So I took my own advice last weekend and got to pulling to prep my beds for the fall season and I have officially  named a new enemy in my garden–grass.  I will admit the heat-induced laziness of summer set me up from some major work this fall.  Mental note to self–don’t let the grass creep too long and too far.

I spent the weekend, not planting but pulling.

4 loads of nasty grassy invaders...and more to go

Mr. Evil Crab Grass

1) Crab grass is the enemy.  I am sure anyone who has gardened in the south has encountered this persistent nuisance.  Endless battle.  And since it is among my flowers and veggie garden I didn’t want to hit with the roundup, so I just pulled.  And pulled.

 

 

 

Bamboo-like reed grassy invader

2) Bamboo-like grass. I don’t know the name. I wish they had a “Shazam-like” app for my phone where I could photo and find out.  But this bad-boy is prolific. Another pulling session to temporarily rid my garden beds of this nasty little critter.

 

 

 

 

Bermuda-grass Betrayer

3) My own planted grass–Bermuda grass invaded my newly mulched beds.  Roots grow strong with this grass species.  I swear I pulled a muscle.  I spent at least a month moving 12 cubic yards of mulch last spring to create a larger border bed and what happened? My own grass has taken over half of it.  Talk about feeling defeated.

 

 

Have no fear, solutions are what I do. Here are 3 tips to control and eliminate my new garden invaders.

1) Hardscape is there for more than just aesthetics.  You know me and my noncommittal challenge with hardscape.  But I finally see it’s practical usage.  Having a border of landscape timbers, rocks and stone really help thwart the grass invaders from taking over your bed. To-do list–border your beds with hardscape to prevent invasion.

2)Chemical or organic solution to consider.  So crabgrass and many other of my new invasive enemies are apparently warm-weather annuals that spread by seed. So one solution is to get a pre-emergent herbicides, a “weed and feed” product.  Follow instructions accordingly, but that is mostly for when the invaders are in your lawn…you can’t really feed mulch with chemicals. Organically, I have heard to use corn gluten as a good “weed and feed” solution, but more for your lawn than a bed. Since it is fall, the best time to apply it is 2 weeks after first day of fall (this year is Friday, Sept. 23). Then follow up with application in the spring. I am going to try spot applications to test this solution I heard through the grapevine.

3)Prevention and maintenance is the key. So my laziness really bit me in the…the only real way to maintain weed-free is by prepping and maintaining your garden.  Layering thicker cardboard of newspaper when introducing a new bed.  Mulch, mulch, mulch.  And the dreaded hand-wedding, you must do this to prevent the these nuisances from going to seed.  I can blame the weather a bit for my weed chaos, because hand-weeding is much easier and more effective after a rain–soil is losses and you have better luck getting the whole root.

Any advice out there? How do you control the grass invaders? Would love some tips.

Happy gardening.

m

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