New Bulb Bed Help

kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)April 2, 2009

Hi all. I am preparing a new bulb bed, mostly for cuttings but not all cuttings. It will include TB iris, oriental/and orienpet lilies, calla lilies, forget-me-nots, and daylilies.

My problem is that it was a former turf area. I have ornamental grass already established nearby. I don't want to use round-up or anything that will kill my ornamental grass. Is there a way to kill weeds without killing the ornamental grass? Will mulch do the job? The grass is Gracillimus miscanthus and is about one ft away! I can keep the grass in check but I don't have anywhere to move the grass. My bulbs and daylilies will be coming soon (daylilies next week) and I need to prepare the bed properly. Will cardboard or newspaper over the bed for a week work? Or does it take much longer to kill the weeds?

Thanks all,


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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Will cardboard or newspaper over the bed for a week work? Or does it take much longer to kill the weeds?
No, and in my opinion, it might take a good week to even get it killed off with Round UP....what with the cooler temps and rains.

If it were me, I would spray it with (generic) Round-up, just being sure to spray on a still day (good luck with that), and keep the spray nozzle down low to the ground so there is very little drift. You could even cover the grass with some plastic, or a box before spraying.

When spraying turf, well actually mine is mostly weeds, I like to mix it a bit heavy and spray well, and then after about 5-6 days, spray again anything that does not look to be dying fast enough. I want everything browned out before amending the soil. I find it pays off in the long run to be sure everything is killed off for sure before starting to prep an area.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 7:00PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Sue is right. I have killed turf with newspaper/cardboard, but it took several months to do the job. Cover your grass and spray with roundup. You're pretty far north. I think the grass has to be actively growing for roundup to work.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 7:23PM
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I prep my garden beds the old fashioned way... I remove the sod first, and then turn over the soil... then, I add my amendments and dig them in. Once I have properly prepared and planted the bed, I cover around everything with a good 3 inches of mulch, adding more as it gets washed away by rains and storms, or decomposes into the soil.

If I properly remove the sod, I don't have very many weed problems. After years of try to garden without removing the grass first, or using weed killers, I've found it's much easier in the long run to do it right while prepping beds. Removing the sod layer is not that difficult with the proper tool.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 8:50PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

jodik, I agree about removing the sod. I have other beds that I have done that way with no problem. As long as I have a few inches of mulch (pine or bark) on top I don't have to much trouble with weeds. And I did remove the sod layer as I was working the bed. That way I don't have to chance killing anything I don't want to kill. :)


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 3:09PM
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