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
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:
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!
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
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?
my mother, the master gardener, used brick rows, but I pulled all the bricks out
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
is organic, preen etc for the non-organic. pull existing weeds and their seeds
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
last), I am going on 2 years for wild geranium. but eventually the beds get
out. I am now working on all the phlox that crept in and took over my mothers
of lilies and peonies.
it is good exercise both physically and mentally... persistence pays.
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Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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.
You might also like a hoe like the one included in this combination tool:
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.
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
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,
Ich habe keine Ahnung was das bedeutet, oder vielleicht doch?
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