How to Remove Weeds from Your Groundcovers

From Scott,

I have planted pachysandra in the shaded area of my front yard. We have a big oak tree, and another large tree, and grass just wont grow. The pachysandra has done OK, but how do I keep weeds from sprouting in the middle of it?

Scott, fortunately for you there are 2 very effective ways to keep weeds out of your pachysandra patch.  The first is good, old hand-pulling.  I am an educated, experienced, professional horticulturist and guess what?  Good old hand pulling of weeds is my go-to strategy!  However, there are chemicals to help us and the best ones in this situation are weed preventers.  Preen is an excellent choice.  The thing to know is that there are two times of year to use weed preventers.  To control winter weeds, best to apply between September 1 and 15.  To control summer weeds, best to apply between March 1 and 15.

As with all chemicals, follow the instructions on the label.  And if you are near a source of water, use extra caution.

But, what if the “weed” growing in your pachysandra is poison ivy?  And in my experience, this is exactly what it will be…. There are 2 things you can do.  If you have extremely good aim and know how to adjust the nozzle on your sprayer and if it is a completely windless day, then you can take your chances and spray Round-Up.   The active ingredient in Round-Up, glyphosate, will kill off your poison ivy.  Again, follow package directions and aim directly at the leaf.

The second strategy for dealing with poison ivy, and I use this one professionally, is to either wear disposable gloves or wrap trash bags around my hands and arms and physically pull the poison ivy out.  Just to be on the safe side, I wash up with Tecnu Outdoor Skin Cleanser immediately afterwards.


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