How can I kill the grass and yet plant 2 rows of flowers?

Asha Ravada
by Asha Ravada
This is a new house and so the side yard was initially a lawn.
I prefer to grow flowers (attract bees) instead of a lawn, so based on articles I read about lasagna gardening I covered the grass with newspaper, cardboard, hay, soil and topped it with mulch.
The plan is to have 3 rows of flower beds. At present I have planted only one row of flowers and I plan on planting a second and third row sometime soon or maybe early next year, since I may be running short of flowering time this year!
I have read articles on using vinegar and salt ( I want natural methods of preventing weeds) - can I even do this (kill weeds and grow 2 more rows of plants)?
Please advise,
  15 answers
  • Balbir Currie Balbir Currie on Jul 06, 2015
    One way of dealing with it is to cover it with weed proof under lay than cut individual piece where you want your flower pot to go. Plant the whole pot with flowers in it. Next year you can clear the whole patch and plant flowers directly into the ground.
  • Kathy C Kathy C on Jul 06, 2015
    Hmm, this layering business is all well and fine, but if the existing soil is compacted from being a lawn, the flowers will struggle to establish a deep root system and dominate existing weeds. It's not a huge area. I'd dig it dung it plant it mulch it in a more conventional way, and keep mulching to see off any recurring weeds. Might actually be less work in the end!
  • Cathy Cathy on Jul 06, 2015
    Since you've planted some flowers in the bed, it will be difficult to do anything other than keep it weeded this year, I would say. The roots of grass, in particular, are tough to get rid of. I would suggest covering the bed again in the fall, with newspaper and leaves, or black plastic. Weeds seem to grow right through gardening fabric. Then in the spring, I would get in there early and work the soil, before the weeds get a good chance to start growing and reseeding. If you do find that you have weeds in the spring, I would get some 20% acidity vinegar and spray the beds. Spraying with 5% vinegar, the kind you get in the grocery store, will kill the weeds on top but it won't kill the roots. You may have to spray more than once, if the weeds reappear. Then I would suggest working up the soil as deeply as you can, add equal parts top soil, compost, and peat moss and mix it in with existing soil, and then plant. You'll never get rid of weeds completely, but if you're diligent about weeding (get a garden bandit and a scuffle hoe, and it's an easy job) it is pretty easy to keep them under control.
  • Trixie63 Trixie63 on Jul 06, 2015
    If you want some color this year you could pull out the grass and bury plants in a slightly bigger pot than they came in. You could them swap them out with fall plants in a few months. Then follow the suggestions above as they are great. I saw this in a home talk post so perhaps you can find it.
  • Marcia Marcia on Jul 06, 2015
    There are selective weed killers for grass in flower beds. Is this Bermuda grass? If so it and bamboo will be here long after we're gone. The salt-vinegar potion will poison the soil.
  • Pat Hayes Pat Hayes on Jul 06, 2015
    The salt and vinegar mix is great for killing weeds and grass but don't use it if you want to ever plant anything there again. It permanently kills anything from ever growing there.
  • Wanda Arganbright Wanda Arganbright on Jul 06, 2015
    Newspaper!. Layer a few layers of newspaper on top of the bed, cutting slits for the flowers. Lay some kind of mulch on top of the newspaper. The newspaper will gradually decompose and is good for the soil.
  • Juanita Mccanne Juanita Mccanne on Jul 06, 2015
    Instead of newspaper, I found that cardboard (from all my moving boxes) worked much better. Just be sure to remove all the tape, or you'll be pulling out tape every time you try to plant anything for years to come.
  • Janet Janet on Jul 07, 2015
    Black plastic cut holes if you want to plant now otherwise it and the sun will do the trick. Boiling hot water if not to big of an area. if you do use the black plastic you can leave it down or not. if you do decide to plants this year make sure where you cut the plastic that you have removed the grass. I have started a many of gardens this way. Lazy me!
  • Asha Ravada Asha Ravada on Jul 07, 2015
    Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. Will follow the guidelines mentioned and will post pictures next yr !
  • Mookie Mookie on Jul 10, 2016
    They have landscaping plastic that I use, it lets water in to the plants but doesn't allow grass or weeds to grow. Cutting X's to place plants, I then cover with mulch after I plant my plants.
  • Rpn20893143 Rpn20893143 on Apr 19, 2017

    I needknow how to get rid of crap grass

  • Random Chance Random Chance on Mar 29, 2018

    “Crab” grass is extremely resistant to just about anything other than a commercial product made for killing it. However if you just have a few spots, pouring boiling water on it will kill it but leave the ground safe for other grass.

  • Gordy Seamans Gordy Seamans on Apr 24, 2018

    "Preem" applied to flower bed before or after you set out your growing plants, will keep any new seeds from germinating. OOOH La La!

  • Lisa S. Lisa S. on Apr 26, 2018

    I use a pitchfork to turn the soil, then pick out the clumps of grass and shake the soil off. If this is a new garden (previously a lawn) the soil needs to be "worked up" anyway. You will need to add some top soil and compost / mulch to get good results with planting. Just killing the weeds/grass and then digging a hole to stick a plant in - will not get good results.