How to Keep Grass From Growing Under A Fence

How to Keep Grass From Growing Under A Fence?

You want to make sure that your lawn is well-manicured and looks nice but there are some areas that have grass growing under them.  Areas such as under your fence that you cannot get with your lawnmower.  What do you do?  

Why Prevent Grass From Growing Under a Fence

A chain-link fence is what many use to define their property line from the neighbors and to secure your yard space.  It will also keep your pets in their own yard and keep children safe when they are playing outdoors.

The drawback to this type of fencing is that it will require regular maintenance to get rid of the grass growing under it.  You cannot reach it with your lawnmower so what do you do?  Generally, you would use your weed eater to get rid of it.

To help avoid this extra maintenance step when mowing the lawn, you need to stop it from growing there.  Doing this will also give your fence line a cleaner look.  What methods work will depend on the type of grass and style of the garden.

How to Prevent Grass From Growing Under Your Fence

Step 1:  Going from the fence line into your yard, make a line at six inches.  You can do this using string and stakes.  To get an even line, mark the distance in several locations. 

 If the fence is not located right on the property line, you will need to make the same measures on the outside of the fence.  The string will mark the edge of the area that you are going to mulch.

Step 2:  Along the string, you will need to dig straight down one to two inches with a garden spade.  Using the spade, remove the grass along the fence line.  Be careful when digging you do not bend the edge of the fence.

Step 3:  If there is any grass remaining you cannot reach to dig up, you will need to spray a premixed glyphosate herbicide on the grass.  Apply this herbicide directly into the grass.  Make sure that you do not spray on plants you want to keep.

Do it on a day that is not windy.  If you do it on a windy day, it can carry the herbicide to other plants or grass and kill them.  It can take up to two weeks for the grass to die.  When it does, you just have to remove it.

Step 4:  Trim the landscape fabric to the width of the soil that has been exposed.  Position the landscape fabric on the soil under and around the fence line.  Landscape fabric is made is manufactured or woven fibers sold in rolls.

It will have perforated holes that will allow the water to soak through.  The rolls are usually three feet wide and 50-200 feet in length.  You will also need to purchase landscape pins to secure the fabric to the ground.  Press the landscape pins, or staples, about a foot apart through the edge of the fabric.

Step 5:  Cover the landscape fabric with small rocks or mulch.  Spread this material so it is a level layer and is even with the grass that surrounds it.

Other Ways to Keep Grass From Growing Under Fences

Weed Eater:  This will not only get rid of the grass around the fence but also weeds and plants.  If you have plants around the fence that you do not want to get rid of, you will need to take care when using it or find another method of getting rid of the grass under the fence.

The weed eater has a monofilament line that will rapidly spin around as it chops down grass or whatever is in its path.  When using it, try to run it as close to the fence as you can but try not to touch the fence with it.

If you touch the fence with the weed eater, you could damage the weed eater and/or fence.

Vinyl strips:  Although this is not a well-known method of keeping grass from growing under your fence, it does work if you have a traditional chain link fence.  You will just put a thin vinyl strip underneath the fence.

This will help to discourage the grass from growing.  The vinyl strip needs to run the length of the fence and be about six inches wide.

Make a hardscape barrier: This refers to material that is immovable parts of the exterior of your home.  This includes stones, gravel, bricks, etc.  Any of these can create an effective long-term barrier that will stop weeds and grass from growing close to your fence.

You will need to dig a trench that is one and a half inches deeper than what you are using and an inch wider next to the fence.  You will need to put landscape fabric in the trench.  Fill with two inches of sand.

Lay the stones, bricks, or whatever you are using on top of the sand.  Use a rubber mallet to gently hammer them in to slot them.  This will put them tightly in place and keep them level. Use a builder’s level to check to make sure they are level.

The top of what you used should one-half inch higher than the ground that surrounds it.  You can fill in any gaps using sand.

Dig out the grass:  This is a process that not many want to tackle.  It can be a time-consuming task, depending on my much fencing you need to keep grass from growing under.  Before you begin this task, you should get rid of the weeds first. 

When you get rid of weeds first, then you are looking at a strip of dirt under the fence.  When you are ready to dig out the grass, dig down about six to ten inches from the baseline where the grass normally grows.  Remove the grass from the roots.

This will discourage the grass from reseeding.  You may need to dig down deep to get some of the grass that has long root stems, like turf grass.  Make sure that you destroy all of the dug up grass to prevent reseeding.

General Tips to Remove Grass From Under a Fence

  • Slid a piece of carpet under the fence on top of the grass to smother it.  
  • Put some decorative grass around the fence line
  • Use asphalt roofing, which comes in different colors and looks more attractive than vinyl flooring
  • Carpet strips put pile side down.
  • Put a layer of weed barrier from the base of a crushed bed.
  • Piles of driftwood.


Once you have gotten your grass to not grow under the fence, you can give it a more finished look by using rocks or mulch under the fence.  It will help to prevent the grass from growing back. 

Whatever you choose to keep grass from growing under your fence, make sure that it adds too and not takes away from your landscape.  You can also limit the space for grass to grow near your fence line.  

If you do not have that much fence line, then it might be better to just use a weed eater and trim around the fence after mowing your yard.