Killing Weeds in Flower Beds

August 17, 2013

Flower BedsI would like a recipe for a homemade weed killer for my flower garden.

By Jaci



June 8, 20173 found this helpful
Best Answer

I gallon of vinegar
2 cups of Epson Salt
1/4 c of dawn dish soap
Natural Safe and plant friendly


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November 26, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

I don't think that any herbicide will work in a flower bed, it would damage the flower plants as well. I always pull them by hand when they are small and I plant lots of perennials to crowd out the unwanted weeds. Covering your garden beds in the spring will prevent weeds from starting too.

March 26, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

Vinegar kills what it comes in contact along with salt. And salt can most definitely make the soil bad for anything to grow especially used repeatly.


Also consider your ph levels as vinegar may change this negatively. Salts are tough on plants whether regular salt or fertilizer salts.

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15 More Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

June 15, 2011

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


June 16, 20114 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.


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.

June 17, 20111 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. :)

August 23, 20151 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.



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.

May 8, 20171 found this helpful

Hey Cindy L.
I love the roof shingle idea. What about the roof roll?

April 27, 20180 found this helpful

I would have to say that using plastic, roofing shingles or anything that does not allow water to penetrate is a BAD idea; also the roots of your flowers cannot breathe.
I WOULD say that a thick layer of newspaper is great but also time consuming; I have used a 3" layer of newspaper and it was great and as time went by the paper went into the earth. Now I use carpet and it works great just like the newspaper.


I go to local carpet stores and get the carpet they tear out and sometimes new scraps and remnants so other then my time and gas no expense. I have had some carpet in place for more then 10 years. As with anything some weeds, but very few, will creep through where the carpet is joined, hope this is helpful

April 27, 20180 found this helpful

Use Poast; it won't kill anything that blooms. Of course that means if your weeds bloom it won't kill them either but for the most part is the best thing I have found

May 6, 20180 found this helpful

I have rocks in my flower garden and a lot of phlox . I have a lot of weeds growing around my phlox how can I get rid of the weeds without killing my phlox?


Dont know if I spelled phlox right or not

May 17, 20180 found this helpful

What kind of roof shingles do you use?

June 13, 20180 found this helpful

I used newspaper and mulched with wood chips. We had a rain and sunshine and the grass is poking through everywhere!

May 11, 20220 found this helpful

Can you show a picture? How do you plant things if you use roofing shingles? I'm confused.

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May 6, 2019

What can I use to kill the weeds in a bed of ivy?


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May 6, 20190 found this helpful
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Chemicals are so dangerous and can be harmful to more than the weeds, so avoid those.

How big is the bed? If it is small enough, don a good pair of gloves and pull by hand. Hopefully if you get them from the root, you can eliminate them.

If it is huge, you may want to try something like this recipe for vinegar, salt and dish soap. Use it with a spray that can target the weed roots:


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May 7, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

It would be best to pull by hand but if it is too much then you may have to resort to using a weed killer. Either way, it will be difficult to kill all of the weeds but if your ivy is healthy it may overpower the weeds and fill in some of the spots.

You can use a home-made solution like Pghgirl sited but be very careful as it will kill the ivy very quickly.

I have used a turkey baster with weed killer and place a few drops on the top of the weed so it flows down the stem. It is best to pull/lay the ivy as far away as possible from where you are weeding.
This is usually best done in the hottest part of the day.

In the future, you may be able to curb some of the weeds by laying paper/landscape fabric/mulch before planting your ivy.
Small holes for ivy in landscape fabric will work as the ivy will usually trail/grow on top of the mulch.

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May 24, 2011

How do I kill weeds in my flower and shrub beds with no harm to my plants?

By Harold P


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.

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

April 11, 20170 found this helpful

kill weeds w hot water. Can pour vinegar on weed. Corn gluten. pull by hand. And my goats and chickens do a good job of ridding weeds and everything else!

April 14, 20172 found this helpful

Preen was a joke for us. Live in North Carolina near the ocean on the border of South Carolina. Preen did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! Followed directions exactly. Waste of $$

July 3, 20180 found this helpful

Using preen will kill your other plants or flowers.

November 12, 20180 found this helpful

That is not true in my case, I live in Arizona and it is awesome as we have rock (desert) landscaping and it is awesome at keeping weeds from coming up it is not a week killer it is a weed preventer. Getting weeds in rocks is a pain so Preen is excellent if you put it down before a rain (fall) so it penetrates the ground when winter is over and spring comes yeah no weeds.

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September 14, 2017

How can I get rid of birch weeds in my rose garden without harming the roses? I keep pulling and pulling, but I can not seem to keep up with them at all. They are taking over and I don't want to harm my other plants.


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September 14, 20170 found this helpful

Put some mulch down. This will smother the weeds and prevent new ones


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September 15, 20171 found this helpful

Put some alcohol in a spray bottle with equal parts water and alcohol. Spray weeds only.


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September 15, 20171 found this helpful

Weeds like this are very difficult to eradicate as you cannot reach the main roots. Any type of spray will kill your rose bushes or severely stunt them.

Step 1
It seems like mulch would smoother/kill them but in reality determined "weeds" like this will grow right through even 4 or 5 inches of any kind of mulch.

Step 2
Also, these weeds will grow close to your bushes and it is not a good idea to cover the ground with mulch around or close to the shank of your bush.

Step 3
Here is what I have done with problem weeds that love the area around my plants and just will not die.

Step 4
Pick a nice sunny day (no rain in forecast) and gather your killing supplies.

Step 5
A stool to sit on or nice pads for your knees. A cup of good weed killer - mixed to correct strength. A small dollar store paint brush (1/4" is good) (regular or foam). Several rags (for clean-up in case of a spill). A hose hooked up in case you make a mistake and need to flood the area with water.

Step 6
Start in an area away from your rose bushes. Dip the paint brush in weed killer and and paint the weed top to bottom but try not to spill any killer on the ground.

Step 7
I have also used a small rag (wear nurses gloves) instead of a brush and just wiped the weed from bottom to top.

Step 8
Do not do more than 5 or 6 weeds in one small section and move to another area to repeat the process.

Step 9
This is a slow and tedious process but it has worked for me and did not harm my plants. I think you may try this as it is easier than trying to kill/pull weeds up by hand.

Step 10
Do a few areas (away from the bushes) and wait a few days to see what progress has been made.

Step 11
If it seems to be doing the job then you can move a little closer to the bushes but not too much at one time as you do not want to put too much killer in one location.

Step 12
Never go very close to the shank of your rose bush. You can keep cutting these close weeds very short or into the ground for a while and it will slow them down.

Step 13
I then put several layers of newspaper around the shank of my bushes as water will go through but it slows weed growth. (Several layers = 2 inches or more).

Step 14
After you get some of the weeds gone you can cut the rest to beneath the ground, cover the area with newspaper (I do not recommend landscape fabric) and several inches of mulch.

This is a lot of work but I love my 6 to 10 year old plants and feel good when I can see progress.

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July 6, 2019

I have hydrangeas and spireas along with weeds in my flower garden that are constantly appearing, in abundance! How do I kill the shoots without killing the plants?


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July 7, 20190 found this helpful

I just pull them out by hand.


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July 7, 20190 found this helpful

Is there anyway to put down landscaping fabric (or newspaper) and then mulch on top?
This can be done even is you have a few weeds (but I would not try it if covered with weeds).
Sometimes you can put down black plastic bags (over some of the weeds if the area is large) and leave the bags until they kill the weeds. If the good plants are still getting water and sunshine the bags will not usually do any harm. I have done this and it did not harm my plants but keep check on your plants.

I have heard that some people use a small paint brush and touch a few weeds at a time using white vinegar but I'm not sure about this method.

Check out this link:

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March 17, 2014

How do you kill grasses in peony bushes?

By Bev


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March 25, 20141 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.

March 22, 20190 found this helpful

It is not a good idea to dig up and move Peony bushes. They don't transplant well. Hand picking grass and weeds is the best way to keep the area clean. Then after they have bloomed you can lay down news paper or a tarp and the area will be clean for next year. Good luck...peonies are gorgeous.

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June 28, 2013

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

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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May 29, 2014

I put periwinkles in some old good dirt, but I see with different kinds of weed peeping up. How can I kill the weeds without killing the flowers?

By V from Hephzibah, GA

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April 22, 2013

What can we use to kill weeds in an iris bed without harming the irises?

By Barbara from Paducah, KY

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May 5, 2012

I have weeds that have come up. I pull them, but there are some that I can't get a hold of even after it has rained. So I wanted to know what kind of weed killer I can use that won't harm my flowers that are beginning to grow.


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April 2, 2010

Is there a weed and grass killer that is not harmful to flowers, so that it can be used in flower beds?

By DeeDee from Amarillo, TX

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April 2, 2010

Can I use a weed killer in my flower bed?


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