Preventing Weeds in Flower Beds

Don't let your beautiful flower bed be overrun by weeds. This is a guide about preventing weeds in flower beds.


July 4, 2016 Flag

This plant with pretty purple flowers popped up in my garden this year, and I never planted it. When I went to the garden center, I found out it is called purple loosestrife, and is very invasive. The person I spoke to said to be very wary when things you didn't plant pop up in your garden!

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July 5, 20160 found this helpful

I just read that, indeed, this plant is highly invasive. The plant spreads to new areas by means of seed dispersal. One plant can produce as many as 2 million seeds per year. You might want to Keep all blooms picked before they set seed.

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July 6, 20160 found this helpful

The stems were woody, so I had to use my heavy duty pruning tool. I cut as

Close to the ground as I could get. I packed the plants in a sealed garbage bag and threw them out. I couldn't dig up the roots. I'll be watching out for new growth.

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July 7, 20160 found this helpful

2-4,D amine is a very effective weed killer and should eradicate any new growth. The residual effects can last for quite a while. For that reason, in small, select areas, I have switched to household bleach. It too, is very effective without long term issues.

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October 6, 2014 Flag
1 found this helpful

I've tried the newspaper, mulch, digging by hand; all in vain. After building our house, I had a roll of leftover brown paper like they use to protect your floors while building. I used this on one of my flower beds as an experiment.

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August 4, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

This is a guide about keeping grass from growing in a flower bed. Weed grass seeds can be carried by the wind, birds or be already in your soil ready to sprout when they get water.

Grass up against a flower bed

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October 25, 2006 Flag
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How can I, a physically disabled women, keep grass and weeds out of my front flower bed (consisting of over 200 gladiola bulbs). The flower bed is surrounding my front deck. Also, I have many other plants and flowers throughout the yard? The grass, weeds and wire grass just about ate them all up this past year.

There is too much demand on our watering supply to water daily, so I had a deep layer of mulch (that the bulbs wear planted/set into which would and did retain the moisture for the flowers).

I hired help to plant the bulbs in mulch that had been sitting for a two to four years BUT the grass, weeds etc. came up making the flower beds looking nasty/dirty and unkept.

I do not recall my grandparents having any trouble with their bulbs being over run by grass and weeds. Perhaps I was too young to notice them out daily weeding to notice why their flower beds always looked fantastic!

Please help with some sort of deterrent for me to use for this problem.

Laying a layer of water soaked newspaper and covering it with more mulch was suggested to stop the weeds/grass from growing. I haven't tried this yet, has anyone of you done this sort of thing or anything else to be a deterrent to weeds & grass growing in the flower beds?

Any help or suggestion will be greatly appreciated and used next spring in 2007 as I am sure that the over 200 gladiola bulbs will nearly double (or I am hoping they will).

Thanks and God bless you & yours.

Hardiness Zone: 7b



Hi Paula,

Smothering weeds by using layers of newspapers, cardboard or a thick layer of mulch is certainly one suggestion I would recommend for keeping your plantings from becoming overrun by weeds. If you use organic mulch, like wood chips, leaves, pine needles or compost, you'll need to apply it at least 3 to 4 inches thick and select a type of material that will neutralize the pH of your soil. I would avoid using straw, because it often contains weed seeds, which will only make your job that much harder.

Another strategy you might consider is to crowd out the weeds by planting a ground cover once your glad bulbs pop through. Not only will a ground cover help crowd out the weeds and prevent them from getting sun, but the right ground cover plants will also provide some interest until your gladiolus get into full swing. You might even consider trying a dwarf grass for this purpose.

There are also several lightweight tools available that are designed specifically to make gardening chores easier for the physically disabled. These include long-handled tools with clip-on, twist-on or snap-on heads that allow gardeners to work from a seated position. Many come with cushioned, adjustable handles that are ergonomically designed for a firm, stress-free grip. A long-handled cutter or shears would allow you to keep the weeds trimmed down around your bulbs for a tidier look.

Another option I would urge you to consider is to contact your county extension agency about the possibility of getting help from your county or state's Master Gardener program. These programs are often looking for volunteer gardening opportunities for their members to participate in. Other groups that may be able to offer you volunteer assistance are 4-H groups, Boy Scout or Girl Scout Troops, school groups or church groups.

Finally, here is a good link to information on gardening for the disabled.


October 25, 20060 found this helpful

A friend of mine uses old carpet padding in hers.. its been yrs since she had to weed hers

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March 19, 20070 found this helpful

I put plastic bags around the edge of my flower bed and also put round-up. that should keep the weeds out for some time. I also pulled out the roots of grass that came into the bed. I put my flowers down and I will add mulch and be ready to go...

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March 26, 20070 found this helpful

someone told me to use roofing paper. I will try this and let you know how the out come is.

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May 23, 20070 found this helpful

May 3, 2008 Flag
0 found this helpful

How can I safely get rid of weeds in my flower beds?

Wilda Scott

May 7, 20080 found this helpful

I tried boiling water some time back, and it definitely works, but there's a problem. You'll kill the earthworms!

Last year, I got pieces of cardboard wet (soak them with water), and cover the weeds with them. Make sure the weeds aren't exposed to sunlight. This year, my garden is almost weed-free! I have lots of earthworms, too, and the soil has improved a million times over!

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May 8, 20080 found this helpful

If you have bare dirt and enough room between your plants, a hoe will cut off seedlings below the ground and they won't come back. I find a Hula Hoe (or wiggle hoe) more fun and easier to use, but it offers less control, so I don't use it close to my desired plants.

For bindweed, which comes back no matter how deep I dig it, I take a cheap artist's paint brush and brush Round-up generously on all the leaves on a sunny day. The Round-Up (or equivalent) is taken up by the leaves and drawn down to the roots, where it (hopefully!) will kill the weed, without harming its neighbors. I don't like using poisons, but I think this is an appropriate time to use it judiciously.

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May 14, 20080 found this helpful

I agree with momma red and KBlueyes. I cover the area with either plastic, or cardboard or rocks. It kills weeds and grass underneath without getting nasty chemicals in your ground water which eventually goes to your waterways, the fish, and your drinking water. Studies are showing that municipal filtration does not remove many chemicals, so we have to think about what we use in the soil and garden. There is a trend toward encouraging "rain gardens" to filter water going to waterways. No chemicals should be used.

Covering with cardboard, old carpet, plastic, or newspapers is called soil solarization and will kill pathogens in soil prior to planting crops.

Here is something from

Cover the raked, moistened area with a clear polyethylene sheet. The edges of the sheet can be held down by cinder blocks to keep the plastic from blowing away. If the raking I had you do above was done diligently enough, there will be no sharp objects sticking up to puncture the plastic. "The plastic can be clear construction grade plastic and vary in thickness from 1 to 6 mils," writes Carl Strausbaugh, University of Idaho. In the Northern Hemisphere, the best time for soil solarization is June and July, when the sun's at its peak. Keep the sheet tightly stretched out over the area for 4-6 weeks. During that time, the sun will be killing weeds for you -- "cooking" them before they have a chance to sprout! Plant pathogens will be killed, to boot.

Now you truly have a "clean slate" with which to work. Remove the plastic and lay down landscape fabric.

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April 13, 20100 found this helpful

August 27, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

What can I do? I have lots of weeds with my flowers. What can I do to get rid of the weeds, but not flowers?

By Gail

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March 18, 20140 found this helpful

I have found that putting vinegar in a spray bottle and spraying the weeds as close to the root as possible really helps! This changes the PH factor and causes the roots to die :-) won't be toxic to your pets if they go into your garden either!

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February 21, 2012 Flag
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This is a guide about preventing weeds in flower beds. Don't let your beautiful flower bed be overrun by weeds.

multicolored flowerbed on a lawn

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March 26, 2010 Flag
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Is there any weed and feed that can be sprayed on flower beds?

By Moucheninette from Perth, TAS

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March 27, 20100 found this helpful

Do you already have the flowers up or do you want to spray the ground before you plant the flowers?I do not know of a spray you can use after the flowers are up.Good luck.

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April 1, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you for your feed back, I didn't think it would be that easy, will have to do it the hard way.

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June 24, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

The thistles in my flower garden are certainly competing with the flowers this year. If I were trying to grow thistles, I'd be quite successful! What can I use to get rid of these pesky plants that won't harm the good flowers and our pets?

By Lois C.

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June 25, 20120 found this helpful

Since most thistles spead by both seeds and roots, you need to kill the entire plant and to also cut off the bloom before it can seed. Spray carefully just the thistles with a thistle killer - it take special products designed to kill thistles. Make a shield out of paper or cardboard so only the thistles at hit by the spray. Now the bad news. It may take several years to complete rid yourself of them.

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June 27, 2011 Flag
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I am having trouble with kosha weeds and sunflowers taking over my wildflower garden patch. Are there any other alternatives to hand weeding?

By Krys

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August 6, 20110 found this helpful

Next year prepare your garden in the winter by spraying with weed killer, remove dead plants and cover with plastic tarp. Check under the tarp and if weeds are coming back from seed repeat the process until no weeds return.

This won't totally do away with weeds but will help keep from having so many.

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May 11, 2010 Flag
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This is a question that's been asked for centuries I'm sure. I am so impressed with some of your tips that I just HAD to ask! I love my garden but I can see myself weeding it perpetually. I always get the roots, but is there a tip or trick to discourage weeds in our garden?

It's a flower garden not a veggie garden. We have a rose bush, Tiger Lillies and Wandering Jews. Thanks!

Jim in FL


Preventing Weeds In a Flower Garden

Last year I tried Preen and it worked great! You just have to get rid of all the weeds first. It only prevents seeds from germinating, so you have to get the roots too or put it down early in the spring. (05/27/2005)

By Donna J.

Preventing Weeds In a Flower Garden

I tried something new this year that has helped a lot. I laid plain brown paper over the parts of the flower bed that were going to have mulch on them ultimately. Some use newspaper. If you use bricks, stones, etc. on the edges of the bed, you can tuck the paper under the edges, then cover the paper with 4+ " of mulch. This cuts down on weeding and eventually the paper will decompose. (I buy dog food in 40# bags and the inside of the bags are perfect for this.) Good luck! (06/25/2005)

By Les in IL

Preventing Weeds In a Flower Garden

I have heard about vinegar. Just regular household vinegar. You spray it right on the weed. Our yard is infested, so I'm going to try it this year. (05/28/2009)

By Allison5

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