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How to Kill the Grass & Not Flowers

Flower beds filled with beautiful flowers and plants are a welcome sight in any garden. However, sometimes a lack of edging causes grass to grow among flowers in flower beds, giving it an unkempt appearance. There are several methods of killing unwanted grass from your lawn or flower beds without damaging the flowers. Although broad spectrum herbicides aim at removing grass, they also kill useful plants or flowers. It is imperative not to use broad spectrum herbicides, but to adopt an organic, and environmentally safe, method of eradicating unwanted grass.

Remove the grass by hand. This is the safest, easiest and most economical way of removing unwanted grass. Moisten the soil slightly with a garden hose to soften it a bit, so the grass comes out easily. Wear gloves and pull the grass plant out of the soil, along with the roots.

Loosen the soil around the grass with a hand shovel or spade and then pull the grass out. Collect the grass in a tarp and dispose of it.

Spray herbicide over the unwanted grass. Make sure the particular brand of weed killer has up to 50.2 percent glyphosate so it kills only targeted grass, without spreading in the soil and killing flowers and other plants. The glyphosate in the herbicide penetrates the grass tissue, causing it to decay. Follow label directions for application.

Check the area after two to four weeks and repeat herbicide application, if necessary. This is to kill grass seeds that survived the first application and sprout into fresh grass.

Spray post-emergent herbicide over unwanted lawn grass. Make sure it is specified for the particular grass growing there. Follow label directions for application.


After removing the grass, spread an even layer of mulch around the base of the flowers or plants to prevent invasive grass or weeds from growing there. Pick a day when the climate is dry and there is no forecast of wind or rain if spraying herbicide over unwanted grass. This prevents the herbicide from being carried to other parts of the lawn. As a precaution, cover plants or flowers you do not want to kill with a tarp.

Wear rubber gloves and a face mask when spraying herbicide. Also wear safety goggles to prevent injuring your eyes. Wash your hands thoroughly after application, and discard or thoroughly wash the gloves.

Edge your flower beds with a decorative plastic, wooden, rock or brick border to separate it from the rest of your lawn grass. This also prevents the grass from spreading and growing inside.

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