dandelions, grass, and tulips

Hello!
I'm looking for a way to kill or prevent grass and dandelions, but not harm other flowers (mostly tulips). So far I've used wood-chip mulch: that keeps a lot of weeds down, but not grass and dandelions. At the same time I've also used elbow grease, but I'm looking for something better. The local garden store sells lots of herbicides, but they advise me not to buy them, because they'll hurt the tulips.
Advice? Thank you.
Ted Shoemaker, certified Gray Thumb
Madison, Wisconsin, US
43 deg 8' 26" North Latitude 89 deg 18' 28" West Longitude
USDA zone 4/5 AHS heat zone 4/5 Sunset zone 43
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Is this in a flower bed, or are the tulips naturalized in the lawn itself?
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Doug Kanter wrote:

This is a flower bed, with a visual border to separate it from the grass. (But the grass doesn't respect the boudary.)
Ted Shoemaker
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This is easy. For the grass invasion, you need a sharp spade. Not a curved shovel. A spade, and a flat file to touch up the edge now and then. A day or two after a rain, most grass & weeds are easier to pull. Drive the spade straight down along the edge of the bed. This cuts the horizontal runners by which grass spreads. Cutting them will significantly slow the invasion. In the bed itself, just loosen the grass with a hand cultivator, pull out the clumps and shake off the soil. Obviously, you'll need to be careful working around the tulips, but they're usually not hurt by being roughed up.
I only need to do this type of cleanup once or twice a year. In between those times, I use a tool like this every couple of weeks, unless I'm interrupted by fishing or other more important chores: http://www.gardeners.com/Swan-Neck-Hoe/default/StandardCatalog.GardeningTools_LaborSaving.34-526.cpd
For the dandelions, dig straight down along each plant with a trowel, and yank out as much of the root as you can. They don't grow back that fast. And, in cool spring weather, the leaves are great in salads, especially with a sweet dressing like raspberry vinaigrette or honey mustard. Dandelion greens are $2.99 in the store. Ridiculous!
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I agree that the old method of hard work and elbow grease applies when controlling grass and dandelions. Disrupting the roots and keeping the beds clean on a regular basis works for me. I also edge and re-edge around the beds periodically to keep the invaders at bay. Mulching with a partially rotted compost helps keep the beds healthy and clean
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Right. And, another reason not to dump herbicides all over the place: There are times when working without gloves is the most effective way to plant, weed, and move plants. None of these chemicals will ever be proven safe. Who wants that crap on their skin?
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my mother, the master gardener, used brick rows, but I pulled all the bricks out and use an electric edger (menards) a couple times a year. it controls. MOST IMPORTANT. in spring use a seed germination suppressor of some kind, corn meal is organic, preen etc for the non-organic. pull existing weeds and their seeds wont be trouble if you suppress germination. of course, you cannot seed into those beds. it takes stick-to-itness. It has taken 3 years for wild mustard (how long the seeds last), I am going on 2 years for wild geranium. but eventually the beds get cleared out. I am now working on all the phlox that crept in and took over my mothers beds of lilies and peonies. it is good exercise both physically and mentally... persistence pays. Ingrid
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Yes, persistence pays, and it also helps to have a good selection of tools especially designed for weeding with care for you and other plants. A large selection of such specialized tools is identified at the Ergonica World of Weeds website. Start with the weed control page for reference to safe chemicals and techniques.
--
Dr. Yucca: Nature makes plants, humans make weeds.


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Doug Kanter wrote:

http://www.gardeners.com/Swan-Neck-Hoe/default/StandardCatalog.GardeningTools_LaborSaving.34-526.cpd
You might also like a hoe like the one included in this combination tool:
http://www.gardeners.com/Ergonomic-Stand-Up-Tools/default/20140.prd
It's also called a Swiss hoe or oscillating hoe. I have two of oscillating design (though I don't have this particular combination product), and they are great for neatening up beds and rows.
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if the grass and dandelions are a little away from the tulips dousing them with hot water will kill them off. If gorwing amongst the tulips obviously don't as you will get boiled tulip.
rob
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We're in the same situation. Lots of naturalized bulbs and wanting to make the entire area a flowerbed... Don't know if I can safely used a broadleaf killer for Plantago major and lanceolata, and the good old dandylions.
We've (HA!--- *I've*) been pulling, trying to avoid the crocus which are no longer in bloom. We also use mulch: chopped leaves, bark chips and living mulch: Sedum acre Golden Stonecrop... which spreads rapidly and is easy to pull aside.
I suppose i could paintbrush roundup on the broadleaf plants if I were careful. The tough ones are always near the bulbs... because you cannot dig out the roots as easily.
--
May no harm befall you,
flip
Ich habe keine Ahnung was das bedeutet, oder vielleicht doch?
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