How to get rid of grass in a flower bed without killing the plants

by Ryan

Hi I would like to know how to kill grass in flower beds without harming the plants. The plants are perennial and the grass is pasture.

  14 answers
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Mar 13, 2015
    @Ryan I had the same problem. Spent hours digging up the plants in the garden and then taking all of the grass roots out of them. Then replanted in another garden. Kept the grass effected garden free of perennials and dug out the grass and as much of the roots as possible. Spent the next 2 years spraying the grass with round-up every time I saw it resurfacing. Hoping to replant this spring. The past 2 years I used pots of colourful annuals in it to make it more aesthetic. Will have to update here in the summer to see how it goes this year, but there was very little grass sprouting last year.
  • Kristen Rikli Kristen Rikli on Mar 13, 2015
    Some friends of mine order a product called Ornamac or Ornemac, or something like that. Kills the grass, but does not kill flowers. You could Google it. It works great for them.
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Mar 13, 2015
    @Kristen Rikli this product was intriguing so I googled it. Here is the site with the information sheet Expensive stuff though - didn't look to see if it was concentrate or not - but $52/32oz. Also sites on opinions which differ, but depends on the type of grass you have, does not work on broad leafed grasses. Thanks for posting - enlightening.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Mar 14, 2015
    If applying a selective herbicide, make very sure to check the label to make sure it is safe for the plants you have. In Florida our grass tends to creep by runners, so keeping after them is just a fact of life here. Having really good edges on your beds helps.
  • Heather Terveld Heather Terveld on Mar 14, 2015
    Lay down newspaper or cardboard for 1 season put woodchip or soil over it and grass is gone people are to quick to use pesticides for every little issue we lost 800 BILLION bees last year to this poison .
    • Renee Seeling Renee Seeling on Mar 14, 2015
      @Heather Terveld I tried this...gave it one season. My zoysia grass grew THROUGH the paper. Now I have rock hard newspaper on top of my rock hard soil. I must have missed something in the process.....
  • Judith Judith on Mar 14, 2015
    Most nurseries carry a product in a spray bottle that kills only the grass - I have used one from my local nursery to great success on Bermuda grass in my garden.
  • Connie Connie on Mar 14, 2015
    It is super easy to lay cardboard or layers of newspaper where you do not want anything to grow. Cover with 4-8 inches of mulch, straw, pine straw and it helps build your soil. Use old rugs to cover unwanted grass and weeds in an area you cannot get to yet. Anything is better than Round-up and other poisons that are killing the bees.
  • Loretta Clark Loretta Clark on Mar 14, 2015
    Great answers here. I have the same problem so I'm reading with great attention.
  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Mar 14, 2015
    Always keep your flower beds edged (which creates a break between the and the intruding grass) and weed weed weed weed weed!
  • June June on Mar 14, 2015
    A friend of ours told me to lay down the black tarpaper meant for roofs or even use old shingles in my flower beds. Then cover with bark or some type of mulch. Gonna try it if I can find some!
  • Artist In The Garden Artist In The Garden on Mar 14, 2015
    Cheer up ! Some day there will be robots programmed to eliminate weeds for you. They already have robotic lawnmowers.
  • Janinne P Janinne P on Mar 15, 2015
    Product called Ornamec.
  • Pugar verde Pugar verde on Mar 15, 2015
    Just get up close and personal with your garden....pull the weeds, no chemical intervention needed.
    • See 1 previous
    • Rose Rose on Aug 22, 2018

      I have grass growing up into the bushes. Grass feels like fishing line and I can't pull it. Any ideas?

  • Lori Lori on Mar 15, 2015
    Ok, I'm not a huge fan of getting up close & personal with bees, but without 'em, there's no flowers. Did you read the link that @Gail Salminen attached? When it says if inhaled call 911 if breathing, I'm thinking that's probably not going to be used in my yard. Will try the multiple layers of newspaper &/or cardboard. Thanks for all the great suggestions because I too have this issue. I am putting in a new bed where flowers are growing already, but it is covered in grass.
    • See 2 previous
    • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Mar 16, 2015
      @Lori No offense taken, but you were not the only one to mention chemicals in a negative way, so I thought it would be best to put the situation into perspective. I didn't want people to think that this was a first line of defense. Much better weed well and follow up with a thick mulch to prevent their growth. I do find I only have to weed at the beginning of the season if I use the mulch it just doesn't work for the obnoxious grasses LOL. Thanks for your response, much appreciated.