Monday, July 4, 2011

Cheap & simple grass barrier

Now it may not be as effective as a border patrolled by chickens but here is another simple effective grass barrier. Following on from Keeping the grass out.. I still had about 15% of the vegetable garden perimeter vulnerable to grass attack.

On my first post on the topic, reader Yollie left a comment mentioning she had heard of a plastic barrier used by councils that is fitted upright under the surface to stop the roots from running. So I went to the hardware store in search of such a material. Instead I found nothing but strange looks. While sitting outside in the car park about to leave eating a sausage sizzle, without any sausage but with a double helping of onion, that are often available outside hardware stores, I thought “they must have something similar”. So blown by the winds of determination I proceeded back inside. Again I was approached by an enthusiastic assistant and reluctantly I again described what I was looking for. But instead of the expected “Never heard of it” I got “Why not use this...”

Step 1 – dig a trench.

Step 2 – cut a strip of builders plastic sheeting and stand it vertically in the trench. This bit of plastic cost me less than a dollar.

Step3 – push the dirt back in behind the plastic.

Step4 – fold the bit sticking out of the ground back. If like me you have a curve, cut some slits to help it fold back.

Step5 – cover with bricks. Sourced from a demolitioner, 30c each.

And presto! One grass barrier.  How do I know this works? I tried it out about 10 weeks ago on a smaller section. The grass has gone wild on one side but not a single blade on the other (touch wood).

Thanks Yollie, and thanks stranger at the hardware store.


  1. Fabulous Idea...I am going to pinch that one. i have a part of the garden that abuts grass and it is couch grass...that stuff just runs along underneath for metres and sticks its ugly head up. It is so difficult to pull out because it breaks off and leaves bits of root and when you aren't looking off it goes again.

  2. Great idea, your garden looks so tidy with that nice brick edging around it.

  3. Morning Jason
    I am loving the look of your garden. It looks like it is an award winning garden Thanks for updating the photo.

  4. Hazel I feel proud knowing I have an idea that is worth pinching. Please go ahead and pinch it as long as you give credit to the hardware stranger. I know what you mean about pulling out grass roots. Even if it doesn't break off you just keep pulling following this never ending cable around the garden.

    Kellee yes I am pleased with the edging too. The bricks were Melanie's idea. Some of the beds are a bit messy looking with all the weeds growing. But the chook tractor is slowing making its way around.

    Amy thank you but I happy to settle for it being just highly productive. You are welcome about the photo I will endeavour to keep it up dated in future. Thanks for the kick up the pants.

  5. Great! Nice job - Try and keep warm and dry this week! :o( take care from Yollie

  6. I am going to have to dig up some new bits of garden, so I think I might try that trick as well. Thanks Jason.

  7. Yollie once again thanks for inspiring this. And yes I will do my best to keep dry and warm. You too.

    Leanne you are more than welcome. It is a lovely feeling knowing that someone finds my posts useful. And good luck with it.

  8. Great idea! I've used the plastic sheeting with tent pegs to keep out weeds before but the plastic strip for grass encroachment is a great one, thanks.

  9. Mrs Bok you are welcome. I hope after all this praise it does turn out to be great idea, gulp!. The bit I am not so sure on, is how deep one should make it. My thought was to dig below the current grass root system.

  10. Very functional using plastic. Personally, I am against anything plastic going in or on my soil. There are more organic means to stop grass, including a line of salt as a border every now and then, or just burying wood, bricks, stones, etc. I understand it's use, but not a fan of anything breaking down into soil, whether it's going into my food or not. And it will eventually break down, and does emit VOCs constantly anyway. Food for thought.

  11. Green Dean I too prefer to keep plastic out of the garden. You know it never occurred to me to use wood. And I have plenty of scraps that I could have used too. Oh well next time.


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