Digging out a bulb garden


Old 03-10-14, 11:01 PM
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Digging out a bulb garden

I took on a huge project, digging out a bulb garden (apprx 40 sq ft) that had become overrun with grass. The bulbs and grass together made a nearly impenetrable mass, but I kept at it with a pitchfork and shovel, digging down about 18-24 inches, scooping everything out, putting it in a wheelbarrow, and painstakingly picking out the bulbs and grass and putting the soil back into the bed. Then I covered it with heavy black plastic for the winter, hoping that by blocking out water and sunlight, everything that might be left would die off.

Imagine my dismay when I recently uncovered it and found grass seeds germinating throughout the soil. Not just on the top, but all the way through it.

What can I do now? is there any way at all to kill off the grass seeds? Should I keep it covered in black plastic for another year, or might the lasagna garden concept be enough to smother the grass seeds?

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Old 03-11-14, 05:13 AM
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Welcome to the forums. If you put the same dirt back in the hole, you inadvertently put grass remnants in there too. Black plastic really won't stop grass growth. If you notice, the grass was pale yellow rather than green. It couldn't photosynthesize due to lack of light. Now, it may work if you fork the new grasses from the area early on. Using a product like Typar will keep light down, weeds/grass from growing, but still allow moisture and nutrients through. Then you can cut slits in it to place your bulbs. I would have replaced the original dirt with a fresh growing medium mixed with peat moss, lightly to loosen it up.
Old 03-11-14, 06:46 AM
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Black plastic is probably beneficial in winter to help keep the ground warmer. In summer the black plastic can cook the top layer of soil killing most plants but it only works in summer. You can try it if you want to wait that long or you can start looking into herbicides that would keep the weeds down but not harm your bulbs.

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