How to kill weeds & not hurt new plantings?


We built a new house and the builder planted horrible weeds on our sloping hill in back. Where others can see in front, however, he planted low spreading yews. We want to get rid of the weeds and plant our own yews but how to kill the weeds without harming our chance to grow these new bushes??? We need to do soon. Thx!

q how to kill weeds not hurt new plantings
q how to kill weeds not hurt new plantings
q how to kill weeds not hurt new plantings
  21 answers
  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Aug 25, 2021

    I would now them down, use Weed and Seed and plant the yews. Good luck!

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Aug 25, 2021

    if the yews are mixed in with the weeds it will be hard to kill weeds and not kill the yews so best bet is either move the yews and mow as close as possible then spray with a weed killer - many of them now you can replant in the areas after so many days...,in%20your%20borders%20and%20beds.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Aug 25, 2021

    As Cindy said I would also mow them down, use Weed and Seed and plant the yews.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Aug 25, 2021

    If there are that many weeds already growing above ground, there are even more weed roots below ground. The best way to try to prevent weeds from continuing to grow is to completely kill/remove the roots . Otherwise they will continue to haunt you and your yard forever.

    Bring in new clean soil, and plant the foiliage that you want in the new soil.

  • William William on Aug 25, 2021

    No way to kill the weeds without killing everything. Remove the yews. Mow down the weeds and use a weed killer to kill them. Follow label instructions before planting anything.

    • Flipturn Flipturn on Aug 29, 2021

      Selective herbicides are formulated to be potent against specific type of plants only. There may not be a selective herbicide available that targets the distinct type of weed that they are wanting to get rid of.


  • This should help you kill what you intend to kill:

  • Lindsay Aratari Lindsay Aratari on Aug 25, 2021

    Agree with others in that mowing down and then applying weed killer but might kill the yews too

  • HappyGrandmaGA HappyGrandmaGA on Aug 26, 2021

    Thanks, everybody!

  • Em Em on Aug 26, 2021

    I can't imagine a builder planting weeds. Weeds pop up everywhere. Look for a weed and feed bag like Scott's and read what it will kill. A weed killer that you sprinkle on your lawn should not kill a yew.

    • See 1 previous
    • Flipturn Flipturn on Aug 29, 2021

      Unless you have a written contract signed by both you the home owner, and the builder, specifically indicating what was going to be planted exactly where in the yard, and what was not going to be planted, they are not responsible for removing any weeds no matter how much you may verbally indicate your unhappiness about what is presently growing in your yard.

  • HappyGrandmaGA HappyGrandmaGA on Aug 26, 2021

    Yes, they claimed they did that because by law they did what was required. It stinks!! But they put yews in front along the road where people can see. Not very fair! So we paid for a yard and we get garbage. See photos. They refuse to fix it.

  • William William on Aug 26, 2021

    Tob49763505 Yup if your killing specific type of weeds but still can harm other plantings if they come in contact with them.

  • Annie Annie on Aug 26, 2021

    Dig them up by the roots, Dont let them flower and set seeds...

  • HappyGrandmaGA HappyGrandmaGA on Aug 27, 2021

    That’ll be impossible to do because the builders covered the entire hill w mesh. I can’t believe Venture pulled this over on us and are now refusing to help fix this! It’s highly disgusting after we paid them an extreme amount of money for this house and also told them we’d like to have some input on the landscaping, to which they said no. I don’t want to use Roundup because we have a little one here and a dog.

  • Stephie McCarthy Stephie McCarthy on Aug 27, 2021

    Try pulling them early next Spring when they are still tender and small. Wet ground makes it easier to pull too. What I do is pick a section of my yard, sit on a small stool to save my back, wear gloves, and pull as many as I can in 30 minutes or so. I compost the weeds … lay them where they will suppress other weeds and put nutrients back int he soil. Just a few minutes a day and you will see really good results before you know it. -- Stephie

  • HappyGrandmaGA HappyGrandmaGA on Aug 28, 2021

    They aren’t small. Some have grown very fast at over 5-6 feet tall now. We’ll have to try pulling them. Even a rented weed wacker couldn’t get them cut down.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Aug 29, 2021

    The roots of the weeds may have already been in the soil that was already on the property, or in the soil that was dumped on the property before the builders apparently covered the hill with mesh.

    The best way to start new landscaping (such as the yews that you want to plant yourself) is to first remove all the visible weeds, digging out the roots if possible, then bring new, clean topsoil, rather than planting in the existing ground.

  • HappyGrandmaGA HappyGrandmaGA on Aug 29, 2021

    Sounds like a great idea! Thx so much!

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Aug 31, 2021

    After reading all the helpful comments it popped into my head what we did with an overgrown space. If you cover them with landscape cloth after they are dug up, cut down or otherwise ground level, cover that with mulch, and then just cut openings where you are actually planting. Anyway, that's what we did a couple of years ago and it works great!

  • HappyGrandmaGA HappyGrandmaGA on Sep 01, 2021

    Thx so much. That sounds like the best and easiest idea.

  • Since they’re so big at this point, can you whack them in the fall when they’ve died off? Can you use a rototiller? If not, try collecting cardboard boxes and laying them over the weeds to smother them.

  • It is just best to mown this down.