How To Get Rid Of Grass Along Fence? [Installing Mow Strip Alternative]

Every homeowner knows that a beautiful lawn is the first step to curb appeal. However, that gorgeous green grass becomes a bit of a nuisance when it starts growing up and under your fence. Moreover, this area can be exceptionally hard to maintain. Lawnmowers cannot get close enough to cut and weed eaters can scratch up your wood stain. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to get rid of grass along your fence for good!

The most effective method of removing grass along the fence line is to block out the light! This can be done by covering the region with landscaping fabric or black plastic. By doing this, you will effectively kill the existing grass and then you will just need to place a barrier to prevent the plants from regrowing.

A permanent barrier made of rocks or plastic is the best solution, but you can also maintain the area every few weeks with the use of herbicides or by placing mulch. All of these methods will work for both wood and chain-link fences.

Kill Grass and Weeds Along Your Fence Line Without Sacrificing Your Yard!

1.Cut The Grass Down

The first step to getting rid of the grass along the fence is to trim it as low as possible. This can be done with a grass trimmer or weed eater. As mentioned above, these tools tend to damage wood fences quite easily. 

Thus, the goal is to go low and slow. Most contractors install fences with a small amount of space in between the wood or metal and the ground. Take your time and adjust the angle of the weed whacker to ensure an even cut without hitting the fence material.

Remember, the objective is to do this one time and then stop the grass from regrowing back. While tedious, it is worth the effort in the long run.

Another method is to literally dig up the grass from the roots and then fill the trench with dirt. This can be a bit more time-consuming, but it does a more effective job of preventing the grass and weeds from reemerging.

Kill Grass and Weeds Along Your Fence Line Without Sacrificing Your Yard

2.Create A Temporary Barrier 

Next, you want to stop growth. If you paid attention in science class as a kid, photosynthesis is the process plants use to convert sunlight into energy, allowing them to live and flourish.

We want to halt this development. Therefore, you want to cut off the fuel source that helps the grass grow!

Step #1: Block Out The Light

The easiest method of blocking out sunlight is to use thick black plastic or synthetic landscape fabric. Cut a strip that covers the area you would like to keep grass and weed-free. Lay it down along and under the fence line and insert U-shaped garden staples every few feet to keep the barrier in place.

Next, cover the area with an ample amount of mulch or rocks to further block out the light and secure the fabric or plastic. Leave this barrier for a few days to a week and then check the status of the vegetation. 

Step #2: Apply Herbicide

A herbicide is a chemical that is used to kill plants and inhibit their ability to reemerge. This can be sprayed before or after the application of light-blocking materials. Unfortunately, depending on the length of your fence this can be expensive. Moreover, many people are wary of using these types of products due to the presence of children and pets who may try to consume these toxic materials. 

Thus, natural remedies are a fantastic solution that can be used to prevent the issue of accidental consumption and cut down on costs. These include pouring boiling water over the grass that you want to get rid of along the fence line, applying good old-fashioned table salt to the area, or spraying white vinegar with at least a 20% acidity or lemon juice over the grassy and weed-covered regions.

For those who really want to pack a punch, you can combine a gallon of white vinegar with one cup of table salt and add a few ounces of dish soap. Then spray over the areas of concern. 

PRO TIP: As a seasoned meteorologist, I can tell you that the weather plays a huge factor in the effectiveness of these treatments. Therefore, only apply herbicides on dry days when the wind is calm. If the ground is saturated or becomes wet soon after application, the solution is going to be washed away.

Additionally, the wind can have the same effect. Check the forecast and ensure that conditions are right prior to an attempt to get rid of the grass along the fence with natural or chemical herbicides. 

Step #3: Maintain Further Growth

Deep seeded roots can make this process a bit more difficult. After a few weeks, check back on your progress. If you lift up the plastic or fabric and the grass is dead, remove the affected vegetation and you should be good to go! 

However, if there are sections with grass that just won’t quit growing, consider digging them out and replacing the dirt. Then add another application of herbicide and re-cover the section. Then check back again in two to three more weeks. Repeat until the area is completely clear. 

3.Create A Permanent Barrier

As we all know, Spring brings rain, sunshine, and the inevitable growth of grass, weeds, and plants that we may or may not have planted. While inconvenient, it is a fact of life. For the folks who do not want to repeat this grass removal process each year, putting up a permanent barrier along your fence line is an effective solution. 

First, you will need to dig a shallow trench that is about 1-2 inches deep. Next, put down landscape fabric and then a small layer of sand. Finally, take your pick of gravel, stones, or bricks and place them along the fence line in the sand. It is normally best to lightly hammer the stones and bricks to ensure that they stay in place. 

Another alternative is called a mow strip. This is a plastic barrier that is inserted under your fence. It makes your yard look well maintained year-round and it gets rid of the grass along the fence for good!

If you want a more natural look, mulch is another great option. It needs replacement at least once a year, but it effectively blocks out sunlight and prevents plant growth. Moreover, unlike rocks, cedar mulch has insect repelling properties as well! It can deter termites, fleas, ticks, cockroaches, and even some types of ants.

Frequently Asked Questions — Get Rid Of Grass Along The Fence

Can I kill weeds in the same way that I kill the grass along the fence?

Yes! All of the grass-killing solutions will work on weeds as well. The only difference is that it is always best to pull out the weed from the root prior to covering and or treating the area with herbicides. 

Is the process of getting rid of grass along the fence different for a chain link fence versus a wooden one?

The only difference in grass removal along a wood fence versus a chain-link fence is that you will likely want to create a clear zone with the metal barrier. Chain link varieties are known for having vegetation grow up onto the sides of the fence. This can inhibit the view of the other side. Thus, by creating a larger swath of clear space on both sides of the fence, you can help prevent this issue. 

Therefore, the swath of clear space will likely be larger than compared to a typical neighborhood fence made of wood. This will just require more fabric or plastic as well as an increased amount of rock or mulch. 

How do I kill grass and weeds in between two fences?

This may seem a bit trickier due to the fact that you cannot cut the vegetation prior to treatment. Nevertheless, if you apply ample herbicide, it will do the trick! As mentioned before, multiple treatments will likely be required. However, unlike other areas, this section of vegetation tends to receive less sunlight. Therefore, it will take less time for the plants to die.

Final Thoughts

If you want to get rid of grass along the fence, persistence is key. It is best to do this task during the winter months. This allows you to pre-treat dormant areas before they begin to reemerge. This is also a time when most regions tend to see less precipitation, making for an easier application of herbicides. Moreover, unless you install a permanent barrier, expect to conduct maintenance at least once every few months depending on your method of prevention. 

Furthermore, never sacrifice the care of the remainder of your lawn to try and eliminate the problem along the fence line. Continue with your normal lawn maintenance schedule. This includes trimming, fertilizing, and watering regularly! By cutting off the vegetation’s main food source, aka the sun, it will die even if water and fertilizer sneak in.

Finally, for the lucky folks who are either about to place new sod or just had it laid, quickly take a shovel and cut out the excess along to fence to save yourself some time and effort. Then place a permanent or semi-permanent barrier up to keep the grass from spreading!

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