So I took my own advice last weekend and got to pulling to prep my beds for the fall season and I have officially named a new enemy in my garden–grass. I will admit the heat-induced laziness of summer set me up from some major work this fall. Mental note to self–don’t let the grass creep too long and too far.
I spent the weekend, not planting but pulling.
1) Crab grass is the enemy. I am sure anyone who has gardened in the south has encountered this persistent nuisance. Endless battle. And since it is among my flowers and veggie garden I didn’t want to hit with the roundup, so I just pulled. And pulled.
2) Bamboo-like grass. I don’t know the name. I wish they had a “Shazam-like” app for my phone where I could photo and find out. But this bad-boy is prolific. Another pulling session to temporarily rid my garden beds of this nasty little critter.
3) My own planted grass–Bermuda grass invaded my newly mulched beds. Roots grow strong with this grass species. I swear I pulled a muscle. I spent at least a month moving 12 cubic yards of mulch last spring to create a larger border bed and what happened? My own grass has taken over half of it. Talk about feeling defeated.
Have no fear, solutions are what I do. Here are 3 tips to control and eliminate my new garden invaders.
1) Hardscape is there for more than just aesthetics. You know me and my noncommittal challenge with hardscape. But I finally see it’s practical usage. Having a border of landscape timbers, rocks and stone really help thwart the grass invaders from taking over your bed. To-do list–border your beds with hardscape to prevent invasion.
2)Chemical or organic solution to consider. So crabgrass and many other of my new invasive enemies are apparently warm-weather annuals that spread by seed. So one solution is to get a pre-emergent herbicides, a “weed and feed” product. Follow instructions accordingly, but that is mostly for when the invaders are in your lawn…you can’t really feed mulch with chemicals. Organically, I have heard to use corn gluten as a good “weed and feed” solution, but more for your lawn than a bed. Since it is fall, the best time to apply it is 2 weeks after first day of fall (this year is Friday, Sept. 23). Then follow up with application in the spring. I am going to try spot applications to test this solution I heard through the grapevine.
3)Prevention and maintenance is the key. So my laziness really bit me in the…the only real way to maintain weed-free is by prepping and maintaining your garden. Layering thicker cardboard of newspaper when introducing a new bed. Mulch, mulch, mulch. And the dreaded hand-wedding, you must do this to prevent the these nuisances from going to seed. I can blame the weather a bit for my weed chaos, because hand-weeding is much easier and more effective after a rain–soil is losses and you have better luck getting the whole root.
Any advice out there? How do you control the grass invaders? Would love some tips.