Killing Weeds in Flower Beds

It can be a challenge to destroy the weeds while maintaining the flowers in your garden. This guide is about killing weeds in flower beds.

June 15, 2011 Flag
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What weed killer can I use that won't kill my flowers? They are beginning flowers that have not budded yet, they are cock's combs. Please help. There are so many weeds mixed in with them and I'm afraid to pull them because I am pulling the roots of the flowers up too.

By sumdawn

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June 16, 20111 found this helpful

Here are some good choices, also remember that you can put down plastic and just plant in the holes, the flowers will come up but the weeds will not, also remember t hat you can use newspaper, etc to discourage weeds. Here are some great products to use in the flowerbeds and links to learn more about the details and the pro's of each one.


PREEN WEED PREVENTER WITH BRILLIANT BLOOMS FERTILIZER ... reventer-brilliant-blooms-fertilizer

I like this one because it has a fertilizer in it.


I like this one because it has non harmful chemicals for the soil.

Hope these help! These are safe to use around flower beds. Have fun in the garden! Also, you could cut the weeds off at the top of the soil and cover them with paper and then put rocks over them.

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June 17, 20110 found this helpful

Use layers of newspapers to cover up the weeds (you can place some dirt on top to help hold them down, etc). This will prevent the weeds from getting light and it's easy and inexpensive. :)

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August 23, 20150 found this helpful

I use roofing shingles, I purchased at Lowes. After using for 2 years, still no weeds. I mean 1 or 2 weeds pop out from the outer edge of the flower beds, but its better than 1000"s.. Try it.


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Anonymous Flag
March 31, 20160 found this helpful

Exactly what I was thinking also using tarps with grey side up has worked as an experiment. May be cheaper than roofing but not last as 25 years rated by shingle manuf.

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May 24, 2011 Flag
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How do I kill weeds in my flower and shrub beds with no harm to my plants?

By Harold P

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May 28, 20110 found this helpful

Generally, the only specific herbicides you can get are going to get them all; with the exception of the ones you can put on grass that will only kill broad-leaf weeds.

Hand pulling is the best; but if you must use an herbicide, you can be a little more selective in where it goes by applying it with a paintbrush. Take a stool out with you after a rain, and start yanking. It is not fun, but is the best way to get rid of the bad stuff without harming the good stuff.

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June 9, 20110 found this helpful

Jilson is absolutely correct-there is no herbicide that will be selective enough to save the wanted plants and kill off the unwanted. Sorry, but hand-weeding is the only way.

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June 9, 20110 found this helpful

Pull all the weeds that are up, then spreed a product called Preen this will keep weed seeds from germinating but doesn't harm the plants that are already up and growing

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March 17, 2014 Flag
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How do you kill grasses in peony bushes?

By Bev

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March 25, 20140 found this helpful

Carefully pull the grass out by the roots and mulch well to eliminate future problems. It may be easiest, if you live in a cold area, to do this when the peony is dormant so the plant won't be disturbed. You can also dig the peony out if necessary, clean the weeds from the soil, then replant the peony. It's a lot of work, but you'll be left with a really nice flower bed next year.

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August 17, 2013 Flag
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I would like a recipe for a homemade weed killer for my flower garden.

By Jaci

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March 31, 20140 found this helpful

How to kill weeds before my annuals come up?

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June 28, 2013 Flag
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I am looking for a way to quickly kill weeds in my flowerbeds. I am thinking of using Quick Kill. Is that safe and does it work? I need help. Thanks.

By Theo

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June 29, 20130 found this helpful

Pesticides and herbicides are being linked to so many health issues.

This is my favorite. Step on and squash/break weeds, cover with mulch. That's it.

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March 9, 2012 Flag
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What is a homemade weed killer you can spray in your garden that won't kill the bushes and flowers?

By Laura K.

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March 10, 20120 found this helpful

Check the extension website (find it in your telephone white pages or by Googling) for loads of good information on controlling pests and plant diseases specific to your area.

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April 2, 2010 Flag
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Can I use a weed killer in my flower bed?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Dave from Kansas City


Weed Killer for Flower Beds

I wouldn't. Our neighbor sprayed weed killer in his flower bed and nothing would grow for 3 years even after digging out the soil and replacing it.

By Leslee

Weed Killer for Flower Beds

There is a natural product out that actually stops weeds from sprouting. It is based on a byproduct of the corn industry. I purchase mine from an online company called Gardens Alive, but have seen the same product for sale at Lowe's with the organic fertilizers. I know it works to cut way back on annual weeds and it breaks down to a natural fertilizer. (10/28/2007)

By piki viki

Weed Killer for Flower Beds

To every action there is a reaction. This is just as true in your garden. Chemicals such as Preen will kill weeds while also limiting the performance of other plants. The best weed killer is elbow grease. Once you have removed your weeds use an organic mulch such as newspaper or grass clippings to slow future weed growth. Good luck. (08/23/2008)

By Mike - Live Nursery Specialist

Weed Killer for Flower Beds

Put shingles down, and then cover with mulch. (08/30/2008)

Weed Killer for Flower Beds

Mulch does look nice in any garden and helps keep roots stay cooler while saving water uses. As much as it helps make a flower bed look very appealing it also hides weed roots allowing the weed root to grow deeper and stronger. Organic control with the use of Preen will slow down a weed problem as well flowering plant growth, but bottom line is if you get the whole root you kill the weed.

I start my weed elimination using the following steps from Spring to very late Fall for Zone 6

As soon as the Tulips show buds I use a weeding fork to loosen soils in six mid-sized area gardens. ( Note: I have to remove the past year's mulch. This will become the floor to a new compost pile for next year.) I then hand rake the lawn with both a rock rake and leaf rake, apply the grub killer with lawn fertilizer and then add Rose Food Organic Fertilizer (It's early March). As the Tulip flowers fall off I again hand fork all the flower beds and remove anything that has a leaf I don't recall planting from the prior year. Do not put these unknown leaves in to the compost pile nor leave them on the lawn.

The lawn then becomes the garden clock. Once a week from April to mid September I use a bagging mower to mow and dump the grass clippings on to the old mulch pile removed from beds. I then repeat with use of the hand fork of stirring up each area's flower beds removing any and all unknown shoots or weeds. If you just now noticed I still didn't add any mulch to any flower bed, that's because I also have a Maple tree that drops it's seedling pods from May to July. This means I have to rake my lawn to remove the seed pods before I mow and weed control after I mow. I only add Organic fertilizers to all flowering beds on the same time clock as a Climbing Rose calls for. This will continue one time weekly even though I could get away with a two week weed removal time frame. I can agree with hand removal as being the best way to kill weeds and not relying on mulch to hide the younger weed shoots which become very strong roots.

As the Fall season nears it's end and the leaves have started to fall I dig up all of any flowering plant that needs splitting up ( Day Lillies, Oriental Lillies, Iris, etc.). I dig a new home for them that measures at least four feet deep and perhaps 3 feet square and dispose of that dirt right on top of the weed pile from prior weedings and will use the well composted from two seasons ago to fill the holes.

When to use mulch.

If you grow an out of zone flowering plant, example:
A Zone 7 flowering plant grown in Zone 6 it's roots will need the added warmth through the Winter months that mulch can give by burying the plant or up to three feet high. I remove the dead stalks and or leaves in Spring when new growth on the "out of zone" flower shows new leaves.

As added color to flower beds:

However one needs to make sure the mulch they're about to add has "not" been dyed or colored. You should use mulch from an area garden shop vs a Home Depot or Lowe's Garden Department.

How to mulch for added color:

Thin layer. Did I mention thin yet? How thin is thin? You should be able to stick a finger into the mulch and see at least 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch from the first line of your index finger without sinking the finger in to the soft moist soil, but keep in mind the dreadful weed will be bigger before it shows its shoot and fertilizers will need added time for its effects on plants.

Flowering gardens are a busy place for those who have them. Our reward is the wonders of nature's colors. Trust me here. No one ever told me how nice my mulch looks, but then again I only use it for added warmth on certain flowering plants such as climbing Roses, Tea Roses, Miniature Roses, and some "out of zone" plants.


By WesleyE

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March 19, 2007 Flag
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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.

Good luck!

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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July 25, 2004 Flag
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