Rock gardens are beautiful additions to any home, but sometimes, random sprouts of grass appear and ruin the look. We know it can be annoying when that happens, which is why we've researched tips and tricks on how you can remove grass from your rock garden.
How to Remove Grass from a Rock Garden:
- Pull them out by hand.
- Spot treat with herbicide.
- Trim the grass with a string trimmer and mulch afterward.
Grass can definitely take away the well-planned and curated look of your rock garden. Fortunately, we've got lots of valuable information for you! Keep reading because we will be sharing ways on how you can keep rock garden grass from growing, as well as ways on maintaining a rock garden.
How To Remove Grass From Rock Garden
Rock gardens are often a small substitute or a part of a garden that typically features rocks and an assortment of small plants. These gardens look beautiful in any home because they add depth and are very attractive to look at all year round, whatever the season may be.
Most rock gardens are designed to have rocks, small stones and pebbles, some small plants, moss, and sand. Rock gardens are meant to accentuate and showcase these beautiful rocks, but because they are usually placed outside, stray growths of grass and weeds may appear.
This stray sprouting grass usually comes from the growing grass surrounding the rock garden, and they are usually the medium- to vigorous-growing varieties. The seeds implant themselves on the ground beneath the rocks, and if left to grow, they will definitely ruin the design of your rock garden.
Fortunately, stray grass can easily be removed from your rock garden using various methods. Depending on the severity of the sprouting grass, you may have to use some chemicals to keep them from growing.
Pull by Hand
One of the easiest (and quickest) ways to get rid of stray grass growing in your rock garden is by pulling them by hand. With this method, you can be as meticulous as you want because you'll want to look at all the nooks and crannies, trying to find small blades of grass sneaking in the crevices.
If the grass has spread quite a bit, you can also allow the grass to thicken and grow a little bit in order for you to easily remove them with a trowel. Water the grass for a day or two and allow it to settle. This will also prepare the sod for removal. Make sure to move your rocks around before digging the grass.
Using a spade or a garden trowel, dig into the soil about two to three inches deep under the grass and gently lift it away. This will ensure that you're also digging out the roots of the grass, which if left in the soil, can cause regrowth. You can now compost the grass or dispose of it accordingly.
Spot Treat with Herbicide
Sometimes, certain situations may require chemical help. If you catch the grass sprouting in the rock garden early on, you can generally spot-treat them using herbicide.
Wrap your small plants and succulents with plastic bags, securing them with twine or wire to prevent the herbicides from drifting or over spraying. Make sure that the ground is also protected because herbicides may also penetrate the surface.
Following the manufacturer's suggestions, mix the glyphosate herbicide concentrate with water in a spray bottle. Spot treat the grass and wait for it to die before digging them up for disposal.
Trim and Mulch the Grass
Trimming the grass is also another method to remove it from the rock garden. When the grass isn't actively growing, trim the grass with a string trimmer to ground level, and start preparing the ground for mulching.
Spread a 12- to 18-inch layer of arborist wood chips on the grassy area. Scrape away the mulch after two to four weeks, and check to see if the grass has died. If it hasn't, keep the mulch on and wait for a few more weeks until the grass completely dies.
You can keep about three to four inches of mulch to prevent grass and weeds from growing back in your rock garden. If you plan on adding more plants, you can simply remove the mulch from these areas and continue planting.
How Do I Stop Grass From Growing In My Rock Garden?
If you're just about ready to make your own rock garden, there are certain measures you can do to prevent grass from growing. Here are some tips and tricks you can try before you start making your rock garden.
Treat with a Pre-emergent Herbicide
Before you start building your rock garden, spray the entire area with a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent unwanted grass and weeds from growing. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the application.
If you are looking for a more organic option, you can also use horticultural vinegar to get rid of weeds and grass. The higher concentration of acetic acid in this horticultural vinegar will kill roots and seeds of unwanted weeds and grass.
Cover the Ground
Prevent grass from growing by covering the ground before you build your rock garden. Cover your landscape with a plastic sheet and leave it on for about six weeks to smother all the weeds and grass in the soil. However, this only works in warm weather.
Alternatively, you can also use a water-permeable landscape fabric over the soil of your proposed rock garden. This fabric will inhibit any growth from stray grass and weeds that were not killed during your prior preparation.
Mow Away from the Rock Garden
If you have a lawn that sits close to the possible rock garden, make sure to mow with the blower facing away from the area, and with very little wind as much as possible. This is to prevent grass seeds from blowing into the rock garden, thereby implanting themselves on the soil.
How Do You Maintain A Rock Garden?
Rock gardens are pretty easy to maintain, but it doesn't mean you should leave them to fend for themselves completely. Maintaining a rock garden requires very little effort, but it is still necessary to keep them looking beautiful.
The most important maintenance tip for a rock garden is to keep weeds off all the time. This is pretty inevitable as weeds do pop up in areas every once in a while. However, it can be relatively easy to do if you check on the garden from time to time.
Try to keep as much exposed soil covered in rocks or pebbles to prevent weeds and grass from growing. Also, the preventive measures you've made before creating a rock garden will greatly help in diminishing this task for you. So make sure to treat those gardens for weeds before building.
Check on your less hardy rock garden plants and protect them during less favorable weather. Some plants may rot if they are left in too much dampness.
Remember to prune your plants if they are growing bigger than their limits. Trimming the plants also encourages new growth, so your rock garden plants will always look fresh and happy.
If you have water features in your rock garden, do not forget to maintain them and keep them from having standing water. As pretty as they are in the rock garden, we don't want them to become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Wrapping Things Up
Beautiful rock gardens are easy to maintain, even if there is the possibility of some stray grass sprouting every once in a while. With a few maintenance and preventive measures, you can keep grass and weeds away from your rock garden, and showcase all those pretty rocks for everyone to see.