Weeds and grass under the fence


We have a spilt rail fence between our properties and can't keep it mowed on both sides. The grass gets so high and snaky we worry about the grandkids playing in the yard. The photo shows only about 1/5th of the total length of the fence.

q weeds and grass under the fence

The neighbor is unable to help with cost of anything we decide on. Thanks for your input

  16 answers
  • Spray with vinegar and let it die, then dig out. Will take a lot of vinegar but at least it is cheap. Another option would be to cut down by hand then apply the vinegar. Needs to be reapplied after every rain event. Another option would be to salt the area but it renders the soil in the area infertile for a great length of time.

  • Pat Russell Pat Russell on Sep 28, 2018

    Hi: Naomi has good suggestions; the vinegar really works, but has to be re-applied. The salt does hurt the soil, but who wants all this grass and weeds under the fence, anyway? Assuming you intend to keep the fence for the foreseeable future.

  • Oliva Oliva on Sep 28, 2018

    A quick fix is to spray a fast acting brush killer, when the grandkids won't be near the area for a while. Cutting down the vegetation and laying 6 mil. Black plastic should kill any growth, as the sun cooks through the plastic.

  • Dana Mason Dana Mason on Sep 28, 2018

    After you kill off the grass, you can turn that area into flower beds or even a garden. My bed friend planted gourds under her fence and as they grow, she trains them on the fence and they grow across throughout the summer. The kids get to help take care of the gourds. She puts paper shredding around the plants during growing season to keep out the weed and then in the fall picks the gourds and just tills the paper back into the earth. Then they plant new gourds in the spring.

    If you don't want to go to that much trouble for the whole fence, trellising flowers such as clematis or roses may be a good choice and simply put brick chips or small gravel around the roots..... or blueberry bushes and grape vines....

  • Barb Bennett Barb Bennett on Sep 29, 2018

    I use a weed killer recipe of 1 gallon vinegar, 1 cup salt, and 1 tbsp of Dawn dish soap. I would try to weed wack the tall grass ,then apply solution. You will have to reapply every so often especially after a rain.

  • Chriss Grijak Chriss Grijak on Sep 29, 2018

    Once you’re rid of the vegetation growing under the fence, you can always drop gravel under the fence to keep out the weeds. We did this at our former home when the next door neighbor didn’t upkeep his property. Actually, it looked pretty good!

  • Joanie Joanie on Sep 29, 2018

    Blueberries, grapes and blackberries......also raspberries. Yummy. ...the kids will love picking and eating them. As a kid Daddy would go thru the bushes for snakes, since they would hide in berry bushes.

  • Donna M Nicholls Donna M Nicholls on Sep 29, 2018

    1 gallon of vinegar, 1 cup Epsom salts, 10 drops BLUE dawn. Mix well, spray on weeds. If you use it consistently on one place it will sterilize the ground.

  • Antk8 Antk8 on Sep 29, 2018

    Well, since you don't want any time/labor involved with the fence, I'd say take it down, and just put a metal pole at each end to show the property line. Easy way would be to just burn it down. That will take care of the weeds too. Then plant grass when it cools with Scott's seed and weed killer mixture.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Sep 30, 2018

    Vinegar will sterilize the soil of the good bacteria, etc. to be able to support new plantings, so you will have to beef it up, but it does work. Salt is a no no. It gets into the sewers, groundwater, etc. then into the streams, rivers, lakes and drinking water and doesn't go away. Some cities already have higher salinity in there drinking water than normal and streams, rivers and freshwater lakes are seeing salinity changes that will make them uninhabitable for a lot of flora and fauna in the future. Epsom salts technically isn't a real salt, so it is ok. Try starting with a weedwhacker. Roundup does not hurt the soil, only the weeds, etc. you are praying it on and their roots. Most everyone that is affected by it haven't taken precautions when using it frequently. The only one I have heard about is a guy who used it for years doing lawn care. It doesn't ever say if he used precautions.

  • Donna A Donna A on Oct 01, 2018

    I would dig out the weeds and lay pavers, old bricks, rocks - whatever you have or can get for free - under the fence.c

  • Phaedra Phaedra on Oct 06, 2018

    This is what I did on my fence. First I used Roundup 365 and waited for the weeds to die. You can choose another method. After that I raked up all the dead weeds and put down a layer of cardboard. I covered the cardboard with wood chips. You can use purchased mulch. I ask a local tree trimming company to drop off a load of free woodchips. You may have to pick out some small branches but they are free.

    Any thing that you put down will eventually get weeds in it. BTDT. That's why I don't use gravel etc. The card board and wood chips will decompose into the soil after a few years. You can redo these two layers indefinitely.

  • Rockyroad Rockyroad on Oct 06, 2018

    1Gal Cleaning Vinegar

    1 cup table salt

    1 TBLS Dawn dish detergent (tackifier)

    With this small amount of salt run-off is not an issue , but it will kill any plants it comes in contact with . Stubborn weeds may need two sprays . I now use this rather than using Round-up for years .

    • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Oct 08, 2018

      That is what is causing the problems with the water, Nobody thinks a cup here, a cup there will cause problems, but it still adds up and takes forever for that cup to get out of the water, it just keeps adding up. My husband and son have saltwater aquariums and they only add salt to the aquariums maybe once a year because the salinity level does not dissipate with the water level as it goes down.

  • Rockyroad Rockyroad on Oct 09, 2018

    Nancy, sorry , but Round-up(Glyphosate) is far more toxic than either sodium or vinegar . It has already been outlawed in many countries , but obviously not the U.S. A recent multi-million dollar lawsuit against Monsanto , the original patent holder . I agree , sodium must be used in moderation , as is true w/ any chemicals . Other options for weed control along fences certainly include weed-wackers or mowers if lower rail is high enough and fence is in a low focal area .