4 Easy Ways to Remove Grass in a Vegetable Garden

A mature turf is the dream of every lawn owner. However, when grass spreads to the area defined for your garden, it can easily become a problem. The grass in the garden will hinder the healthy growth of vegetables by competing for nutrition. In this article, Olle will tell you simple techniques for weeding from garden beds and provide step-by-step guidance for each method. Whether grass has occupied your garden or you are considering starting your garden bed, it will help you.

raised garden bed

Vegetables need nutrition, sufficient water and growing space. Unneeded grass and weeds need to be the same. If not handled properly, the extra grass and weeds will absorb the needed nutrients, killing vegetables and plants in the process. Therefore, it is important to kill unnecessary grass and weeds in the garden area to promote the healthy growth of other plants.

You can choose various methods to remove grass and weeds from the garden bed. Often, labor-intensive processes will give you quick results. Although you can choose a method that does not require a lot of effort, you need to wait at least one season to completely remove the grass from the garden bed.

We list four simple technologies for you to choose from, depending on how much work you want to do and how long you are willing to wait.

1. The Smothering Technique

Smothering is one of the easiest ways to kill grass in the garden. We prefer the cardboard method, but you can also use multi-layer newspapers instead.

If you are looking to build a new garden bed, use a hose, rope, or lanyard to define it. Remove any debris or rocks you see on the ground and cut the grass to the ground.

If there are a lot of weeds on the garden bed, please layer it with non waxed cardboard or up to 10 layers of newspaper. Make sure to use newspapers without color images. Overlap the edges of the paper by 6 inches in the growing area.

Layer the garden bed path with overlapping newspapers or cardboard to kill the grass. Cover the cardboard with tree bark. When finished, add a thick layer of rotten compost. Add a compost layer at least 3 - 4 inches thick to place the cardboard on the newspaper.

After a few months, any grass or weeds under the cardboard will rot and return rich nutrients to the soil. With no effort, you will have fertile and loose soil that can be planted.

Useful tip: If you have lumpy organics when planting, please use the insert or flower pot to start the seedlings. Once they have sprouted roots, you can plant them at the correct spacing.

Pros: This technology is not labor-intensive and can leave organic matter in place. It will not damage the soil structure.

Cons: It takes several months for suffocation to work. If you want to plant it immediately, this is not feasible.

raised garden bed

2. The Digging Method

This method is the fastest way to remove grass from the garden, but it requires a lot of muscle. You can use a fork or shovel to remove the turf. If the turf is in good condition, use it elsewhere on the lawn.

To make the soil easy to use, water the designated area a few days before excavation. Make sure to limit watering so as not to damp the ground. Saturated soil is heavy and difficult to dig. In addition, it can hinder the growth of plants.

Use a shovel or edger to cut the sod into strips 1 meter wide and 1 to 2 feet long. The density and thickness of lawn play an important role in determining the length of strip. Lift one of the sod strips by sliding a shovel or fork under it. Take out the pre cut pieces of turf and make sure to cut off any taproot or fiber base underneath.

If there is too much loose soil under the sod, use a fork to ensure that the excess soil can be moved back to the surface. Roll up the strip and continue peeling from the back.

For a large garden bed, use a sod cutter, which can be manual or pneumatic. You can also rent these out. These are plow tools with steel blades, which work more effectively than shovels or forks.

Once the sod has been lifted, remove all rocks, remaining pieces of grass, and numerous roots. Remove any larvae or pests.

The excavation process will remove organic matter, which should be replaced with compost to promote the healthy growth of plants. Topsoil must also be replaced, especially if you want to raise the garden bed.

Pros: With this method, you can grow vegetables immediately. This is a non chemical method that does not require loud tools.

Cons: This is a laborious method that requires a lot of effort. It removes the plant cover that exposes the subsoil to weed seeds. It can also remove organic matter.

raised garden bed

3. The Tilling Method

Gardening tools, such as a tiller, can be used until or to destroy the soil.

When the method turns over the sod, the original organic materials will not be removed like the turf.

Clean the garden area. There should be no rocks, debris or rubbish. Use a shovel or fork to add organic matter on the turf and then up to the soil.

If you are dealing with a garden that you worked on, use a small cultivator. For the established turf, please use the rear teeth for cultivation. If necessary, please pass several times. Once the required area is cultivated, remove all remaining grass.

Farming can spread some weeds, such as quark grass and Canadian thistle. Even if you can plant vegetables on the cultivated soil immediately, it is wise to keep the soil moist and wait a few weeks. In this way, you can pull, ho head or remove weeds as they grow.

Useful tip: When using large cultivators that are difficult to handle, carve the edge of the garden with a shovel to mark a clear border.

 Pros: This method allows immediate planting and is more difficult than digging. You can retain organic matter.

Cons: Tillers can be challenging to use on rocky or clay-like soils. This method also inadvertently spread some weeds.

raised garden bed

4. Use Herbicides

Using the three methods mentioned above, you can easily see and correct any damage you have caused to the garden. However, this is not the case when you use herbicides. Any use of chemicals goes hand in hand with potential adverse effects that you may find later.

Be sure to check the label and purchase the appropriate herbicide to kill the grass. Herbicides can only kill grass, not broad-leaved plants.

Carefully read the instructions on the package and pay close attention to them. Before applying or spraying any herbicide to kill grass, please use protective clothing, gloves and masks.

Do not spray herbicides if there is a possibility of rain. Rainwater can cause it to wash into nearby soil and waterways. You should also limit the application on windy days to prevent chemicals from drifting to nearby plants.

Depending on the condition of the fur, you may need to apply herbicide several times. You must wait a few days before you can properly absorb the herbicide. Weed seeds and grasses that are not affected in the first (or second) round may germinate. Therefore, your application must be very detailed.

If you have the required safety equipment and follow the recommended instructions, the use of herbicides is a viable option.

Pros: For experienced gardeners who have cooperated with herbicides before, this method of killing grass is fast and direct. When using herbicides, it is relatively simple to remove or rotate grass.

Cons: The use of herbicides can lead to unknowingly polluting the environment or killing nearby plants. This is a potentially dangerous method that may result in serious personal injury.

raised garden bed


With the knowledge mentioned above, you can easily remove grass and weeds from the garden bed and be ready to grow your favorite vegetables. Choosing an appropriate way to kill grass depends on your gardening experience, the availability of the materials you need, and how much work you are willing to put in.

Although some methods (such as digging and farming) require more work, they also provide immediate results and can start growing vegetables immediately. Although smothering requires minimal effort, you must wait several months before you are ready to use the garden.

Therefore, choose the method that is easiest to follow. Happy gardening!