Killing Grass

gardening boots and gloves

On Sunday, in the late afternoon after a run, when the sun was shining and the sky was blue, I dug out my gardening gloves, whacked last year’s crusted dirt off of them, and got to work in the “garden.”

I use air quotes because it’s not a garden yet. Right now our “garden” is a huge swath of gras: grass that last year had to be mowed, and grass that currently occupies the real estate where flowers and herbs will live.

In other words, grass that needs to die.

The snow has all melted, and we’ve got about 2 months until it’s time we can start putting plants in the ground.

Sunday was the perfect day to get out and get to work. I can’t start seeds indoors, and there’s not a whole lot we can do outdoors yet either, seeing as how we could still have more snow.

But in the warm sunshine, I could start laying black plastic over the grass we want to kill. At the nursery they recommended spraying it with a bunch of Roundup, but I didn’t really want to do that. So instead I cut huge black lawn bags to open and spread them, then weighed them down with bricks and edgers we dug out from the previous owner.

Killing grass. #gardening #amidoingthisright ?

A post shared by Andrea Badgley (@andreabadgley) on

I have no idea if this will work. I thought the plastic was to keep the light out and prevent the grass from photosynthesizing, therefore killing it. My husband thinks it’s more for heat: plastic will trap the heat, killing the grass. He says the plastic is a benefit because the heat will kill weed seeds as well, something Roundup wouldn’t do.

I’m sure I could research to find out for sure, but I’ve found that when it comes to gardening, I’d rather be outside messing around, actually doing stuff instead of reading about it. I try things on a whim, sometimes resulting in massive frustration because a little bit of research would have told me the thing I did was dumb. Usually, though, I just appreciate being outside, poking around in the dirt.

6 thoughts on “Killing Grass

  1. I’m glad to hear you decided against Roundup, a herbicide (glyphosate) that is being found everywhere nowadays, including in our food and in our bodies. There is an increasing amount of research that shows it has cancer-promoting properties.

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    1. One of my friends uses a mix that contains the blue Dawn dishwashing liquid and vinegar, and it’s safer to use than Roundup for getting rid of weeds. But for getting rid of grass, the ol’ black lawn bags are more practical, as covering up the unwanted grass will eventually get you a “blank canvas” for your gardening artistry. One year, I used black garbage bags and bricks to help create a nice landscaping boundary for one of my smaller herbal patches after helping a neighbor do the same for her flower garden. Also, at one time I had to park my car under a tree in the yard for a while. When I finally got to move my car back to the driveway, there was no grass underneath where the car had been. So, it looks like you’re doing the right thing. 🙂

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  2. Yes, it will work. I have an area like that waiting to be “developed”. For years…… The earthworms, etc, will loosen the soil underneath the mulch, yes, it is a black plastic mulch.

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