Getting rid of grass

Asked March 25, 2013, 12:44 PM EDT

I need to know if there is a way to keep grass from coming back. I just dug up about 6" of grass and dirt so that I could plant a vegetable garden there. I just want to make sure that the grass does not come back and take over the vegetable garden. is there something that I can spray or put down before I add new soil to this area that would stop the remaining grass roots from growing?

Travis County Texas horticulture

1 Response

Do you know what type of grass you have? St Augustine should be all gone if you removed 6 inches and shouldn't be a problem. But Bermuda is another matter, and will come back pretty much no matter what you do.

In any event, there is no product that you can apply to the soil to keep the grass out, that would also not damage your vegetables. The best barrier is physical. Use 10 sheets of newspaper, or some light to mid-weight cardboard on top of the area that you dug out, underneath your new soil. You could also go ahead and put in the new soil, then plant, then put the newspaper in sheets around the plants, covering the entire soil surface, then put mulch on top of the newspaper or cardboard.

Even still, if you have Bermuda, be prepared for a stray pop-up every now and then. You can either trace the runner to its source and dig it out, completely if at all possible, or spot treat with an herbicide containing glyphosate. Be very careful when using glyphosate around other plants. Glyphosate will damage any plant where it contacts "green" (leaves, etc), but does not move in the soil. So, as long as it doesn't drift onto your desirable plants, you will not harm them by spot-treating.