Grass and weeds invading under rose bush

rahlquist(7 GA)April 6, 2013

We have some pretty rose bushes (princess Anne I believe) near our mailbox that are being inundated with grass and weeds and such. They were planted 3 years ago without a weed barrier (my biggest mistake) I have cut it all back by hand as well as i can. Is there anything I can do to deal with this short of digging the plants back out?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

without a weed barrier (my biggest mistake)

==>> hate to disagree with you.. but NOT putting down a weed barrier.. was the best thing you ever did.. they are useless ...

cut the grass with a straight shovel.. back 12 or 18 inches.. and start digging out the grass ... toward the plant.. by hand.. be gentle close to the rose ...no reason to dig up the roses ...

you need to maintain the 'edge' about 2 to 3 times per year... to avoid a big job every time ....

and mulching properly.. makes pulling out any grass much easier ...

see link .. with a video ..... i am impressed he even mentions sharpening the tool

and.. IMHO.. there is no panacea of plastic edgings.. that will solve this problem .... just go dig ...

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 10:53AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I took your comment about a barrier to mean around the edge of your rose garden. You could lay newspaper all over the grass, cover with mulch, then install the edge. Easier than digging to me. Bricks make a good edge.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 6:06PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

grass grows under bricks.. rocks.. cracks in the driveway ...

one way or another .. grass will win.. its just a matter of time..

i took her to mean weed cloth.. that is what is useless ... but i do hate the plastic tube edging .... i think it just looks stupid ... perfect the day installed.. and downhill from there...

but if you have it.. like it.. all the power to ya..

ken

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 6:51PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Many grasses find the conditions under mulches to be among the best places to get the nutrients they need to grow and given half a chance will send up top growth to better utilize the nutrients found in that soil. Some grasses can be stopped by appropriate barriers, not landscape fabric, newspaper, cardboard or mulch but vertical barriers when they are properly attended. Some grasses send roots down below the 4 inch edging materials and some grasses send roots down below 8 inch edging material and many grasses will send stolens right over the top of most edging material.
Edging material placed can prevent planting bed invasion by grass roots for a short time but every year maintenance will need to be done and every bit of grass root in the planting bed will need to be removed, and then you probably will have about a year free of grass invasion.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:09AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

If grasses are your primary problem, there are plenty of herbicides on the market that can control grasses but not harm the broad leaf plants. They can be sprayed right over the top of the ornamentals. I don't know if you are interested in that kind of thing, but you should know that you have that option. For such a small area, the newspaper/cardboard plus mulch may be your best bet.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:50AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I don't know why people have such trouble keeping grass on one side of a brick or landscape timber edge. Yes it can go under, over, but it usually doesn't. If it goes under, pick up the edge, fix the problem, lay the edge back. I don't spend more than a couple hours per year maintaining hundreds of feet of edge this way, except in low spots or along tree roots where the border material hasn't been making solid contact with the ground. Quickly passing by with an edge trimmer, and occasionally actually bending down to pull an errant piece keeps it from going over. It's a border, not magic, it does need attention.

Aiming the grass chute away from beds when mowing is the most important part of keeping grass (& other lawn weeds) out of beds, once an edge is established, IME/O. I like this lady's method (pic below!) Running the mower tires along this should suffice most of the time, might have to occasionally use the edger on some very determined creeping grasses. None of the grasses I've lived with in OH or AL could get under this if they were mowed regularly.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 2:56PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Landscape timbers.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:00PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I kind of cheated on this one, following the shade pattern under the trees, where the grass was already clearly either growing or not in this pattern.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:08PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I put these bricks right after digging the grass out for this spot, so they have sunk a bit, too much. (It looks like there's grass growing through in some places because we had just emptied the mower bag in this area the day before.) This year I will move them back 1 bricks' width, sitting on the solid ground where the grass is now. Will have to keep a close eye on that over the summer but I know that going into it.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

This spot is taking advantage of the strange concrete pieces here when I moved in. We don't use the edger after every mow in the back yard, just enough to keep the grass out of the beds.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:15PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Never had any trouble with this border in OH.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:17PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Or this one also in OH.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:20PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

This landscape timber edge (left side visible but around 3 sides) was easy to maintain as well. The neighbors did not weed-wacker their sides of it.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:26PM
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