Debbie Dean
Debbie Dean
  • Hometalker
  • Lexington, KY
Asked on May 3, 2013

Neighbors Zebra Grass

Debbie DeanJeanette SLori J
+14

Answered

My neighbor planted zebra grass on the property line several years ago. It has spread to 12" on my property. When it reaches mature height in the summer, it falls over and covers my flowers and shrubs. I have chopped it down but I would like to get rid of it. I can't use anything that might kill the ground because my flowers would be killed with it. Digging it up is a futile effort because it comes back eventually. Does anyone know how to help me with this situation?
17 answers
  • Jill
    on May 3, 2013

    Take a leaf rake (I used a metal one) and intertwine material through the tines (I used an old t-shirt), spray the material with Roundup and rake through the zebra grass. Because the Roundup is on the material there is no overspray that will harm your flowers and it will kill the zebra grass. I also use this method for weeds in my lawn during the summer. Hope this works for you as well as it has worked for me.

  • Kimberly Barney
    on May 3, 2013

    The issue here with you're wanting to kill the zebra grass is that you state that your neighbor planted the zebra grass. Is your neighbor okay with you killing the zebra grass? If not, you may wish to place a support for the zebra grass to keep it from falling on your flowers. However, zebra grass normally grows straight up and does not tumble over like pampas grass.

  • Debbie Dean
    on May 3, 2013

    It tumbles over like pampas grass. In the State of KY, if your neighbor plants something on their land that spreads to your land, you own whatever is on your land.

  • Debbie Dean
    on May 3, 2013

    Jill, thank you. I will try this.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on May 3, 2013

    Have you asked your neighbor if you can remove the entire plant so that you can remain....well...'neighborly'? If it must remain, rather than killing the plant can you add something like a mini retaining wall or a trellis or something to block the grass's access to your flowers?

  • If the grass leaves are falling onto your property simply week wack them back to the property line. If its a root issue, dig a trench into the soil along the property line down below the root system and cut a small section of aluminum flashing and place it along the trench. Back fill and problem solved. The roots will no longer grow past the metal in the ground. But I agree with Four Season on this ask your neighbor to perhaps move it or deal with it on their own.

  • Debbie Dean
    on May 4, 2013

    My neighbor planted one of the against my request, directly on my property, in spite of me standing there asking him not to because it was on my property. He built a brick sidewalk which is 2 bricks over on my property. He said I think this is my property. I had the property line surveyed with markers installed and he has done nothing. He took about 3 feet of the neighbors side yard as well.

  • Debbie Dean
    on May 4, 2013

    Woodbridge...Thank you for the flashing tip. How wide does the flashing have to be? Those roots are something to have to deal with - so I would hate to not get it wide enough and the roots grow under the flashing.

  • Debbie Dean
    on May 4, 2013

    P.S. One year I had my yard person cutting it back and his wife ran to him telling him what we were doing. He was overheard telling her that there was nothing he could do about it.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on May 4, 2013

    Debbie, miscanthus roots are at least a foot deep, so you might need a double height of flashing, but I agree that this is a good strategy. The other good news is that this type of grass expands from the center with the center sort of dying out, so if you block it from coming to your side of the fence, eventually his side will get farther away from you as well.

  • Debbie Dean
    on May 4, 2013

    Thank you so much, Doug! I noticed that one (of the 3) clump is starting to die in the middle. It is the largest in circumference. I could go to the neighborhood association but that is drastic measures that causes ENEMIES as well.

  • Yes Debbie, that would work fine. In fact better then the aluminum itself as this is plastic. Anything that prevents the roots from moving across will work that will not decay in the ground is what is needed. That roll of flashing is a bit expensive. Look in the isle that sells plexiglass for windows. May be less expensive.

  • Debbie Dean
    on May 4, 2013

    THANKS SO MUCH!

  • Lori J
    on May 5, 2013

    For those of us dealing with the spread in our own yards, our local nursery owner tipped me a good one. Cut the bottom off of five gallon buckets and bury, leaving only an inch or two exposed. I wanted lily clumps, and this has worked very well. He recommended it for invasive grasses as well.As to using flashing, keep in mind the tin flashing can be very sharp. I am not sure I would bury it in my yard.

  • Jeanette S
    on May 5, 2013

    It sounds like you have a neighbor problem more than a plant problem! Very bad situation! We did not kick up big enough fuss 40 years ago when our neighbor planted pine trees on the boundary line and now we are having to pay to have them taken out because they are a threat to our property. Thank goodness the new neighbor is not opposed. Ivy is now proving to be a problem where it was planted years ago on both sides of us. One neighbor is good about keeping it trimmed and in check, but the new neighbor is not! UGH!

  • Debbie Dean
    on May 5, 2013

    Jeannette - When we bought this house 15 years ago, the owners of this house had planted those pines within the property line but they hung over in his (neighbor's) yard. He asked if he could trim the limbs and I said yes - didn't matter to me because I knew we were going to have them removed. We had had the yard surveyed - but neighbor removed the stakes. I had it surveyed again before I started planting my beds, making sure that I was at least a foot or more INSIDE my line. He then had some designer come in and design his back yard and it is beautiful, but they did not survey the property. When I asked him why they had not, he just replied that he "thought" he knew where it was. There is a gum tree that was planted 2" onto my side and now the truck is 6" into my property. Someone told me that it will hinder selling our property because of something called indiscriminate property line.

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