Is there a safe way to kill weeds and grass around perennial plants?
Hardiness Zone: 6a
Karen from Northeastern Indiana
Dig them up making sure to get the roots. Cheap, effective and as permanent as you can get for weed control. If you have a large patch, cover with wet newpaper or plastic for a few days to kill off foliage before digging, then just scrape them up with a hoe or garden rake. Just be sure to get the roots.
The dig them up advice is about as sound as you can get...Once you've done that, I would mulch and mulch frequently to keep them at bay. You can use dried leaves or grass clippings for mulch. Alternatively, you can purchase wood chips or straw. In some cities, you can go to the city dump after they have collected yard waste and get bags of grass clippings for free. Join a local freecycle group and post a request for mulch and you probably get more offers than you can handle -- all free, of course. I would be reluctant to use that on any food crops because you don't always know whether the person whose grass clippings you are getting used chemicals of any kind.
If you continually cultivate the soil around your perennials and keep it from getting compacted, it will be very easy to pull the few weeds that crop up when they do....The best advice is to keep at it so you don't wind up having to do a horrendous and back breaking weeding job all at once.
There is a product by Ortho called grass be gone that will kill grass but not other plants. It won't kill weeds though. You can spray it right on your perennials.
The seeds of weeds cannot sprout if they are deprived of sunlight. There are several ways to do this. One way is to plant your pernnials close together. They shade the ground and crowd out weeds. another method is to lay mulch around your perennials. Or, you can lay wet newspapers around your perennials and put mulch on top. I use all three methods and have very few weeds in my beds.
Best of luck,
yesterday my friend and I worked in ONE berm at my house for 6.5 hrs and it still isn't finished. We weeded, we dug, we pulled, yanked, used a pitchfork, a tow strap and her van to pull out weeds and an unwanted bush. The weeds were just unbelieveable. We couldn't believe the fact that there were no mosquitoes, but I honestly don't think they could even get IN the berm to bite us! I Preened and am putting out newspaper today and am also movooing back the defining rock line back about 5'. How in the heck are you supposed to work hard for more than one day? My hair even hurts after yesterday!
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