home remedy. It is more like a herbicide that you can easily mix at home and use with a few simple steps. You will need dish soap, some salt, white vinegar, and a bottle or container.
- Mix one gallon of white vinegar with a cup of salt (Epson salt or rock salt). Then add one tablespoon of dish soap and shake or stir until it mixes well.
- You can use a spray bottle to spray the solution to the stubborn grass to avoid effects on the flowers. In certain areas, you can simply pour your herbicide directly onto the grass on the ground.
- The vinegar will kill the grass while the salt prevents it from growing back. Meanwhile, the dish soap makes sure that the solution remains in place at a lengthy duration for an effective killing.
Weeding is just another straightforward technique on how to get the grass out of flower beds that everyone can do. You will have to just manually pull those weeds from the garden beds by hand. This is the most effective method because you know you will only get rid of grass without affecting the flowers. It may sound like a lot of work, but there are a few things that you can do to ease the tasks.
- Take a small garden spade to dig around the grass; you may use a trowel if you have one. This will make weeding easier, and you are able to remove all the weeds faster.
- You have to take everything and make sure that there is nothing left in the soil. Because a small bit of root can also regrow into weeds that will invade the flower beds again.
- Tug out every bit of grass and root, and dig a little deeper to ensure that the soil is clear. This approach is ideal for minor weed problems or a small garden, and it shows effects right away.
3. How To Prevent Grass From Spreading Into Flower Beds
After killing grass from flower beds, you also want to make sure that it won’t come back. Removing weeds is not a fun task, so this is the next step that you should apply. There are a few ways that you execute to prevent grass from spreading in your flower beds, including:
3.1. Garden Edging
The awesome thing about garden edging is that it does not only make everything looks neat but also prevents weeds. It creates a clean border between the flower garden and the lawn or path while keeping unwanted grass away. There are so many gardens edging ideas that you can choose from, and they are all very nice also. We actually have a different segment on edging ideas that you can check out here. (link to article 112)
Another way to prevent grass from coming back is to cover your soil with around 3 inches of mulch layer. Mulch can discourage new grass seeds from germinating by creating a shady barrier in the flower bed. Because grass and weeds grow well in areas with sunlight, mulch will discourage them from invading your flower garden.
3.3. Regular Mowing
You can also mow regularly if the area is large in order to keep the population of the weed down. There are certain types of grass that you might want to keep, so mowing is another alternative to keep everything neat. You can also add some herbicides either chemically or organically to discourage weed germination so that more of them won’t grow.
4. Invasive Grass Types On Flower Beds
Grasses and weeds are annoying, and being able to identify them helps you to use the right method to remove them. While there are so many of them, I will only show you 5 most common grass types below. Maybe one of them is invading your flower beds right now, so check them out.
Common chickweed is an invasive weedy plant that grows in agricultural fields, gardens, roadsides, and more. As a low-growing perennial plant, it is more like a weed in ornamental plant beds and turfgrass. The best way to get rid of them is by weeding; you have to put them out of the ground. Since it has shallow roots, you can easily remove it by hand, pulling or digging it out with a hoe.
4.2. Common Lambsquarters
So invasive, common lambsquarters grow in gardens and other disturbed locations where they produce seeds and multiply. This plant can grow up to 5 feet tall if the conditions are favorable for them, mainly moisture and soil fertility. Getting rid of this invasive weed is quite daunting because it is way too resilient for home remedies or natural methods.
You may want to contact a professional to do the job because it is faster and easier. In case you want to try to remove them by yourself, check out some helpful tips from SFGATE here.
Here we have one of the most common grass that invade flower beds, and it is horrible. It has many stems with a procumbent growth habit no matter where it is. Crabgrass is bad because it competes and steels moisture and nutrients from the flower bed or lawn. So it simply makes other grasses difficult to grow while its high stalk space creates shelter for pests.
You can get rid of them by using baking soda, then add pre-emergents to prevent its germination later. In case baking soda does not work, there are still many methods you can apply. You may want to learn more about crabgrass here from Pennington.
4.4. Giant Foxtail
This is an invasive annual grass that invades disturbed areas like fence rows, garden beds, landfills, roadsides, and more. It is a summer annual grass that grows from seed in spring and dies in fall but comes back every year. You can get rid of them by applying the same approach you do to eliminate crabgrass. I also trust Scotts when it comes to weed control.
While it is edible, pigweed is still one of the invasive weed species on your flower beds. Make sure to look for them in spring and pull them out as soon as possible before they develop seeds. You can also control them by using herbicide because some species are resistant to some certain approaches.
Knowing how to get grass out of flower beds is one of the important things for gardeners. Weeds are pretty invasive, so it is not uncommon to see them growing in your flower beds. Since there are many easy and effective methods that you can do to kill grass in flower beds, things are convenient. I only include the simple ones, and I sure hope you will find them useful.