Now that December has arrived, the growing season is officially over in my neck of the woods. That grass and weeds grow in flowerbeds is an inevitable reality that all gardeners including myself must face. You spend hours and even days preparing the soil in your garden only to discover that patches of new grass and weeds pop up in your garden seemingly over night. I have a few months to worry about getting my gardens cleaned up and stopping the grass and weeds from growing around my flowers. However, preparing for the next growing season can never start too early. So, what is the best way of keeping grass and weeds out of your flower and vegetable gardens? With these useful gardening tips, eliminating grass and weeds in flowerbeds and other gardens can be an easy reality.
The least expensive but most time consuming solution for eliminating grass and weeds in flowerbeds is hand weeding. Hand weeding means removing the grass and other weeds from the garden by hand. To pull weeds by hand, use a garden fork or trowel to loosen the roots of each clump of grass and weeds from the soil. Then use the same tool or your hand to pull the grass and weeds from the dirt. Make sure to remove the entire plant from the soil including the roots because, if you leave the roots in the soil, the grass and weeds will just grow back quickly. The best way to weed grass and other weeds from a flowerbed by hand is to set aside a specified time per week to work on this chore to prevent grass and weeds from overtaking your garden. Because I am not big into using chemicals around my family and pets, hand weeding is my preferred method.
Landscaping Fabric and Mulch
If you do not want to devote the time to pulling grass and weeds by hand but do not want to use dangerous chemicals in your flowerbeds, the second best solution for controlling grass and weeds is to use landscaping fabric and mulch. The easiest and quickest way to use this method is to lay down the fabric and mulch before planting any flowers. Simply lay down enough fabric to cover the entire flower bed, and then spread a layer of mulch over the fabric. If you need to use more than one piece, overlap the landscaping fabric a few inches to prevent grass and weeds from popping up in the crack. To plant flowers, poke holes in the fabric. Landscaping fabric and mulch can also be added to existing gardens although this method requires measuring for holes for existing plants. I also try to use landscaping fabric and mulch in my gardens; however, sometimes I still need to turn to hand weeding because grass and other weeds still manage to take hold.
The easiest but most environmentally unfriendly solution for eliminating grass and weeds from flowerbeds is to use a chemical herbicide. In addition to chemical weed killers and inhibitors, organic and natural herbicides are also available. For example, Preen makes a number of products for various needs including organic weed preventer for vegetable gardens and chemical weed preventers for flowers. Your local garden store can suggest the best product for your needs. Always follow the directions on the package for proper application. Remember: herbicides kill plants and can therefore be harmful to humans and other animals. This method of grass and weed control in flowerbeds is not recommended for gardeners with pets or small children. With a baby on the way and a cat and dog in my home, I try to avoid chemicals at all costs. The risks just do not outweigh the benefits.
Keeping weeds and grass out of flowerbeds is an endless battle that all gardeners including myself will fight. Sure, today is only December 1, but, in reality, planning for the next growing season can never start too early. Through one or more of these simple gardening tips, eliminating grass and weeds in flowerbeds and other gardens can be easily achieved.
Update: Try using vinegar to kill thistles in gardens, rocks, and grass.
Tips for Eliminating Grass and Weeds in Flowerbeds and Gardens: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Poa_annua.jpg and https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Smet%C3%A1nka_l%C3%A9ka%C5%99sk%C3%A1_-_zral%C3%A1_semena.jpg
Weed in a Garden: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Poa_annua.jpg