I have grass growing and spreading and choking out my day lilies. It has such strong roots, I cannot pull it out. Is there any other way to get rid of it?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Phyllis: Once a flower bed is planted and established, it’s more difficult to get rid of the weeds. Of course, we all have weeds in the garden and weeding is just part of the gig. Hand pulling is the preferred method of removing them from an existing bed. It is the only guaranteed way to make certain the plants you intend on keeping are not damaged. Hand pulling may be a task depending on the size of your planting area, but to make it easier you can soak the area the day before and then try to loosen the soil with any useful tool such as a dandelion weeder. This way you can get up under the root system by letting the tool give you more leverage. Spraying an herbicide made specifically for grass is an option, but you take the risk of killing your existing plants. For future reference, a thick layer of newspaper and a few inches of mulch will kill grass over time. This is a great way to create a new planting bed and may be worth a try in your existing bed, but you will have to work around your plants. However you decide to tackle this grass, you want to be sure to remove the root system so that you are not fighting the same problem in the future. If the bed is not edged and this is how the grass is creeping in, you should consider adding a border or dig an edge to create a barrier between the grass and the bed.