Weed Killer for Flower Beds

Q: Can I use the vinegar weed killer in a flower bed being careful not to spray the existing plants and if so how long before I can plant new plants or seeds?

Hardiness Zone: 5b

Darlene ORuairc from Clawson, MI

A: Darlene,

Vinegar shouldn't be used in any soil that you want to plant someday. It breaks down the soil's structure, leaving it unable to support growth. It's best just to hoe or hand pull the weeds and then mulch with an organic material to prevent weeds from re-emerging. Leaves, compost, cardboard, newspaper, grass clippings, straw, sawdust, pine needles and bark chips are some examples of effective mulching materials. Newspaper, straw, and grass clippings are my favorites, because they don't change the soil's pH and they contribute nutrients as they decompose. You might also consider planting a live mulch or groundcover to help control weeds. This trend is one that finally seems to be catching on. Most groundcovers have small, inconspicuous flowers and when used as a live mulch, provide gardeners with another way to add color and interest to the garden. Thyme is one example. It establishes quickly from seed, helps control insects, locks in moisture around plants and it smells nice. There are also several varieties with different colored foliage. Laurentia, WinterCreeper, Ivy, Trailing Periwinkle, Creeping Phlox and Sedum are examples of other great live mulch choices.

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Good luck!
Ellen

More Answers:

Weed Killer for Flower Beds

Try to stop the weeds before they grow. In the Spring I use Preen on all of my flower beds. This product stops the weed seeds from sprouting and it works quite well. Then you won't have as many weeds grow. They also have one with fertilizer in it too. (05/06/2006)

By Anna

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