Keep Weeds out of your Shrub Beds


Shrub Bed weed management

Weed Control in your shrub beds can be tedious and difficult. You can either pick them out regularly or try to find a product that can help keep them under control. With so many different products, it’s often very hard to find the right ones that work.

I am here to help sort it out.

There are 2 different types of weed controls.

Pre-emergent weed controls
Post emergent weed controls

Pre-emergent weed controls like Gallery & Treflan (known as Preen on the retail market) are applied before most of the weeds and grasses are present. They settle in the top layer of the soil & don’t allow the weed seeds you have to break through and become a problem.

With most pre-emergent products, it is a good idea to apply them at least a couple times. I like to apply them early, and again 45-60 days later again in the summer. This continues to send the message “Stay out of my Beds” throughout the summer.

Products like Treflan are available in granular form. Products like Gallery are dry or liquid concentrates that are mixed with water and sprayed to prevent weeds. Although these pre-emergent products generally present No harm to your existing plants, always read the label and water them in after application.

Post emergent weed control products are applied after weeds have emerged and you must now get rid of them. You need an actual weed to kill.

Within the post emergent group, you have 2 other types.

Selective & Non- Selective

Non selective herbicides like Round-up affect all vegetation. They do not selectively kill one type of undesirable weed while not affecting other vegetation around it. Non Selective weed controls can be very useful in certain types of situations.

Selective weed controls kill target weeds without affecting other products around it that come in contact with them.
The best example to give is using lawn weed control products to kill weeds in the lawn, but don’t kill your grass.

Products like Ornamec do exist that will kill annoying grasses & weeds in your landscape beds, that do not harm any of your plants. They are often referred to as “over the top” products because you can spray around and over the top of your plants without harming them.

This is often a better strategy than simply picking weeds by hand because many times, hand weeding leaves roots and pieces of the grass intact and the keep coming back. Low growing junipers are the worst.

Non selectives like Round up can also be used in certain areas.
Shrub beds with plants that are spread out well, offer the opportunity to use non selective weed controls like Round up.

You must make sure it is not windy and avoid spray drift at all costs. Narrow the nozzle spray pattern on your garden sprayer too. The narrower pattern will help keep the product right where you need it, on the weed and not on your plants.

Some other tips to keep weeds down in your shrub beds.

Use quality weed fabric whenever possible to keep weeds from breaking through.

Use bark mulches to keep soils cooler. Weeds tend to like soil warmth. Mulches help to keep soils cool. Check here for more mulching advice.

Don’t allow weeds and grasses to from seed heads. Try to take care of the weeds before more seeds are produced and deposited for next year’s crop of weeds.

Do any cleaning in your beds before you apply pre-emergents.
Pre-emergents form a barrier on the top of soil that prevents certain weeds from popping through. Raking, digging and foot traffic disturb this barrier and may provide areas for weeds to pop through.

Read this post for some additional Weed Control Strategies

Click here for information on where to purchase some of these weed control products.

For other resources check also.


5 responses to “Keep Weeds out of your Shrub Beds

  1. Pingback: Weekend Landscape Planting Tips « Do Your Own Lawncare

  2. Thanks for telling about weed management in turfs , but can you the turf variety which has less chances of weeds problem !
    turf varieties

  3. I’d love to put in a cloth weed barrier but there is one problem: putting either mulch or stones one top present a problem. Either the wind, prevalent here on the Windward Side, blows debris, seeds, etc. on top of the mulch or grass cuttings from mowing inevitably arrive on top. Then, there is now way to get it all out cleanly. You can’t hand pick it out. I’d love to vacuum it out (without sucking up the mulch or stones). If these aren’t removed, any weed or grass seeds will root in the debris.

  4. Oops. I meant “stones on top” and “no way to get it all out cleanly.”

  5. Need types of weed killer for barberry bushes. It needs to kill grass too. We live across the road from a un mowed pasture and the wind blows many different types of grasses, and weed seeds into this bed. It is mulched and has a quality weed barrier. Is 24D ok?

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