Over and over the ritual of pulling out unwanted grass and weeds from flower beds must be performed, unless you know how to apply chemical or natural substances without harming plants. Gardeners have been told that it can’t be done and the only way to eradicate unwanted greenery is by pulling it up by hand. Not so. I use, and tell my clients to use, these tricks to kill grass and weeds in flower beds that won’t harm plants and won’t break the back.
Tongs and Sponge
Wait for a hot, sunny day then get ready to kill some grass and weeds. Grab and pair of tongs (buy a cheap pair or use an old pair that won’t be used for food afterwards) and a sponge. Cut the sponge into small two by two inch squares, hold onto one sponge square and store the rest for later use.
Chemical Weed Killer
Pour a small amount of your preferred brand of liquid grass and weed killer into a shallow bowl (a recycled yogurt or margarine cup works nicely) and dip the sponge square into the chemical. Firmly grasp the saturated sponge with tongs and squeeze out excess grass-killing chemicals while leaving the sponge very damp, but not dripping. Carefully wipe the unwanted blades of grass and weeds with the chemical-laden sponge, being careful not to touch nearby plants and being sure the grass or weeds won’t flop over on surrounding plants after being wiped down with the killing chemicals. Re-wet sponge as needed and wipe down each blade and stem of unwanted vegetation in your flower beds.
Natural Weed Killer
Organic gardeners or anyone else who prefers to use natural weed killer can apply the more eco-friendly plant killers that contain vinegar, soap and plant oil using the same application method. Several applications of the natural weed killer will be needed to get the job done, verses probably one (or two at most) applications of a chemical weed killer.
Another way to kill grass and weeds in an established flower bed is to cut the bottom off a quart or half gallon plastic jug. Place it over the unwanted plant and spray the weed killer inside the jug and onto the weed. This will keep the chemical or natural weed killing liquid concentrated right where you want it while protecting surrounding plants. Let jug remain in place until killing liquid has dried to prevent drips onto other plants when moving.