Green healthy grass is one of the most essential components of an elegant-looking lawn. Even so, there are times when the grass is more of a weed than any good thing. What do you do then?
Weeds are quite a nuisance. The worst part about having weeds on your flower bed or any other confined areas in your backyard is that they will always find a way to come back, especially during the spring season. For this reason, you should familiarize yourself with multiple ways to get rid of unwanted grass on your lawn if need be. To help you out, we have consolidated a list of methods that you can use to kill grass for a better-looking backyard, vegetable garden, or flower bed, as per your needs and preferences. We also discuss a few reasons why you should get rid of the grass on your lawn.
Why should you get rid of the grass in your backyard or flower bed?
Some of the main reasons why you should get rid of the grass on your lawn or flower bed are as follows;
You are better off working around a low-maintenance landscaping option
Grass needs a lot of tender care, which could be quite time-consuming. Trying to keep up with the mowing, edging, fertilizing, watering, and weeding routine is quite the task and can be quite exhausting if you have to keep up with so many other things throughout the day. To avoid spending all the time you have checking on your lawn, you can get rid of all the grass on your lawn and opt for low-maintenance options such as using ground covers or trade your lawn for gravel.
Some grass types often manifest on your lawn as weeds
Different grass varieties tend to grow out of nowhere and with time they begin to creep into areas where you never wanted them in the first place. If you do not get rid of them as early as possible, they spread through aboveground stolons and different underground rhizomes and they begin to tamper with the overall health of your lawn.
A synthetic lawn may be a better and less expensive option
Remember that natural grass lawns are quite the task to maintain and could be even more expensive to maintain. However, you can still get the green and elegant-looking lawn that you have always wanted for your backyard where your kids can play on. All you need to do is purchase a synthetic turf that is much easier to maintain. The good thing with synthetic spots is you don’t have to go through the hassle of overseeding or bald and brown spots.
Without too much grass in your backyard, you can conserve water
Leaving your sprinkler in the middle of your lawn for a few hours wastes a lot of water. This could land you a hefty water bill. Other times, you may end up having an over-flooded lawn if you aren’t too careful, and it could leave a mess over your lawn or damage the health of the grass on your lawn. Synthetic lawns, on the other hand, don’t need lots of water to remain lush.
How to Kill Grass
There are several ways to kill unwanted grass on your lawn. Some of these ways we will discuss are natural, others are more technical and some are chemical-based. All the methods here should work if you do it right the first time. That said, you can kill grass using;
Unfortunately, herbicides contain harmful chemicals that may be unsafe to use around kids and pets. They may cause food poisoning, eye irritation, or even death in some cases. So you want to be very careful when using them. Despite the harmful chemicals in them, they have long-term effects on unwanted grass and other weeds. This means that they may completely kill the unwanted grass on your lawn.
The best thing to do in this case is to use a nonselective herbicide, such as glyphosate which effectively kills turf and any grassy weeds. However, this only works on turfgrass. If you have a flower bed and are only trying to kill the creeping weeds, you can go for chemical herbicides that have sethoxydim, fluazifop-p, or clethodim. These chemicals only kill grass but do not cause any damage to your flowers or plants. Even so, ensure to use cardboard as a barrier when spraying the herbicides over the grass on your flower bed or vegetable garden. Also, only spray herbicides over your garden, lawn, or flower bed on a day when the weather is calm.
If you are looking for a home-based method for killing grass, you can use vinegar from your kitchen. Even though it is inexpensive, it is quite strong when concentrated and can cause eye irritation or skin burns when it comes into contact with your skin. When you mix household vinegar with water, it is less concentrated hence less harmful for both plants and animals.
Spraying vinegar over your lawn when it is hot outside makes the process more efficient. You should avoid spraying vinegar over your lawn when it has rained outside or when it is windy. When spraying vinegar over your lawn, only do so, on the grass weeds that you are trying to get rid of. Otherwise, it will kill all your plants, flowers, and vegetables. Thereafter, spray the same area regularly though the week until the grass dies off.
This particular method involves using the sun’s power to control the growth of unwanted grass on your lawn, thus an environmentally friendly option. All you need to use is a polythene cover to trap solar energy that heats your soil. High temperatures then kill the grass.
To solarize your soil, start by clearing debris around your lawn then water the soil deeply until it is wet enough. Cover the cleared area with a clear polythene cover so that enough heat can get through your soil. Thereafter, you should leave the polythene cover over the same position for up to 6 weeks during the summer season then remove the plastic.
This method works best on clay soils and loam soils because these soil types can hold water better than light soils.
A shovel or garden hoe to dig it out
You also have the option to kill unwanted grass on your lawn by digging it up. This process is quite exhausting but it is as effective as using chemical herbicides if you do it right. For this process to be effective, you need to stop watering your lawn or parts where the grass is growing on your garden so that they can slowly turn brown and die. Drought-resistant grass may take a while to die out but once it does, start digging it out using a shovel.
Alternatively, you can water the grass on your lawn for about 24 hours before digging the unwanted grass out so that the roots can soften up. This makes it easier for you to tear them out. When removing the grass from the ground, ensure to pull out as many roots as you can.
Pouring boiling water over unwanted grass is the cheapest way of killing them; however, it is one of the riskiest methods. If you accidentally spill water over your skin when carrying it to your lawn, you can end up with a very bad burn. Also, it is quite tiresome to continually carry water back and forth from the heat source to your lawn, and unfortunately, you cannot use easy transportation means such as pipes to save you the hassle. Also, boiling water only works if you are trying to clear out all the grass on your lawn. Otherwise, it may kill all the other plants, vegetables, and flowers that you are trying to protect. So, if you aren’t careful, you may end up with a ruined garden or backyard.
Salt is just as concentrated as vinegar, so you need to be careful when spraying it over your lawn or vegetable garden to avoid killing them too. Salt is a dehydrator therefore it drains all the water from your soil and plants, hence eliminating them. You can sprinkle the salt as is over your lawn, garden, or flower bed and then water over it so that the soil can soak downwards. Also, you can mix salt and water then use a sprayer to get the salt on the grass. Unfortunately, salt can dehydrate your soil completely and ruin its chances of reproducing gain.
Newspapers or Cardboards
If you keep a lot of newspapers or cardboard in your house, layering them can help you get rid of unwanted grass and improve the health of your soil. All you need to do is add multiple layers of cardboard and newspaper after mowing your lawn then add water over them. Once wet, add a layer of mulch to cover the cardboard. The newspaper and cardboard layer allows for a decomposition process that significantly kills grass and ensures that you have a nutrient-filled soil base for future planting. This may take about two to three months to kill the unwanted grass on your lawn, but it is just as effective as using herbicides and certainly a healthier way to kill the grass.
Incompletely killed grass can always grow again and fill up your lawn faster than you would expect. So, whatever method you choose to kill unwanted grass on your flower bed, vegetable garden, or lawn, ensure to do it right the first time for a better success rate. If you are using any concentrated items such as herbicides, salt, or vinegar, always avoid contact with your skin and keep your children and pets away from the lawn. Overall, each of the methods we have discussed in this article is equally as effective and will help you maintain a lush lawn when need be.