Kelly S
Kelly S
  • Hometalker
  • Bremerton, WA
Asked on Mar 30, 2013

pre-emergent use in flower bed

Kelly SDouglas HuntGail Salminen
+7

Answered

Can a pre-emergent weed preventer be used in a flower bed? All my flowers are tubers, rizomes or bulbs and I don't want to stop them from blooming but I'm getting tired of weeding every weekend.
10 answers
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Mar 31, 2013

    If you are NOT planning on doing any flower seeds in the bed, as long as you wait until you see your bulbs emerge from the ground with the leaves about an inch up, you can use a pre-emergent in the beds.

  • Kelly S
    on Mar 31, 2013

    Thank you @360 Sod (Donna Dixson) I don't intend to put in any seeds. I think everything is up except the gladiolas. The iris, muscari, and the dandylions never completely died off, the crocus are done and the tulips are budding. The flowering vine, lilacs, and fuschias are also starting to bud. I think I have some lilies in there that are coming up too. I will have to wait for the gladiolas because they are my latest bloomers. You have given me hope for my knees and back.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Mar 31, 2013

    Pre-emergents aren't a cure-all, but they definitely help.

  • Kelly S
    on Mar 31, 2013

    Thanks @Douglas Hunt . Part of the problem is that I used chunk bark for mulch. all the little nooks and crannies give weed seeds a perfect spot to grow and makes it impossible for me to have a totally weed free area. I also have fireweed everywhere and it spreads by runners and seed. I would have to remove the entire bed, sterilize it etc and then wait an entire growing season before replanting in order to ensure that I've gotten everything and I'm not willing to go that far. Weed seeds can stay dormant for years so it still wouldn't be "totally" weed free.

  • Gail Salminen
    on Mar 31, 2013

    @Kelly S I used to have this problem big time! Our front garden alone required at least 40 - 60 minutes a week of weeding, now less than that on a seasonal basis. What I do now is after I plant my annuals among the perennials is to use a fine cedar mulch (shredded) - about 2 inches the first year (so a little expensive the first year), and then 1 inch annually. I have started this in the back yard as well with a successful outcome :) Working on my last bed this year - going to totally dig everything out and remove the weeds, weed killer where neccesary then redesign the bed. I still have one agressive weed in one of the beds but I go out early in the spring and spray it as it starts to come up without jeaprodizing my other perennials. A few weeks later I plant my annuals then mulch. Good luck! Let us know how you achieve success. :)

  • Kelly S
    on Mar 31, 2013

    Thanks Gail. I'm going to replace the mulch and share some muscari (grape hyacinth) with neighbors and friends. The iris will have to be split in 2 years; completely overhauling my flower beds is my project for 2015. I really hate fireweed. Weed and feed doesn't kill it in the lawn so I'm hoping that the moss that is taking over will do the trick. The lawn is 15 years old and needs replaced but I'll just let the moss have it. The builders simply laid plastic mesh backed sod rectangles on top of compacted sand so it looked good for a couple of years but the weeds found all the cracks between the pieces and there I am. I'm trying to convince my husband to allow me to replace the lawn with more vegitable beds but that isn't working so far.

  • Gail Salminen
    on Mar 31, 2013

    @Kelly S there is a product on the market that is supposed to be good for weeds but leaves the lawn alone - it is called Weed B Gon - here is a link to site http://www.scotts.ca/smg/goprod/scotts-ecosense-weed-b-gon-weed-control-selective-herbicide/prod10440002/

  • Kelly S
    on Mar 31, 2013

    I've tried that in the lawn and so far no luck with all our rain. But then weeds is better than dead lawn because of no rain. Half my lawn would be black if I killed off the moss and the most of the rest would be various weeds lol.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Apr 1, 2013

    Kelly, I would definitely recommend going with a more finely ground mulch when you re-do your beds. I don't like weed and feed products because the two things really should be done at different times.

  • Kelly S
    on Apr 1, 2013

    I don't like them because they are harsh chemical combinations with nasty vapors and they don't work very well out here. It seems like it just feeds the weeds which kill the grass. lol Nothing appears to work on crabgrass except total vegitation killer which would destroy my lawn and put even nastier chemicals in the groundwater. I'll keep it mowed and let the moss take over. Not much is growing but moss in parts of the back yard; that's a soft area to walk barefoot and less area to mow.

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