What Kills Grass But Not Succulents? 4 Step Guide To Build A Weed barrier

Weed barrier would be the best option which would kills grass but not succulents. Best is to use a fabric weed barrier, in a small succulent garden or an area which is densely occupied with so many succulents. 

Weed barriers could control unwanted seeds and grass as they would not get adequate light. In addition to that they would run out of adequate space as well. 

Anybody could afford it as it is not costly. Moreover, you could use wood chips and stones also to cover weeds and those would last for many years as well. 

In addition to that, it could be beneficial to save nutrients, water, space and even light for your plants whilst making sure that you do not do anything which could be harmful for your plants.

You may even use newspapers for this process. 

kills grass but not succulents

What is fabric weed barrier?

If we take weed barrier fabric for example, it is usually a poly woven fabric which could stop the weeds from breaking through the fibers. 

On the other hand, it could allow the water to penetrate  through its surface. In addition to weed barrier fabric you could go with landscape fabric as well. 

How to build a weed barrier for your succulent gardens 

Take off all vegetation 

To start off, you could take off all vegetation including weeds, grass and the rest of other vegetation as well. 

You could utilize a garden hoe, shovel or any other tool to do this. continue digging until you spot the roots.

 it is important that you locate the roots unless chances are that they could spread when you use landscape fabric. 

When you are using a hoe, you need to do it much slower whilst bringing it down towards the ground and towards you. Whilst you do it, do it at an angle of 45 degrees.  

Instead of that, you have the option of killing those plants whilst using a non-selective or broad spectrum or even an herbicide. 

If you are using the herbicide, you need to use it depending on the instructions of the manufacturer. After that, give them some time and they would die in the meantime. 

You may use a herbicide for weeds which consist of rhizomes, stolon’s. 

kills grass but not succulents

Clear and even the soil level

Go ahead with raking the area completely whilst using a steel garden rake. Here, you could take off any weeds which you could spot uprooted. 

Moreover, you could proceed with raking all the twigs and the rest of the other sharp elements. 

Get rid of all the loosened debris including the rocks so that you could make sure the soil surface is gentle and even. 

Lay the landscape fabric 

Make sure that you make the landscape fabric and the long dimension of the area tallies with each other and go hand in hand.

You could trim the material off the roll whilst using a sharp utility knife.  Consider that you require one row of fabric, then the best thing to do is to overlap them by 6 inches. 

If your fabric has sides that are contrary to each other, like one side is shiny and the other side is dull, you need to place it properly. 

if it is essential, you may temporarily weigh down the fabric whilst applying heavy substances such as stones etc. 

Staple it so that you could secure the fabric

Ensure that you have placed the fabric properly. After that, secure it with fabric staples whilst using a hammer or even a maul. 

Staple it every 10 feet in their edges and even on their interior areas. Further you may even cut their edges if it is essential too. 

You may plant through the landscape fabric if you wish too. If you wish to do so, ensure that you make an x shaped incision in the landscape fabric for each individual plant. 

You could use a scissor or knife to do this activity. Make the cut inwards from outside and make those incisions which would allow the root ball of the plants to fit perfectly.  

After you dig the hole, you could dump the soil into a tub instead of dumping it on the surrounding fabric. 

After that you could place the plants and fill the root ball of the plants with soil. Next, you could eliminate air pockets by tamping the soil mildly. 

You could add mulch if you wish to do so too.

kills grass but not succulents

How do I kill weeds in my succulents?

Physical method (hand removing)

As you may understand, it becomes very unpleasant to spot weeds spreading across your succulent gardens. 

Further they would be absorbing the moisture from your succulents as well. However, it would be challenging for you to reach the weeds and to take them off also.

Having said that, removing the weeds manually would be the best option if you want to get rid of them whilst ensuring that you do not harm your succulents. 

You could use the appropriate and right tools to get rid of weeds whilst making sure that your succulent garden is weed free too. 

In addition to that, if you keep weeding on a constant basis, you could avoid them spreading to a greater level too. 

This is by far the safest way of getting rid of weeds from succulents and keeping them safe from invasive plants such as from weeds. 

Further you may use a pair of tongs to take whatever fragile succulents available prior to you take the weeds off. 

Apart from that, you may use a dandelion digger also to pull weeds which consist of longer roots as that will not cause any damage to the plants.

Chemical methods (herbicides)

If you wish to use chemical methods to get rid of weeds, you may use pre emergent herbicides which comprise dithiopyr. 

However, you could use them only if you wish to avoid the weeds seeds germinating. 

On the other hand, you may use post emergent herbicides such as glyphosate to eradicate weeds from succulent beds. You could further use it for cactus beds as well.

The reason for that is because they could damage only a specific set of plants and further, they have a minor residual effect as well. 

Be careful when applying these chemicals and always follow  the labelled instructions. 

Be extra cautious when you are applying these for succulents which have shallow roots as they would be extra responsive towards specific formulations. 

kills grass but not succulents

Step by step guide to remove weeds in succulent 

  1. First of all, start watering the soil around the succulent base part deeply and thoroughly. 
  2. When you water you need to do it in such a way where you make the first couple of inches saturated. Instead of that, you may even wait until a rainfall occurs so that the soil will become moist. 
  3. You could take off the weeds easily once you have the soil in wet condition. 
  4. After that, you may place a dandelion fork in the soil which is adjoining a large weed plant, and you may take off them easily when you use that tool. Moreover, you could pinch tiny weeds whilst using your fingers. 
  5. Make sure that you take them off with their roots though. 
  6. Finally, you may wrap a piece of cardboard around the succulent and spray glyphosate weed killer for the aggressive weeds. 
  7. The intention of wrapping the succulents with cardboard is that you could protect the succulent from over-spray. 

Precautions when using herbicides

  • Make sure you apply them to the weeds whilst keeping the herbicides at a distance from you. Avoid going through the areas which you had sprayed them recently. 
  • Protect yourself by wearing glasses, gloves, long sleeves, long pants etc. 
  • Always follow the instructions on the label. 
  • Do not wear clothes made out of leather or canvas 
  • Wash your hands properly after you finish spraying them. 
  • Get ready with additional clothes in case you come across any spills. 
  • Avoid kids and animals reaching the area until the herbicides dry.
  • Ensure that you have watered the grasses well prior to applying them. 
  • Do not use the sprays in wind over 8 miles hourly 
  • Do not spray around water 
  • If there are any spills taking place during this process, clean them as per the labelled guidelines 
  • Do not apply too many herbicides as that would be lethal on the plants
  • You need to apply the herbicide as soon as you purchase. Unless chances are that you could not get the best results out of it. 
Credit to: HortTube with Jim Putnam
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.