I reside in Southern CA. 2 years ago I removed all the rock landscaping and planted African Daisy. There now is a non-broadleaf reed that to my knowledge is a weed growing in the ground cover. I have a drip system installed and cannot use any garden tools to remove or dig up the reeds.

How can I quickly kill off all the vegetation and replant without time delay?

It is my understanding that RoundUp will not kill this reed.

The property is going to be sold soon. I was considering just laying down a thick layer of bark and letting the next buyer select the plants of their choice.

Can bark be laid over the groundcover?

This is certainly a "reed". There is a pond a couple miles from here. Neighbors do not have it.

Previously I was watering 5 minutes daily with the drip system only.

The reed grows in wet or dry conditions.

Only about 10-15 plants are in this 20 by 40 ft. area; however it has destroyed the appearance of the yard.

The drip system layout prohibits simply temporarily removing the system to use a weed wacker.

I have previously had excellent luck with the African Daisy choking out weeds.

This is my first time the Daisy failed me.

Because the property will be sold in a few months I don't want to invest much money in the yard.

The yard will not sell the property.

At least by laying down the bark or mulch will not disturb the drip system and the next occupant can plant in amongst the bark.

Thank you for the comprehensive answer to resolve this problem.

Locating the drip system tubing that is above ground would be almost impossible.

The description of the reed is--fluffy round green top with definite seeds; tall stem; and a base of wide thick grass growing in a ball.

The stem is resistant to cutting.

Several weeks ago I used scissors to cut the ground cover within an inch or two from the ground hoping to hide the reed.

I am not satisfied with the appearance and felt the thick layer of bark would be more effective.

I also know that killing vegetation involves more then just spraying with a high strength Herbicide. The ground must then be covered with plastic; then the waiting time for the vegetation to die and the soil to return to the proper PH for re-planting. Soil additives are also needed.

I just don't have the time to wait for all of this.

African Daisy should not be cut because the plant self-levels itself yearly. However, these plants are too young to self-level.

4 Answers 4


Chickens will kill it by eating it or scratching it up so it dies.

You can also cover it with cardboard, or a tarp as both will suffocate it by killing it but this method takes a lot longer.


Paraquat may be a more effective herbicide for you than glyphosate, but it’s much more toxic to humans and in the US can only be used by licensed professionals. So you could hire such a professional to come and treat your reeds.


Linda, yes, you most certainly can dump bark on top of the ground cover. It will kill everything except the reeds, grins. But it will look nice right away. I would get a weed wacker and knock down all the plants, leave them where they fall.

Then install bark mulch 2 to 4" in depth. Make sure you use the finest ground bark mulch you can find. Is the drip system on top of the ground or buried? Move the hoses aside as much as you are able and using a line weed wacker trimmer, wearing safety glasses cut the plants right down to the soil. Leave the debris unless your reeds have seed heads. Then rake it all up and put it in the compost pile or off to the vegetation dump.

Do not put plastic down beneath the bark. Try to install the bark on DRY soil and debris, not wet. If there is a lot of debris I would install 4 to 6" of finely ground bark.

This is the least costly and takes a day to complete if timed correctly. Find a hoard of helpers to wheel barrow bark and dump piles all over the area you want to cover and then 'knock down' the piles to the height you need. Throw shovel fulls of bark onto thin areas. Don't pull and push the bark around. Just knock it down or you won't get evenly thick mulch. It needs to be thick to block sunlight and water so seeds, whatever seeds are in the soil, do not germinate readily. Any live plant material will die, all the debris will slowly decompose into the soil. I am assuming there are no shrubs or trees at all where you are mulching.

Please send a picture of what you've got going. Need to ID that 'reed' for sure. "Sedges have edges, Rushes (reeds) are round and Grasses have knees"...Sedges will have dark brown spikey seeds growing singly, reeds get fluffy seed heads and grasses have more defined seed heads.

Figure square footage you want to blanket. Take that square footage and divide by 81. That answer gives you cubic yards to order to give you 4" of blanket or cover. If you have 10X20 feet or 200 square feet; divide by 81 you will need 2.46 cubic yards of mulch. They usually don't deliver for under 5 to 10 yards (and they will call those measures yards, rarely 'cubic' yards). Imagine a cubic yard as enough material to fill a box the size of a washer or dryer.

One to two yards of bark mulch is about what is safe to transport in the back of a standard sized truck. Cover with a tarp, fines for not covering are getting huge.

Please send pictures and more information so we can be sure we are giving you the answer you need. Black Thumb loves his chickens! That would take time however and you want this done as cheaply, as quickly as possible. Let's ID this reed and check out the area before ordering, okay?


Round up will kill the weeds and not plants. We use this a lot on our gardening plants. In Nashville Tn, some songwriter's used to using fresh cut flowers to attract fans on music row. I worked in a small garden there while in college. When roundup first came out, no one trusted it. Now, there's roundup ready corn, beans and all types of commercial growers using round up ready on their crops.

  • ... and Round up causes cancer, which was acknowledged by a Sanfransisco Jury, ordering Mosanto to pay millions. The jurors in the Superior Court of California, who deliberated for nearly three days, found that Monsanto failed to warn Johnson and other consumers about the risks posed by its weed-killing products. Do NOT use this folk. Please. For you.
    – J. Chomel
    Aug 23, 2018 at 13:28

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