Grass and weeds can invade the area around the bottom of your chainlink fences, ruining the otherwise neat and attractive appearance of the fence line. While string trimmers are generally the answer for trimming plants in tight quarters, they don't work well with chainlink because the fencing tends to tear up the strings. Leaving the grass in place also isn't an option since it will weave into the chainlink and look bad. The following are just a few ideas you can use to help prevent this problem.
Idea #1: Create a mow barrier during installation.
A mowing barrier prevents grass and plant growth in the area directly beneath the fence. The best time for installation is after the main posts are installed but before the chainlink is stretched between them. There are several barrier options. You can run a concrete strip between fence posts, making it several inches wide so there is a grass-free area on each side of the fence. Gravel is another option. Dig down several inches to remove all plant roots. Lay a sheet of weed block fabric in the trench and then fill it with gravel.
Idea #2: Add a blocker board later.
If you already have an installed chainlink fence, consider using a treated 1-by-6 inch board to create a mow barrier. Cut the board so it is 2 inches longer than the space between fence posts. Then, in the center of the each end of the board, cut a 1 inch deep notch that is the same width as the fence posts. Lay the board flat on the ground and slide it underneath the chainlink and between the posts, fitting the posts into the notches. Repeat the process between each set of posts and you have a barrier. You can mow or use a string trimmer right up to the sides of the board, and no grass will grow right beneath the fence.
Idea #3: Plant a fence line garden.
While grass and weeds may be unattractive, garden flowers can actually complement the chainlink fences. You will need to dig out the old sod beneath the the fences, extending out several inches on either side so the bed is the desired width. Line both sides with a vinyl edging strip so lawn grass won't invade this bed. Then, line the bottom of the area with weed block fabric and top the fabric with several inches of healthy garden soil. You can now plant the annual or perennial flowers of your choice. Ornamental vines, like scarlet runner beans or moon flowers are attractive because they will use the chainlink fence as a trellis. You will still need to weed this garden bed by hand just like any other flower garden. For more information, contact a fencing company, such as Elrod Fence Co.