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Stop pesky grasses in beds?

Discussion in 'Lawns & Landscaping' started by Andrew, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Apr 14, 2018
    seedcorn

    seedcorn Garden Master

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    I must be lazy as I’ve never seen a weed free garden. Grass is Best killed with a herbicide that will go nameless......
     
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  2. Apr 14, 2018
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    the ditch grass isn't an annual, i'm not familiar with all the varieties of grasses, so perhaps it is a rye, but the winter rye here i've grown from the grain is an annual and the seeds are completely different (ditch grass is blackish seed in color and much smaller).

    whatever the small grass is i'm keeping it under control well enough. i don't spend a great deal of time weeding in many of the gardens because they are surrounded by weed free spaces. just a few remnants here and there and some sprouts from things brought in by wind/birds/ants/etc.

    mace sedge is around. don't like. pull on sight if i see it in a garden. some persists in the grassy areas, but i'll pull it out of there too if i see it and have the time.
     
  3. Apr 14, 2018
    catjac1975

    catjac1975 Garden Master

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    Preem is a pre emergent herbicide. I keeps seeds from germinating. It does not kill anything. It does not work on some kinds of weeds-more for the grass like weeds.
     
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  4. Apr 15, 2018
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    @flowerbug do you think that grass could be Johnson Grass? That description of the roots sounds like it could be.
     
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  5. Apr 15, 2018
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    no, the seedheads are more compact and the plant can get much taller than 2ft. i'm quite sure it was intentionally planted along the drainage ditch when they put the ditch in and i may even be able to find out through that route if i really wanted to look it up. i'm not sure when it was built (before we came along here).
     
  6. Apr 15, 2018
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    Also, read about how people here like @catjac have been using cardboard and layered paper (including newspaper) to mulch right next to your plants. Preen is a herbicide specifically designed to kill ALL seeds for about 3 months straight, then you reapply as needed.
    If you HEAVILY mulch around your plants mid season you can keep most of the weeds from sprouting then and THAT is when you will damage vegetables giving your their fruit. I did that by mowing/mulching burdock that hadn't gone to seed (1st year burdock) and spreading it 3-4 inches thick around my peppers AFTER using Preen several inches out from their stems. I pretty much had few to no weeds sprout up bc they had no sun. Btw, after 3 months the mulch had turned into dirt, still very few weeds, and those could be easily pulled out.
    Do NOT use any kind of wood mulch besides pine bc some can be toxic, like walnut, and then you will kill pretty much everything in the bed.
     
  7. Apr 15, 2018
    catjac1975

    catjac1975 Garden Master

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    There are a few broadleaf weeds that preen does not prevent but it does a pretty good job. I would never use it on vegetables. There is an organic preen, which is made from corn gluten. I have used that on onions as they are difficult to keep weeded. Again that does not prevent certain broadleaf weeds but it does help. My big problem is an invasive grass that spreads through underground rhizomes.I have been weeding a flower bed all morning. No matter how well it is weeded a little bit of the invader is left behind to cause me to go back to weeding. It was perfect last fall, it is now not too bad so I am working at it so it does not get out of hand. I will lime, fertilize, use cardboard if I can get more, mulch heavily with leaves and then Preem. It is work but, weeding is good for the restless mind and a joy...WHEN IT IS DONE!
     
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  8. Apr 15, 2018
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    Sometimes when feeling lazy I call weeds wildflowers :hide:hide
     
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  9. Apr 15, 2018
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    i rarely use any fresh wood chips to mulch in veggie gardens unless they've been broken down/decayed for several years. by the time that happens it hasn't ever been an issue. they're mostly nice dark humus with just bits of the large pieces of wood left.

    i frequently use fresh wood chips to mulch around perennial gardens and haven't noticed any problems from doing that either.

    as for weeds in perennial gardens. yes there are always some, but certain plants seem to grow well and keep many of them from coming along. the daylillies we have planted have been in the same spot for 15yrs or so and i think we pull some things out there from time to time, but not much.

    if a garden gets very weedy i just smother it for a few years and then replant. if i need the space right away i'll dig down about 2ft and scrape the top sod layer/soil and weeds/seeds and all and put them down in the bottom of the hole and the put some layer of newspapers or cardboard over that before filling it back in. if i don't dig that deep again in that area for several years those seeds won't be brought back into the germination zone. you will have other longer term weed seeds which can survive in the soil seed bank for many years, but just keep scraping the top just a little once in a while as they sprout. you do not want to disturb the soil deeply (it moves more seeds into the germination zone). i use a strap hoe (D shaped very thin and lays flat on the ground, it's also sharp so it cuts weeds off easily) and can weed almost all the gardens here in a week and not working very hard. mulch what i can, smother what i can and scrape what i can.

    once the gardens are growing they don't get too many weeds. i often leave certain ones here or there because i'd rather have some diversity in the garden and places for bugs to be when the surrounding plants are harvested.
     
  10. Apr 16, 2018
    ninnymary

    ninnymary Garden Master

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    Well you've never seen mine. ;) But it's tiny so I can keep on top of it. If fact, I get excited when I see a blade of grass! :p

    Mary
     
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