You can grow your own food. And we can help!


Roger Doiron
How do I keep grass from coming up in our vegetable garden?


Determined weeds, such as grass -- especially tough rhizomatous grasses -- can be a real headache. In planted sections of the garden, lay down a layer of up to eight sheets of newspaper and top it with a heavy mulch such as wood chips to hold down the newspaper. Cover pathways with sheets of cardboard, again held in place with heavy mulch. Be sure to overlap the edges of the newspaper or cardboard. If you use soaker hoses or a drip system to water, just cover them up with the mulch, and this system will preserve even more soil moisture. Otherwise, when watering, make sure that the water soaks down through the paper to reach the soil. Reprinted from The Veggie Gardener's Answer Book Copyright 2008 by Barbara W. Ellis, with permission from Storey Publishing. Creative Commons photo credit: Roger Doiron

Question details

Grass and grassy weeds are overtaking my garden. What can I do?

We used this method to smother a large section of our lawn where we wanted to put a new garden bed. It worked really well - killing the turf over the winter. However we are still battling the crabgrass that keeps breaking through the layers of paper, straw, and mulch. We've been pulling it up as it comes up, but the stuff refuses to die. Any suggestions for how to get rid of it without resorting to Round up?
I am sorry ,but you will have to pull up all the grasses before it goes to seed. Then pull all your neigheors crab grass, stop birds from flying. Yes I would do all of this if I could! I have been fighting crab grass for years, I clean up my yard only to have new grass every spring. If you find a sure fired way to stop this or other annual grasses, please let us know. Mulch is great & helps a lot, I put down burlap bags two layers deep & still have crab grass, Bermuda grass ( A perinnal grass), wild dewberries & wild garlic coming though the burlap & mulch. I am going to try non treated sawdust in a 6" layer next.
I too have issues with grass, crabgrass, and Bermuda as well as weeds of many types. But isn't that just part of it? Mulch does help, and it at least makes it easier to pull up. I have 2 questions, Just how bad is round up if used on specific weeds, not wide spread, but just spotty. Why did my straw mulch sprout this spring? Had to scrape it all into the compost.Then used organic soil conditioner after much pulling(and cussing)   Ok, I have three questions And is pine straw a god mulch for vegetables. I have heard mixed opinions.



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