understanding weeds

Controlling Pesky Grasses from Creeping in the Garden

Dan This Land of Ours

Some ways to control pesky grasses from creeping in your garden. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

pesky grasses
Crabgrass (Carthamus Tinctorius)
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Creeping grasses spread underground through rhizomes. And, they can grow a long way underground before they reappear on your garden surface.

Crabgrass and fescue, for example. One reason they’re so prolific is that the root stores a lot of nutrients for the plant. If you pull the leaves above ground, the root has enough nutrition to send up new leaves. Weeding alone won’t work because every stolon and root left behind can develop into a new plant.

The good old fashioned digging method is a reliable way of eliminating and controlling creeping grasses.  Just be careful not to disturb other plants or veggies. Boiling water works well for smaller areas but isn’t effective against seeds or underground parts. Using multiple layers of cardboard and newspaper then covered with rocks to hold everything in place is a longer but more effective way of keeping grasses at bay. Another method is to dig a trench about six inches wide and deep all around your garden. The rhizome will still try to grow toward your garden, but once it hits the air barrier created by the trench, it will dry out.

Listen to Cathy Isom’s This Land of Ours program here.

Controlling Pesky Grasses from Creeping in the Garden