Bulbs Flower Basics Flower Beds & Specialty Gardens Flower Garden Garden Furniture Garden Gnomes Garden Seeds Garden Sheds Garden Statues Garden Tools & Supplies Gardening Basics Green & Organic Groundcovers & Vines Growing Annuals Growing Basil Growing Beans Growing Berries Growing Blueberries Growing Cactus Growing Corn Growing Cotton Growing Edibles Growing Flowers Growing Garlic Growing Grapes Growing Grass Growing Herbs Growing Jasmine Growing Mint Growing Mushrooms Orchids Growing Peanuts Growing Perennials Growing Plants Growing Rosemary Growing Roses Growing Strawberries Growing Sunflowers Growing Thyme Growing Tomatoes Growing Tulips Growing Vegetables Herb Basics Herb Garden Indoor Growing Landscaping Basics Landscaping Patios Landscaping Plants Landscaping Shrubs Landscaping Trees Landscaping Walks & Pathways Lawn Basics Lawn Maintenance Lawn Mowers Lawn Ornaments Lawn Planting Lawn Tools Outdoor Growing Overall Landscape Planning Pests, Weeds & Problems Plant Basics Rock Garden Rose Garden Shrubs Soil Specialty Gardens Trees Vegetable Garden Yard Maintenance

How to Keep Grass From Growing in Flower Beds

How to Keep Grass From Growing in Flower Beds

Grass growing next to gardens causes problems. If you start with a grass-free garden, you are more likely to win the battle.

Where grass is concerned, the winner takes all, and if you're installing a garden in the middle of the lawn, expect hand-to-blade combat. It's the eternal homeowner's struggle: You want thick, lush grass, but you don't want it in the flowerbed, yet the grass keeps trying to get in.
Your best bet is to begin at the beginning and do it right. The time to win the war is when you are clearing land for a garden.
How Grass Spreads
The reason people love turf grass is its tenacious urge to spread and the rhizomes that make that possible. Many cool-season grasses have a kind of roots called rhizomes. These underground runners are tough cookies, crashing through soft soil and hard soil. They root themselves and start new grass plants that also wander through rhizomes and continue to take over the yard. Some grasses can resprout from a tiny piece of rhizome left in the soil. These are the grasses that invade your flower garden.
Start at the Beginning
The best time to take a stand against the grass that wants to take over your flower garden is when you carve out the garden in the first place or when you begin a garden renovation.
Things You'll Need
Lawn cutter or sharp spade
Rototiller
Mulch
Step 1
Use a lawn cutter or a sharp spade to cut into the grass along the border where the lawn and garden are to meet. Make vertical cuts into the sod, and take care not to leave any rhizomes on the garden side of the border.
Step 2
Till the area thoroughly until it is entirely loose and loamy. Use your hands to sift through the soil to remove every trace of root and rhizome you can find. Take your time and pull out every last piece. Starting grass-free is the key to maintaining a grass-free garden.
Step 3
Look for grass and weeds the next growing season and pull them up by hand. These are the plants that grew from seeds in the soil. Weed promptly and diligently to get them all.
Step 4
Apply a 2-to 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the flowers, once they are planted. Keep the mulch a few inches from the plant stems, but otherwise, mulch over every square inch of bare soil.
Existing Gardens
If you have an existing perennial garden or shrubbery line invaded by grass, you have only a few choices. You can attempt to dig out the grass rhizomes and roots by working the soil between existing plants, but this plan has obvious flaws and can not be expected to clear out most or all of the grass. Persistence will eventually pay off, but it could take several years. Weedkillers are a poor choice because they tend to also kill the plants in the area.
To truly eradicate the grass and have a chance at keeping it out, you'll have to take out all existing plants and use a rototiller, starting the garden again from scratch.
Using Barriers and Edging
It's a good idea to install edging between grass and garden. You'll find many plastic and metal products at the garden center, with black plastic edging being the low-cost option. These are generally more effective than barriers made from bricks and gardening fabric, because grass eventually finds a way through every opening. To install these you generally dig a trench at least 8 to 10 inches deep and secure them with stakes.

Check out these related posts