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Border problems

East Greenbush, NY

Last Fall I wanted to make my flower border wider so I put down newspaper, not thick enough I don't think,. leaves and horse manure. Now as I, in zone 5, pull back the leaves and some of the paper I see many worms, a good thing, BUT grass galore growing underneath it all. How can i get rid of that grass? I won't use Round Up or stuff like that.....should I hire a guy to rototill as the strip is 65 ft. long and about 21/2 ft wide. I can't stand the thought of digging the whole row up ...oh my back. What to do?
Thanks for the help. AnnFran

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

At this point all you have done is mulch the grass for the winter. Until the last week or so the grass has more or less been dormant because it was too cold to grow and wasn't going to die because it didn't have light. The grass I have is

You can keep it covered for a month and that may work, you can dig it :-(, till it, or poison it. You've ruled out two of them.

I'd think that you'd want it tilled up anyway to plant flowers

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Whatever way you do it, I would not get rid of the worms, these creepy things are a gardeners friend and they are a sign of good fertile soil. I would try do away with the grass roots and for me, (I don't know what type of grass you have) I would get the grass roots removed by a garden spade, then either turn the grass back but, turn it upside down so the top growing part (green part) is buried underneath, this stops the grass re-growing, the following year you will find a FEW grass tips growing, all you do is weed those out, the roots will rot away as they are exposed to the light and they need to be under soil to survive, this is how I make my own new borders and as the root /soil breaks down, you have not lost any soil for making the border.
Sometimes we are just too impatient with things like this and find IF we just stick at it for another season ll would turn out fine, IF you have plants already to put in this area of soil, just place them in pots with plenty damp compost and later on place them in the borders when the soil is really ready for them, or sink the pots into the soil in situ, make sure you water them well to keep them growing. There is no quick way to garden, there are shortcuts that look / sound good but are very rarely a great success and what was a short cut sometimes ends up doing more harm than good, I would never recommend weed killers anywhere close to where plants I want to keep are growing as the breeze can carry the killer onto the plants or the plants can fall onto the killer (all by mistake) but never the less kills off the wrong plants or cant grow anything in the area for a longer while so how can that be considered a quick fix eh !!!!.
Hope you have some ideas or answers to help you and you get this area sorted out, good luck. Weenel.

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