The grass is a wonderful addition to any yard but is always best if it stays where it should. Grass in your vegetable bed is incredibly annoying. Find out how to get rid of grass that is growing where it shouldn’t and prevent it from coming back.
How to prevent grass from growing into your vegetable beds: To prevent grass from growing in your vegetable bed, you need a sturdy barrier, such as raised garden sides or stone edging. You can also add mulch or landscape fabric to cover bare areas of your garden. If you already have grass in your vegetable bed, pull it out by hand or smother it with a plastic covering.
What causes grass to grow in your vegetable beds?
Grass has a vast underground network of roots called rhizomes. This root system is extremely beneficial. It’s what allows grass to grow thick and cover your whole lawn.
However, these roots are so strong and like to explore so much that they can easily borrow into your vegetable garden. With their many tendrils, grass rhizomes work hard to expand their territory, whether they are wanted or not.
How to get rid of grass that’s on your vegetable beds?
Pull it out
Yes, this takes time, but unfortunately, it is the best way to remove grass that has encroached on your vegetable bed territory. The sooner you see grass and remove it, the less time it has to take hold and spread further.
Just remember that underground is a vast network of grassroots. It’s not enough to simply pull a blade of grass. Instead, you need to gently pull as much of the root structure out as you can.
Cover with plastic
This should be seen as a temporary measure and is different than adding landscape fabric, which we will address in the next section. Adding plastic to the areas that are prone to grass will not only suffocate the plant but will cut off sunlight so the grass won’t grow there again.
This will solve the grass problem in the short run but after you remove the plastic, there is always a chance it will grow again. However, once you have the situation under control, you can then take further steps to prevent more grass from growing.
This is a controversial method, but we will include it so you have more information. There are herbicides you can find that target only grass and not other plants.
However, any time you use a chemical herbicide, you risk damaging the delicate ecosystem within the rest of the garden. Insects and microorganisms can die off, and with that, you can have a weaker garden.
Using herbicides to kill unwanted grass should be used as a last resort. There are simply too many negatives that outweigh the positives.
How to prevent grass from growing in your vegetable beds?
Mulch is sometimes seen as the answer for everything, and for good reason. Not only does mulch help retain water and add nutrients to your garden, but it can also suppress the growth of weeds.
While grass isn’t necessarily a weed, it does act like it sometimes. Adding mulch to your vegetable bed can stop grass from being able to pop up and grow.
When you add mulch to a garden, you place it around existing plants. This covers bare soil which means there won’t be enough sunlight for grass to grow.
Add landscape fabric
Similar to adding mulch, placing a layer of landscape fabric lessens the amount of sun that can penetrate the soil, which means grass won’t be able to grow in these areas.
While landscape fabric is inexpensive, it can be a bit harder to apply than mulch. You will need to measure and cut the fabric and then place it down over your garden.
Don’t forget that you will need to cut holes in the fabric around existing plants. Landscape fabric will last for a few years but it can start to wear out and fray at the edges, so plan to replace it every three to five years to keep grass truly at bay.
One of the easiest ways to prevent grass from growing into your vegetable beds is by building raised beds. These are at least a foot off from the ground.
Raised garden beds have tall sides to prevent weeds from growing through the boundaries. They also have more soil which means it will be thicker and won’t let as much sun through for the roots to grow.
If you already have a vegetable bed planted and it is level to the ground, it doesn’t make sense to turn it into a raised bed. That’s a lot of work and expense.
However, you can add stones or bricks to create a thicker and taller edge. This will also make the area look nicer.
The thicker the edging, the harder it will be for grass to grow in your garden. The rocks will prevent grass from spreading and if the roots have to travel too far to find soil with a light source, they will move in a different direction.
Edging is definitely a more expensive remedy to stop grass from growing. However, if you have a backyard garden bed, you don’t need pricey rocks and instead can start a collection of rocks you find around your yard.
Dig a trench
Digging a trench is the opposite of edging in that you dig down instead of building up. Dig a trench that is at least 4 inches deep and 4 inches wide. This will disrupt any grass that is currently growing in the area.
To take this a step further, you can then add steel edging or crushed gravel into the trench. The sides of the trench will prevent any of the gravel from entering your garden and at the same time will prevent grass from growing into your vegetable bed.
Don’t let excess grass ruin your vegetable bed. With a bit of grunt work, you can pull any existing grass and then add a layer of mulch and install a barrier around your garden to prevent the grass from coming back.