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How to stop grass from growing in a garden – Best ways to stop unwanted growth of grass

Do you own a garden, and you’re worried about the grass growing? If you want to know how to stop grass from growing in garden, then you’re in the right place. 

Stopping grass from growing in a garden is actually easier than you think. All you have to do is eliminate sunlight from reaching the grass. You will get to know about the numerous ways to do that here.

This article will let you all about how to stop grass from growing in a garden, which is the best way, which is the cheapest way, and a lot more. Continue reading to find all the answers.

Tired of unwanted grass growing in your garden?

Most homeowners with gardens get worried when their garden’s grass doesn’t grow as expected. However, contrary to such issues, it is also a possibility that too much unwanted grass starts growing in your garden. Sometimes, grass will start creeping into the flower beds and start affecting the look and aesthetic of the garden. Apart from perennial turn grasses that invade gardens, there are many annual and perennial grasses like crabgrass. These are some of the most rigorous enemies of gardeners. Grass will require special attention, and you’ll need to know how to stop grass from growing in your garden.

If you’re tired of unwanted grass in your garden, you can always deprive it of sunlight. Most grass will grow poorly in shade and won’t be able to survive without sunlight. This is the case because grass wouldn’t be able to get the food it requires to grow, reproduce, and survive. Plants and grass normally create their own food sources as the energy from sunlight and gases from the air. These get used for creating the sugar glucose, and the process is called photosynthesis. The easiest way of eliminating the growth of grass is by eliminating sunshine. You can do that by covering up the grass with things like cardboard, plastic, or mulch.

How to stop grass from growing in a garden?

If you don’t have ample grass in your garden, then you’re a very lucky person. Unwanted grass growing in the garden can be a bigger issue than some may think. If you don’t have enough grass, then you won’t have to dig out any grass clumps by hand. However, if you do have unwanted grass, there are certain methods that will help you stop grass from growing.

Cover your garden’s soil with mulch

Mulching is one of the best ways of preventing unwanted grass from growing in your garden. As an additional benefit, mulch will also help retain soil moisture as it prevents evaporation. Mulch helps in regulating soil temperature as it insulates against sudden changes because of heat or intense sunlight. Mulch is any material that can be used for covering the soil in your garden. However, most people prefer using wood chips when using this method. Apart from wood chips, you can even use any of these as mulch –

  • Straw: Unlike hay, straw doesn’t come with seeds from weeds or other types of grasses in it.
  • Glass clippings: The grass that you cut from your garden will not come back to life if you’re spreading it over the soil. However, it will definitely prevent new grass from getting a foothold in the garden.
  • Chopped leaves: During fall, you can always use a lawnmower for chopping up fallen leaves in your garden instead of raking. Then, you can pour the bag of leaves onto your garden’s soul. Alternatively, if you prefer raking, you should dump the leaf pile right on the soil for preventing grass from growing.
  • Manure: You should ensure that the manure is fully composted before you add it to the garden soil. As manure is organic and rich in nutrients, it might harbor the growth of grass as it starts decomposing.
  • Compost: You could also go for compost as mulch. Similar to manure, it’ll be rich in nutrients and organic. This means it might harbor the growth of grass in your garden soil.

You should keep in mind that mulch will eventually decompose over time. After some time, you’ll have to add more mulch and replace what was lost over time. Otherwise, you might start seeing unwanted grass growing in your garden once more.

Cover the garden soil with cardboard

This method is very similar to the mulching method mentioned previously. Instead of using wood chips or leaves or compost, you’ll be using cardboard for covering the soil. This method will prevent grass or weed seeds from getting the needed sunlight for growth. For covering more ground with a cardboard box, you should be sure that you’re pulling off the tape, pulling apart the box, and trying to spread it as wide as possible. You can buy cardboard boxes at moving companies or even at storage centers nearby.

How to stop grass from growing in garden

A better way of getting cardboard boxes for free would be to go to wholesale clubs or grocery stores. Sometimes, they’ll have carts of cardboard boxes simply lying around inside their store. You can ask them to give a few to you. Retail outlets also have cardboard boxes that you can get once you ask them. Usually, you’ll be able to take as many boxes as you can carry. The stores are normally happy to see the boxes be reused. In fact, they sometimes have to pay money to have the boxes hauled away if nobody takes the boxes. You shouldn’t feel shy about asking for the boxes the next time you’re near a retail outlet or a grocery store.

Cover the garden soil with landscape fabric 

Using landscape fabric will be another great way of preventing unwanted grass from growing in your garden. The fabric is black, so it’ll easily trap heat and suffocate the grass or weed seeds present in the soil. The landscape fabric can be cut as well for allowing space for plants and shrubs to grow. You can use rocks for weighing down the sides such that the fabric doesn’t get blown away by the wind. Further, you can put a layer of landscape fabric before mulching and add a double layer of protection.

Raised garden bed

The planting part of the garden in a raised bed will make it easy for you to control what is growing and what isn’t growing. It is much more difficult for grass to be carried into a raised bed by insects or wind. The grass growing on the ground around the raised beds will not be able to creep into the wooden sides of the raised bed. You can even plant cover crops in the raised beds for preventing grass and weeds from growing. This way, you won’t have to worry about the cover crops taking over the garden.

Compact the garden soil

You might want to prevent grass from growing as you feel it is difficult to mow your garden. It becomes even more complex when the plants are growing. If you don’t wish to grow anything on the garden paths, then you can simply compact the soil. You can use a specialized tamping tool or a flat heavy stone for compacting the soil. Moreover, you can even use your feet to compact the soil into the packed earth.

Compacting the soil helps prevent plants and grass from growing in the garden. You must keep in mind that compacted soil will not drain well. This could be an issue if you have clay soil and the summers have a lot of rain.

Plant cover crops

If you feel that you don’t want to use raised beds, you can still use cover crops. It will help prevent unwanted grass from growing in the garden. You can use cover crops like alfalfa as it’ll restore nitrogen into the soil. Further, it can later be used as compost once the growing season is over. Best of all, cover crops will prevent unwanted grass from growing. This happens as it’ll be difficult to grow when cover crops are already growing.

How to stop grass from growing in garden

Lay down gravel or patio stones

Patio stones are a far better option than packed earth. A path of patio stones prevents unnecessary grass and weeds from growing. Moreover, it’ll also give your garden a neat look. They’ll make it much easier for you to navigate the garden when you have to water, prune, or harvest. If you’re having trouble with unwanted grass between patio stones, you can put gravel between the stones and prevent growth.

Kill the grassroots using plastic

You can use any of the two ways to kill grassroots, using plastic and stop unwanted grass from growing. It is also one of the cheapest methods of stopping unwanted grass from growing in your garden.

The first method is solarization. It is a highly effective method, even more so during hot summer months. First, you should mow the grass low. Then, you need to water it and cover it using a sheet of clear plastic. After that, hold down the plastic with rocks or garden stakes. This method will “cook” the soil and kill the grassroots, preventing unwanted grass from growing.

The other method is known as light exclusion. It is very similar to using cardboard to stop grass from growing. You will need to mow and wet the grass similar to the first method. Instead of clear plastic, you’ll be covering the grass using black plastic.

Regardless of the method you’re choosing, you must leave the plastic in place for a few weeks. This will ensure that the grassroots are dead and unwanted grass doesn’t grow in your garden.

What is the cheapest way to stop unwanted grass from growing in the garden?

Often, the cheapest and most feasible way of killing grass is to use materials that you already have at home. If you have cardboard or newspaper lying around at home, you’ll be able to stop unwanted grass from growing in your garden. It’ll be even more helpful if you’re working on a large area of grass. According to the University of California Master Gardeners, it is the easiest method, and it is called sheet composting. This method will deprive the grassroots of potential sunlight. This way, the grass will eventually wither and die and stop unwanted grass from growing. Unlike glyphosate, you won’t have to worry about killing plants by accident that you wish to keep.

How to stop grass from growing in garden

First, you’ll need to cut the grass as close to the soil as you can. Next up, you should cover the area using cardboard or 10-12 layers of newspaper. Ensure that you don’t leave any gaps for the sunlight to get through. You can spray the cardboard or paper thoroughly with water and cover it with a layer of compost. Finally, you should cover the compost with 4-5 inches of mulch. If you wish to plant flowers in this area, simply cut holes in the cardboard or newspaper. Ensure that the holes are big enough for placing the plants into. Then, you should apply the mulch or compost.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you know all about how to stop grass from growing in a garden. There are a number of methods at your disposal to help you kill or stop grass from growing in your garden. Some of the best methods including covering the garden soil with mulch, covering the soil with cardboard, using landscape fabric for covering the grass, or laying down gravel or patio stones. All that’s left for you to do is select the best option that suits your needs and get to work.

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