It’s possible for ornamental grasses to spread out of control, taking over a garden or adjacent lawn. Digging out the plant’s roots can be tough, and the plant may still live after you remove it. However, there is a secret weapon in your kitchen that you may use to get rid of this pest without the use of herbicides.
- Use pruning shears or scissors to trim any tall ornamental grass to a height of 2 to 4 inches from the ground. To prevent the spread of seeds, quickly package up any cuttings that contain seeds and dispose of them.
- Fill a spray bottle halfway with white vinegar. Dish soap, preferably a light one, should be added in two squirts. To combine the components, shake the bottle vigorously after securing the cover.
- Directly on the decorative grass, apply the homemade weed killer. Saturate the entire area above ground with the mixture so that it reaches the root ball and kills it. The liquid can be poured directly onto the ornamental grass if necessary.
- If the ornamental grass doesn’t turn brown and dry out after 24 hours, reapply the mixture.
Things You Will Need
- Shears or scissors for trimming the tree’s branches
- Lawn sacks.
- a mist wand
- Vinegar that’s been diluted with water
- Liquid dishwashing
To increase the potency of the natural weed-killing mixture, add 1/2 cup of salt. Dig the root ball up after a good rain or soak the ground with water from the hose to make removal simpler once the grass has died.
Avoid spraying any other plants near the attractive grass with the weed killer, as it will kill anything that it touches. Protect nearby plants by draping a cloth over them if required.
Know Your Grass
There are a variety of decorative grasses to choose from, and not all of them are alike. Ribbon grass (Phalaris arundinacea var. picta), pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana, C. jubata), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and northern sea oats are some of the most popular kinds (Chasmanthium latifolium). Unfortunately, in places like California, some of the more popular ornamentals are also invasive. Invasive ornamental grasses like ribbon grass and pampas are examples. California and Hawaii have been particularly hard hit by Pampas’ invasion. Please inform the Extension Office prior to taking any steps to eradicate any ornamental grass, as you may need to be more cautious when dealing with an invasive species.
In spite of the fact that ornamental grasses have a tendency to spread rapidly, they are favored by many gardeners and landscapers for their low maintenance requirements and the way they provide both color and texture to the garden. The roots of ornamental grasses can be difficult to remove from the ground, so if you’re planning to grow them on your property, consider planting them in bottomless pots.
Invasive ornamental grasses include some species. Examples of invasive plants in California include fountain and pampas grass. Before attempting to remove any of these types of ornamental grasses, always check with your local extension office. The work may necessitate specialized equipment or the services of a professional.
1. Digging up Ornamental Grass
Ornamental grasses with established root systems can have extensive and intricate root systems. As a result, getting them out of the ground is a challenging task.
The first step is to trim the ornamental grass to a height of no more than two inches from the surface of the soil. This makes it easier to see how far the plant has spread. Use a sharp shovel to separate the grass if the spread is extremely great. It is easier to delete a part at a time if you break it down like this.
Force a shovel into the dirt beneath the plant as soon as you can clearly see it. Make certain that the shovel is buried all the way beneath the root system of the plant before digging. Scoop the grass out with the shovel as you do so. Ornamental grass can be picked up in huge clumps with this method.
Try wetting the roots of the ornamental grass with water if you find it difficult to remove. Because the surrounding soil and roots are softer as a result, it is easier to manipulate and excavate the root system.
Use local legislation to get rid of invasive ornamental grasses. Garbage can be used to dispose of decorative grass that isn’t considered invasive, such as in the garden or in the compost pile at home.
However thoroughly you believe the root system has been eliminated, ornamental grass is notoriously difficult to eradicate. When spring comes along again, don’t be shocked if there are fresh shoots emerging. This is irritating, but it does show you where the underlying issues are that you were unable to identify the first time around. Dig the roots out as described above.
The area should be devoid of decorative grass at this point.
2. Using Herbicide to Remove Ornamental Grasses
In order to get rid of invasive grasses, grassy weeds, and other invasive species, herbicides are the best option.
Spraying the grasses with a glyphosate-based herbicide is a great way to ensure that the chemicals only reach the grasses. Because it’s a non-selective herbicide, be careful not to spray any nearby plants. Affected plants will suffer or die as a result of this.
Glyphosate-based herbicides leave little residue in the soil. This eliminates the need for additional landscaping in the region.
How to Apply
Liquid and granular herbicides are the most common forms. Don’t skip the instructions for whatever option you choose, no matter what. This improves the odds of a successful application.
Make sure you have gloves and a long-sleeved shirt on before applying. Wearing goggles and a face mask while applying the spray is also an option for some people. An inadvertent ingestion or contact with the skin of a glyphosate-based pesticide can be harmful. Pets may become ill or drowsy if they touch or eat plants that have been treated with the product. This means pet owners have the option of using an other solution altogether.
Prior to application, trim back long and unkempt ornamental grasses. There should be no more than four inches of growth evident.
On windy days, avoid using the herbicide. Even a light breeze might distribute the herbicide to neighbouring plants. Plastic sheeting or old bed sheets can be used to protect nearby plants if it’s too windy to wait for calm weather.
Take Extra Care
Using a spray nozzle that creates large, coarse droplets reduces the risk of inadvertent plant harm even further. Fine sprays are more prone to float, whereas these are less so. Also, keep the nozzle as close as possible to the ground or plant to avoid unintentional drift.
Spraying herbicides while the temperature is above 85F is also a no-no. In a perfect world, the following 24 hours would be cooler than this. Herbicides can be lost to evaporation in warm weather because of the plant’s inability to absorb them.
Wet the surfaces with a small amount of herbicide. Herbicides used as granules should be thoroughly watered in after each application. Herbicides for aquatic situations are available if your ornamental grass is close to a water feature.
3. Homemade Solutions
Despite the fact that herbicides can be effective, not all gardeners wish to use them. Fortunately, your kitchen pantry is stocked with a powerful, hidden weapon. Ornamental grasses can be killed with white vinegar. As a bonus, it’s a terrific technique to keep dogs away from your flowerbeds naturally.
Making and Applying Your own Solution
Keep ornamental grass short, no more than 4 inches from the ground if it is exceptionally tall. If you don’t have a compost pile, place the cuttings in green waste bags right away.
Add two squirts of dishwashing soap to a spray bottle after adding white vinegar until the bottle is nearly full. Shake the bottle vigorously to thoroughly distribute the contents. To further boost the strength of the mixture, some individuals like to add a half-cup of salt, but this isn’t necessary.
You can use a garden hose or a garden sprayer to apply the mixture directly to the lawn. Pour the solution directly onto the roots. As a result, the root ball is effectively penetrated.
Be aware. Plants die instantly when they come into touch with this solution. Use a sheet to protect neighboring plants and apply solution on a calm day to avoid contaminating them with the solution.
If you’re trying to get rid of ornamental grass, you might want to think twice. Depending on how quickly the plant dies, you may have to administer the mixture more than once. When it comes to grass turning brown and drying out within 24 hours, however, this is the norm. The root ball will be easy to dig up once the grass has died. Water the ground thoroughly if removal is still a problem. Softening the roots makes it easier to remove them.
This process may take longer, but it is much less time-consuming. When a plant is killed by baking its root system, it is known as solarization.
The initial step is to remove the plant from the ground as close as possible. Garden shears or a weed whacker can be used for this.
Use a hose or a watering can to wet the soil’s surface. Cover the area with a clear plastic tarp while the earth is still damp. Bricks can then be used to secure the tarp to the ground.
After about six weeks, the sun’s heat will permeate the tarp and raise the soil temperature to more than 140F. The root cluster will be baked to death, along with any other weeds in the bed, by using this method.
Prevent Ornamental Grass From Returning
As a synthetic mulch, landscape fabric is often employed. Smothering weeds and grasses is another benefit. Cover the weeded area with this form of synthetic mulch once you’ve removed your ornamental grasses from the area. As a result, your grassy plants will not reappear.
Simply cut slits in the fabric and insert your species into the ground to begin planting in the bed. Make holes in the fabric if the bed is already planted so that the flowers and other plants can grow through. The cloth can then be placed around them.
It’s important to remember that landscape fabric isn’t the most visually appealing addition to your garden. The appearance can be substantially improved by covering it with additional mulch, such as woodchips or gravel.
Keep Ornamental Grasses Contained
Prevention is often better than cure in many circumstances To remove ornamental grasses, this is absolutely true.
Because these grasses spread so quickly and easily, it is difficult to eliminate them. Try planting them in the ground in bottomless containers if you want to add them to your garden. The root system will be largely controlled if you opt to remove the grass, making your job easier.
If you’re still deciding on your garden’s layout, this approach can come in handy. The roots of your plants will not be stressed by moving them around in bottomless pots.
Ornamental grasses can be hard to get rid of, especially if they’ve become established. Using a combination of herbicides and physically digging up the plant is often the best option. Even so, it’s possible that you’ll have to reapply the treatment several times until your garden is free of all residues.
How To Remove Ornamental Grasses Easily
Step #1. Identify the grass
The sort of ornamental grass you have must be identified prior to removal. As a result of this data, you can devise a more effective removal strategy. Invasive plants, for example, may necessitate special care and communication with your local extension before eradication.
Clump-forming vs rhizome-forming
Clump-forming and rhizome-forming grasses, as previously indicated, can be divided into two categories. Clump-forming plants are preferable since they are less likely to invade. Instead, as the name implies, they form orderly clusters as they mature.
Rhizome-forming grasses, on the other hand, don’t form clumps; instead, they disperse via stems that grow underground. Some popular ornamental rhizome-forming grasses are still available, but their placement must be carefully planned to prevent them from displacing your other plants.
Warm-season vs cool-season
Grass species can also be divided according to the time of year in which they are actively growing. During the spring and summer months, warm-season ornamental grasses bloom and then go into hibernation. Cool-season grasses, on the other hand, thrive in the fall and winter months.
If you know when the grasses start growing, bloom, or go dormant, you can remove them. Additionally, this aids in future grass planting preparations. Grass can be grown in a greenhouse by taking advantage of the structure’s features and adjusting the environment.
Option #1. Digging
You have two alternatives for eradicating your grass after determining its type and habits. Ornamental grass may be dug up without the use of chemicals, which is preferred by most gardeners. All you need to know is how these plants’ roots work.
The best way to remove ornamental grasses from the ground is to do so in groups or in small areas first. Even the most experienced gardener may make mistakes while working with ornamental grasses because of their complex root systems. Digging out grasses one at a time ensures that the root system is eliminated.
The method of removing grasses from the ground is simple. When doing so, use a shovel to ensure that you aren’t leaving any of the root system behind. Place all the grasses you’ve removed in the wheelbarrow for ease of transportation and a neater work area. Also, be sure to verify your local regulations on how to properly dispose of the grasses.
Using a sharp shovel, cut the grasses to a height of 2 inches above the ground to make it easier to dig them up. Watering the roots and dirt makes digging up easier, so do it whenever possible.
Digging out the center of ornamental grasses
When it comes to upkeep, you may notice that the middles of your grasses are beginning to thin and eventually die. Even if the entire clump isn’t dug out, you’ll need to remove the core and section it apart. If you’re caring for warm- and cool-season grasses, you’ll want to divide up your maintenance time accordingly.
Prepare the new spot or container for the clumps you’ll acquire by soaking the soil the day before you divide your ornamental grasses. Then, use a sharp spade to sever the roots of the grasses to within 8 inches of the ground. To make it easier to remove the cluster, carve a circle around it that is larger than the clump itself. Then, with a knife, cut the remaining roots.
Option #2. Herbicides
Consider using pesticides to eradicate ornamental grasses if digging is inefficient and too much of a headache. Herbicides, like any other chemical, should be used with caution if the grasses are near other plants. Glyphosate spraying isn’t the only option when it comes to keeping grass out of your garden.
How to use herbicides for ornamental grasses?
What kind of herbicide should you employ? As long as you follow the directions and use the proper protective gear, both liquid and granular herbicides can be effective and safe. On windy or warm days, be extra cautious and use greenhouse-safe products.
Cut the grasses down to a height of four inches or less for more simple applications. In order to avoid harming surrounding plants, use coarse droplets when spraying, and keep in mind that dilution may be essential for some products. Finally, ensure that the following day is cool enough to keep herbicides from evaporating.
Maintaining beautiful grasses is essential if you want to grow them. Moreover, it is important to know how to remove attractive grasses so that they don’t interfere with other plants. Begin by determining the type and behavior of your grass, and then determine whether you need to remove the grasses or use a herbicide.