Is your vegetable garden riddled with unwelcomed grasses? Are you facing challenges getting rid of these unwelcomed grasses from your vegetable garden? Do you feel your vegetables are competing against weeds in their supposed homes?
If your answers to all of these questions or two of the questions are yes, then you are at the place. Here, we shall be taking you through with helpful and practical tips on how to get rid of grass in vegetable garden.
However, it is pertinent you understand that when if you do not get rid of these of weeds, they would suffocate your vegetables, make your garden look hideous, and compete against your vegetables for nutrients.
Let’s get down to the business of the day!
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Weeds that Grow in Vegetable Gardens
Before we get down to understanding how to get rid of grass in a vegetable garden, let us understand what we mean by weeds here.
Weeds here refer to any grass, flower, or even vegetable that is not supposed to be in your garden alongside the vegetables you are growing. Vegetables need nutrients, water, and ample space to grow and blossom, and so do these weeds.
So when left alongside the intentionally grown vegetables, they take up the nutrients, water, and space leaving the vegetables with little or nothing to thrive on.
Vegetables that are starved of required nutrients, water and space usually become stunted and in some cases become singly and die off without yielding any output.
So, we recommend that whenever you see any odd plant showing up in your garden, you take quick actions against it and nip it at its bud before they wreak havoc on your vegetables.
Some of the most common invasive weeds that attack vegetable gardens include grasses (native grasses and yard grasses), broadleaves, legumes (including the invasive clovers), and forbs.
Weeds are spread through wind, water, animals, and fertilizer.
How to Get Rid of Grass in Vegetable Garden
Below are the various ways you can easily kill grass in a vegetable garden. As you will soon see, the process is pretty straightforward.
Manually Uproot Grass in Vegetable Garden
This is a labor-intensive means of getting rid of grass in a vegetable garden. This involves uprooting each of the grass from the vegetable garden one after the other. It takes time, but it is one of the most organic means of getting rid of grasses in vegetable gardens.
It is effective if you successfully uproot all the grasses. It ensures that the grasses do not re-grow, at least until after a while, or not at all.
Apply Organic Weed Killer
If you do not want to spend hours with your back bent on picking out grasses from your vegetable garden, you may consider applying organic weed killers on the weeds in your vegetable garden.
Organic weed killers or herbicides such as Avenger weed killers are helpful in getting rid of grasses or weeds in vegetable gardens. Avenger weed killer, when applied to the target area, is effective in getting rid of established weeds and grasses.
Avenger weed killer in its organic nature is made of natural materials such as oranges and lemons. It is used in a 3:1 dilution concentrate, and this quantity works well.
Another herbicide that could be used is glyphosate, which is sold as Roundup™. Glyphosate is effective against grass and weeds but it unfortunately also gets rid of vegetable plants.
Thus, you have to be cautious while applying it in your garden. You must have to target only the grass, and nothing else. This makes it labor-intensive as well.
To use glyphosate to get rid of grass in the vegetable garden, you would have to wait for the soil’s temperature to get down to at least 60 to 65 degrees.
Spray the grass to become wet and allow the herbicide to seep into the grassroots. The herbicide works by getting absorbed by the grass into its roots. When the roots absorb the poisonous herbicide, it dies off.
This process is quite slow, as it takes up to two weeks to process. For thicker grasses, you would have to spray the herbicides on them for a second time to get rid of grasses that weren’t affected the first time.
When the grasses are all dead, you can till them and use them as organic matter to improve the soil.
Saturate Affected Area with Vinegar
Vinegar is helpful in getting rid of grass in a vegetable garden. However, its drawback is that it kills other harmless plants on its way of killing the unwelcome grass and weeds. Vinegar is powerful against plants as a result of its acetic acid content, which drastically lowers the pH of plants.
To prevent the vinegar from harming other useful vegetable plants in the garden, you must cautiously apply it to the target grass and weeds.
This may mean more work time, but it would be worth it to save your useful plants while ridding the garden of its threats.
To get rid of grass in a vegetable garden using vinegar, you use diluted vinegar. It works well against grasses. Mix 4 ounces of lemon juice with 1 quart of apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Stir the mixture thoroughly and pour it into a spray bottle.
On a very hot day, preferably in the afternoon or when the day is hottest, spray a generous amount of the mixture onto the weed until the weeds are well saturated with the mixture. The mixture will attack and kill the roots and leaves of young weeds.
The older weeds would require multiple contacts with the vinegar mixture before they eventually give in and die off.
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Conduct Soil Solarization
Solarization means to use the sun to kill unwanted grass and weeds. Solarization is best carried out in summer, and it is an organic means of getting rid of grass in a vegetable garden.
Solarization is carried out by placing a clear plastic bag or a dark plastic bag over the ground. The edges of the plastic bag are held down with rocks or another heavy object.
However, before venturing into placing the plastic bag over the ground, you must have cut down the grass to a short height to enable them to get adequately covered.
The idea behind this concept is that the grass underneath the plastic grass gets heated up from the sun above while being denied air so that they eventually die off.
The plastic bag is left over the grass for a period of about two to three months to heat up all the grasses and weeds from the scorching heat of the sun.
In Texas, this can be carried out in August. The drawback of this method is that you would allow the garden to fallow for about one or two months in order to bake all the weed seeds therein.
Use Boiling Water
This may sound ridiculous, but it works, especially if the garden is not large. All you need to do is to pour hot boiling water over the grass and watch them slowly die off.
The hot water kills them by first turning them brown and eventually killing them off. Note that you would have to repeatedly carry out this procedure because, after the first application, the roots or some of the roots remain viable.
So to ensure that the grass is dead down to its roots, you should pour the hot water over them for as much as you can, every few days until you see no more greenness.
Conduct Sheet Compost
This is another organic means of getting killing grass in a vegetable garden. It involves covering the affected areas of your garden with layers of newspaper or cardboard.
To carry this out, cut the grass in your garden to a very short length and then place 12 layers of newspapers or two layers of cardboard over the area while being careful with them around your existing plants.
Spray water on the newspapers or cardboards to get them moist, and then cover them with 4 inches of compost or mulch. This intends to prevent the roots underneath to penetrate through these layers to get sunlight; as a result, they (the grass’ roots) eventually die off.
While the compost sheet is ongoing, continue to water your vegetable plants as at when due, although you would need to only make available about 1 to 2 inches of water at each watering session.
Mulch Your Garden to Get Rid of Grass
Mulching is an organic means of getting rid and preventing grass in a vegetable garden. A 4 inches layer of mulching material is enough to discourage the growth of grasses and weeds in your garden.
Mulch blocks sunlight from reaching the grasses and their seeds underneath, so they cannot germinate. When spreading the mulch material, keep them at about 3 inches away from the plant stems.
Note that mulch affects the soil’s temperature. It could lower or increase the temperature depending on the season and the materials used.
Inorganic mulch materials like plastics can improve the soil’s temperature, which favors the optimal growth of newly transplanted seedlings and seeds that are germinating.
Meanwhile, organic mulch materials such as shredded woods, mature compost, and straw lower soil’s temperature, and this is favorable to vegetable plants during summer.
Sawdust, even as an organic material is a poor material for mulch because bacteria that break it down rip the soil and surrounding plants of their nitrogen.
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Grass in or out of the vegetable garden is quite hard to control due to its high tolerance ability. So it would be best if you prepared your mind to gets your hands dirty while trying to eliminate them.
But once you have successfully gotten rid of the grass in the vegetable garden, it becomes easier to control their re-emergence. It would be best if you didn’t allow this.