How to get rid of grass in vegetable garden

Unwanted grass growing in your vegetable garden, while common, can also be incredibly frustrating. Gardening is regularly a therapeutic experience, and such a problem can get in the way of having fun, let us check out, how to get rid of grass in vegetable garden.

To get rid of grass in a vegetable garden follow the simple and easy steps

  1. Uproot The Grass by Digging
  2. Uproot The Grass by Tiling
  3. Use A Sod Cutter
  4. Solarize The Affected Area
  5. The Vinegar Method
  6. Pour Boiling Water on The Affected Area
  7. Mulch Your Garden
  8. Smother The Grass Until It Dies
  9. Make Grass Eliminating Spray Using Alcohol
  10. Herbicides

The grass takes up a lot of space that you could otherwise be utilized to grow your vegetable plants. Also, it uses up all the resources such as water, sunlight, nutrients, and fertilizers intended for your plants and vegetables. They also host pathogens that could be harming the growth of your garden.

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To make matters worse, while you are trying to kill it off, the grass is trying its best to utilize all the available resources to grow and multiply with every passing second.

Until you find a method of getting rid of grass that grows in your garden and ensuring that preventing its growth in the future works for you, it can be a hassle.

Time and effort required convenience, and your plans for your garden are some factors you need to consider when looking for ways to get rid of the grass. We’ve compiled a thorough guide explaining the pros, cons, and the procedure of various methods.

How to get rid of grass in vegetable garden

Here are some ways you can get rid of the grass that has grown in your vegetable garden:

1. Uproot The Grass by Digging

While the process is time-consuming and requires a lot of physical strength, uprooting is the simplest way to get rid of grass in your vegetable garden. However, you will have to invest a great deal of time and deal with sore muscles.

To uproot grass in your garden by digging, use any of your soil digging tools such as a spade, a knife, or even a shovel. All you have to do is cut the sod into one- or two-foot-wide strips, lift it from one end, roll it, and use the space to slide it underneath and repeat.

To make the process easier, you should spray the soil with water a few days before you have to dig the grass. This makes it softer and easier to dig.

This method is extremely effective and gives immediate and satisfactory results. A setback, however, is that organic materials are also removed in this process.

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2. Uproot The Grass by Tiling

A rototiller is a gardening tool extremely effective for getting rid of unwanted grass. This process has an advantage over removing the grass by digging as it ensures the organic material present in the ground is retained.

The first thing you need to do before tilling your garden is cleaning it to get rid of any garbage, rocks, and sticks. Next, dampen the soil with water while being careful not to make it muddy.

The depth bar on the rototiller should be between 4 and 6 inches. Next, use fertilizer if needed and rake the affected area just as you would mow it.

A technique to attain better results is tilling the soil again from another direction. Make sure the top ground is leveled once you are done.

The best part is that you can immediately start planting your vegetables after tilling the garden!

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3. Use A Sod Cutter

There are two things you need to know before you opt for a sod cutter to get rid of any unwanted grass in your vegetable garden. One, it comes with a cost; and two, it is possibly a method that requires the least effort.

To make it relatively affordable, you may opt for a rented one. In addition, many companies offer a motorized sod cutter for rental. You can rent it out for the day or by the hour, and most companies provide delivery for the machine as well.

These motorized sod cutters are easy to operate. All you have to do is read the manual and familiarize yourself with its requirements and functionality. These only work in a straight line, so you need a decent amount of area to operate.

If your garden is considerably large, you can also opt for a mechanical sod cutter.

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4. Solarize The Affected Area

This made is especially helpful if the grass has grown out over a large patch of area. Since sunlight is a guaranteed resource, this method is a smart, pocket-friendly way to get rid of unwanted grass growing in your garden.

To get this done, you need to focus the sunlight on the affected area. Black plastic is most effective for this, but you may also use something else available such as clear plastic or an old window.

Cover the grass with it and hold it down with rocks, boards, or any other weight. Once it is done, remove the covering and get rid of the dead grass.

This works best in summers when the daytime hours are ample, and the sun is burning hot.

This process can, however, take a lot of time. It can take a few weeks or even months to kill the grass down to the root and completely rid you of the problem.

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5. The Vinegar Method

Vinegar contains high amounts of acetic acid. This lowers the pH of grass and weeds and kills them off easily. However, this means that vinegar does not spare other harmless plants either and may harm your vegetables in the process of killing off unwanted grass.

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A tried and tested method combines vinegar with lemon juice or a liquid dishwasher to dilute it and spray it onto the grass you intend to get rid of. It works best on hot summer days. It will kill off the roots and leaves of the newer grass, and with more contact, the older patches will die as well.

To prevent killing off your vegetables, you have to be extra careful about only using vinegar on the intended targets in your garden. This requires extra time and effort but is nevertheless a necessary caution.

6. Pour Boiling Water on The Affected Area

This is another low-maintenance way of getting rid of unwanted grass growing in your vegetable garden. One thing to keep in mind is that this method usually works best for small patches of grass.

All you have to do is boil some water, pour it into a watering can, and begin the process. Pour the boiling water onto any patch of grass you intend to get rid of. Make sure that both the blades and the roots are wet.

Once you do this, the blades will turn brown right away. However, this does not mean that the process is completed as the roots do not die right away.

You will have to repeat the process for a few days so that the grass dies right down to its roots and you are completely rid of it.

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7. Mulch Your Vegetable Garden

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An effective and organic way of ridding your vegetable garden of grass is mulching. All the affected patch needs is 4 inches deep mulch layered on it to discourage the growth of plants.

The reason behind it is that mulch prevents sunlight from reaching the grass, which is a major factor contributing to its growth.

Preventive measures need to be observed while mulching your vegetable garden. For instance, you want to keep the mulch material a reasonable distance away from your vegetables.

It would help if you also kept in mind that mulch can impact the temperature of your soil. Finally, factors like the type of material you use and the season must be kept in mind.

You can also use inorganic mulch materials. The advantage of these materials is that they aid in regulating the soil temperature.

However, using plastic mulch is only recommended for certain vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers and may harm others.

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8. Smother The Grass Until It Dies

Smothering your grass to get rid of it from your vegetable garden is yet another low-maintenance method. You may use plastic, cardboard, or even layers of newspaper for this process. You can make use of any covering material that is available to you. This makes this method advantageous to others.

All you have to do is gather your material in size and abundance corresponding to the affected area in your garden. Then, spread it over the area and be careful about covering every edge. If you leave some area open or uncovered, it will lead to failure in smothering the grass.

This method works by blocking out any air reaching your plants, thereby bringing their photosynthesis process to a halt and slowly killing them.

The drawback to this method is that you have to wait for the process out before you can plant your vegetables on and the process can take up to several months.

9. Make Grass Eliminating Spray Using Alcohol

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This spray is not something you need to purchase from gardening stores. Rather, you can easily make it yourself to effectively get rid of unwanted grass growing in your vegetable garden.

Alcohol is used in this spray because it works well at breaking down the wax cuticle on the blades of grass. Without this protection, the grass is exposed to the heat of the sunlight, making it dehydrated and thereby killing it.

All you have to do is combine alcohol, water, and some liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Then, spray it onto any unwanted grass in your garden while being careful not to spray other plants and vegetables. It is recommended to carry this out during the daytime.

This does not work if you do it once, and you will have to repeat it every day for a few days until the grass completely dies out.

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10. Last Solution: Herbicides

If all else fails, or if other methods are rather inconvenient, the last resort way to get rid of grass growing in your vegetable garden is the use of herbicides.

While many people highly rely on herbicides to maintain their gardens, they are generally avoided because they come with the risk of damaging your other plants and vegetables as well.

Before you use a chemical-based herbicide, you should check out its formula and do your research. Ensure that the herbicide you are using is intended to kill off grass only.

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Another thing to keep in mind is that you should not use herbicides on a rainy day. Rain will wash away the chemicals and contaminate your desired plants and vegetables. Pick a dry and windy day to carry this out. Use protective gear, including gloves and a mask, for safety purposes.

After using your herbicide, wait a few days to see the results. The results may not be as fruitful after using it once, and you may have to use it a few more times.

The effectiveness of herbicides is long-term, and they rid you of unwanted grass for months and even up to a year.

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How You Can Prevent Grass from Further Growing in Your Garden

Here are some ways you can prevent grass from growing in your vegetable garden:

1. Make Sure to Decontaminate Your Garden Of All Existing Weeds

To prevent unwanted grass growth in your garden, you need to ensure that your garden is clean. When there are already stray patches of grass and weed present in your garden, they contribute to more.

Until you completely get rid of the unwanted grass already present in your garden, you cannot hinder the growth of more patches.

You may use any of the methods listed above to get rid of the grass existing in your garden. Choose a method that best suits your convenience, budget, schedule, and plans for your garden. Once you are rid of it, it will prevent other grass from growing in your garden.

2. Be Watchful

During plantation and maintenance of your plants and vegetables, be on the lookout for any unwanted grass that may be growing. The earlier you spot the grass you want to get rid of, the easier it is to get rid of it.

This is because younger weeds take up a lesser surface area and cover less depth with their roots. This makes them easy to get rid of.

Remember to inspect your garden carefully. Then, once you spot an undesired patch of grass, get rid of it right away using any of the suggested methods.

3. Construct Raised Garden Beds

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Raised garden beds are a good idea for several reasons. One of these reasons is that they aid in preventing the growth of grass amidst your vegetables.

Garden beds provide an environment for your vegetables to grow in a compact space. This leaves a lesser surface area for weeds to grow and attain sunlight as they have to compete for it. The raised levels of the garden beds also make it easier to spot these weeds.

Once the soil in these garden beds has stabilized, there is minimum need for getting rid of unwanted grass as their population decreases over time, leaving your garden bed clean.

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4. Minimize Spacing Between Your Plants

A very common and effective method of preventing grass growth in your vegetable patch is to reduce the spaces between your plants as much as possible.

The logic behind doing this is that when the plants are placed close to each other, this leaves minimal grass to grow. You may also place them a few inches closer than the seed packets recommended.

This method, however, is limited by some constraints such as vegetable variety, soil quality, etc.

In addition, implementing it needs a good knowledge of recommended plant spacing for various vegetables, and you can learn to implement it optimally with time through trial and error.

5. Avoid Unintentionally Growing Weeds

A common reason for the growth of weeds is the unintentional planting through topsoil and mulch.

People are often not careful while purchasing these mixes and end up buying ones that are not weed-free. In this way, while they are planting and tending to your garden patches, they unintentionally add weeds to their garden that grow from there onwards.

When purchasing anything to add to your garden soil, go through its contents and ensure that you are not planting anything unintentionally.

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While undesired grass growth in your vegetable garden can be a hassle, there are several ways you can deal with the problem, thereby getting rid of them.

Preventive measures to prevent the growth are just as effective and aid in maintaining your garden and making it clean and presentable. Once you are familiar with the process and fall into a routine, it will become just another understood part of your gardening routine! I hope you like the 10 helpful tips on how to get rid of grass in a vegetable garden.