Grass Control in Groundcovers

Q. I have a situation that literally has me in tears. I recently landscaped my home and since we have so many trees, many beds were planted using the shade tolerant ground cover Asiatic jasmine. Now these beds are full of bermuda grass and, even though I pull grass day and night, the grass is winning! Is there anything I can do except dig the entire beds out and replant?

A. Gather around all those who are sick of pulling and digging bermuda grass! Gather around all those who do not want to endure the bare-ground, waiting-for-a-weed appearance of newly established ivy or jasmine! The solution to the bear-ground look is to plant a faster-covering ground cover between ivy and jasmine plants. The violet-flowered, grow-in-shade-or-sun ground cover sold as Blue Shade is best to use for interplanting. If bermuda grass shows up, you can apply a fusilade herbicide such as Ortho Grass-B-Gon or PBI Gordon Ornamec directly on jasmine and Blue Shade without damaging either yet fusilade-containing herbicides will kill all grasses to the roots. Pulling and cutting bermuda grass from around ground covers, shrubs and trees merely exacerbates its growth rate. Before fusilade became available some recommended the use of a glyphosate-containing herbicide (Round-up, Klean-up, Weed-Away) mixed in a one-half the recommended rate solution. This works on weeds and grass but it will kill the interplanted Blue Shade and is not a legally recommended procedure. Regardless of the compound used, wait two weeks before evaluating the results since the kill may be delayed under certain conditions.

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