how to prevent weeds from growing under fence

How to prevent weeds from growing under fence

Dig straight down 1 to 2 inches deep along the string with a sharp garden spade. Remove the grass along the fence line with the spade. Use caution so you don’t bend the bottom edge of the chain link fence.

Mark a line at least 6 inches into the yard from the fence line using stakes and string. Measure the distance between the fence and the string in several locations to get an even line. Mark the same distance on the outside of the fence if the structure isn’t located right on your property line. This string marks the edge of the area you will mulch.

Trim the landscape fabric to the width of the exposed soil and position it on the soil under and around the fence line, instructs Today’s Homeowner. Press landscape staples about a foot apart through the edges of the fabric to hold it in place.

A chain link fence offers a functional solution for defining your property line and securing your yard space, but the structure adds to your regular lawn maintenance routine. Because your lawnmower cannot reach weeds and grass that grow under the fence, you have the added step of using a string trimmer to keep the greenery under control. Stopping grass from growing under the fence makes maintenance easier and gives the fence line a clean look. For a finished look, use mulch or rocks under the fence to prevent the grass from growing.

Spray a premixed glyphosate herbicide on any remaining grass under the fence that you cannot reach with the spade, says the University of California. Apply the herbicide directly to the grass on a day with no wind, as wind will carry the herbicide to other plants in the area.

How to prevent weeds from growing under fence

If you want to avoid using even household chemicals, then look no further then boiling water for getting rid of weeds near fences and other complicated areas. You can simply dump boiling water on troublesome weeds in tight spaces or you can hire a professional trained in using boiling water or steam machines for weed control. While you can also rent these machines, hiring a trained professional can save you some burns.

Hand pulling is not always possible in hard to reach areas. Before running to the hardware store or garden center for harsh chemicals, take a look in your kitchen for some other weed killing options. Bleach, table salt, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol all kill weeds without stretching your pocketbook. All can be sprayed or dumped directly on the pesky weeds. When using vinegar on weeds, try to use one with an acidity of 20 percent or higher.

Just when you think all your weeding is done, you go to put your tools away and spot the unsightly mat of weeds between your shed and fence. Tired and absolutely sick of weeds, you head straight for a bottle of herbicide. While this just might do the trick, there are other, earth-friendlier options for weed control in tight places.

Whenever possible, pulling annual and some perennial weeds works best. In tight, hard-to-reach spaces, long handled or hula hoes may be your greatest ally. Once removed, weeds can be prevented with pre-emergent herbicides, like corn meal or corn gluten. Lay thick, contractor quality weed barrier fabric and cover it with 2 to 3 inches (5-8 cm.) of rock or mulch for future weed control in tight spaces.

Removing Weeds from Tight Spots

Some weed killers efficiently kill perennial and woody weeds after a couple weeks, or a couple applications. These herbicides are absorbed by the foliage and root zone of weeds, eventually killing the weed off. However, in tight areas like along a fence, spray drift and run off can harm any nearby desirable plants, including your neighbor’s beautiful garden on the other side of the fence.

One last method of pest and weed control in tight places is soil solarization. Soil solarization is the process of covering the soil and/or weeds with a thick, clear plastic tarp. The sun then heats up the area under the clear plastic tarp to temperatures that kill weeds and other pests. Soil solarization works best when performed during the hottest part of the year and in locations that are mostly sunny.

How to Remove Weeds in Tight Spaces

If the grass isn’t bothering you, you could always ignore it. This isn’t always the best solution, though, as it typically spreads and grows into thicker brush if not addressed.

You can mow your lawn, but unfortunately you can’t easily mow around a fence. Given enough time, grass is certain to emerge from under a fence. Thankfully, though, there are ways to keep it under control. As outlined above, some possible solutions for keeping grass at bay includes weed-eating it, applying vinyl strips underneath, or spraying it with an herbicide. With a little bit of work, you can regain control of your lawn.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for grass to grow around fences, making it difficult for homeowners to maintain. So, how do you prevent grass from growing under a fence?

Whether you use a store-bought or homemade herbicide, though, you should apply it only in areas where you don’t want grass or weeds to grow. Spraying even small amounts on your healthy lawn will likely result in patches of brown, dead grass, so use it with caution.

Vinyl Strips

A lesser-known tactic for keeping outdoor fences grass- and weed-free involves the use of vinyl strips. Assuming you have a traditional chain fence in your yard or landscape, you can apply a thin strip of vinyl underneath to discourage grass from growing. The vinyl strip only needs to be about 6 inches wide, running the length of your fence.

Ideally, you should run the weed-eater as close to your fence as possible without actually touching the fence. This will remove the greatest amount of grass while protecting your fence and weed-eater from damage.

Have you discovered grass growing under or around your fence? A fenced-in yard offers several benefits. It creates a safer play area for children and pets; it creates a more private landscape; and it can potentially increase your home’s value.


Another option is to spray an herbicide against the base of your fence. This will kill any grass, plants or weeds, without damaging your fence. Roundup is highly effective for this purpose, or you can make your own herbicide using salt and/or vinegar mixed with water.

Of course, you can always use a weed-eater to eliminate any grass, plants or weeds that emerge around your fence. Also known as a weed-whacker, it features a monofilament line that rapidly spins while chopping down brush.