How do you kill grass between perennials and ground cover plants?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

When it comes to killing grass between perennials and ground cover plants, there are a few methods you can employ. One effective approach is to use an herbicide, specifically glyphosate. However, it’s important to keep in mind that glyphosate is a broad-spectrum, nonselective herbicide, meaning it will kill any plant it comes into contact with. So, extra caution is needed to avoid harming the desired plants.

Before proceeding, it’s crucial to identify the specific grass species you are dealing with. This will help determine the best course of action and ensure that the herbicide you select is effective against that particular grass type. Once you have determined the grass species, you can choose an appropriate glyphosate-based herbicide.

To apply the herbicide, you should first carefully assess the area. Take note of the location of the perennials and ground cover plants, and plan your spraying accordingly. It’s advisable to spray on a calm day to minimize the risk of herbicide drift, which can inadvertently harm nearby plants.

Begin by marking out the areas where the grass is growing, ensuring you avoid spraying directly on the perennials or ground covers. This could be done by using flags or stakes to clearly demarcate the boundaries. By selectively spraying only the grass, you can minimize the risk of damage to the desired plants.

When applying the herbicide, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. It’s essential to wear appropriate protective clothing, such as gloves and goggles, to avoid skin and eye contact with the herbicide. Take care to spray only the grass, keeping the nozzle close to the ground and aiming directly at the target plants. This targeted approach will help reduce the chances of herbicide contact with the surrounding perennials and ground covers.

After spraying, it’s important to monitor the area closely. Keep an eye out for any signs of herbicide damage to the desired plants. If any unintended contact occurs, promptly rinse the affected area with water to minimize the potential harm.

In addition to using herbicides, there are a few alternative methods you can consider to control grass between perennials and ground covers. These methods may take more time and effort, but they can be effective and safer for the desired plants:

1. Hand pulling: If the grass patch is small, you can manually pull out the unwanted grass. Be sure to remove the entire root system to prevent regrowth.

2. Mulching: Applying a layer of mulch around the perennials and ground covers can help suppress grass growth. Mulch acts as a physical barrier, preventing sunlight from reaching the grass and inhibiting its growth.

3. Smothering: Another option is to smother the grass by covering it with a thick layer of cardboard or newspaper and then topping it with mulch. This method deprives the grass of sunlight and effectively kills it over time.

4. Solarization: This method involves covering the grass with a clear plastic sheet, which traps heat and raises the temperature beneath it. The high temperatures can kill the grass and its roots. However, solarization requires several weeks of intense heat to be effective, so it may not be practical in all climates.

Remember, it’s essential to regularly monitor the area for any regrowth of grass and promptly address it using the chosen method. By being diligent and proactive, you can successfully manage grass between perennials and ground covers, maintaining the health and beauty of your desired plants.