5 Ways to Keep Your Neighbor’s Weeds Out of Your Yard

Weeds can originate anywhere, but often they sprout close to home. Here are some ways to keep neighboring weeds from colonizing your yard.

On a windy day, there’s no telling how far weed seeds can travel. Weeds are likely to be more prevalent if they’re traveling a shorter distance say, between your yard and your neighbor’s. Buteven if your neighbor’s yard is pristine, you may yet find weeds on your side to deal with. Defend against airborne invaders with these strategies.

Edging

Some weeds spread through their root system. An underground barrier of steel, plastic or composite edging sold at big box stores can help deter this migration. You can also edge by hand with a flat-tip spade, slicing a V-shape trench and filling with mulch.

Hedges or Fences

Thick hedges (think yews, arborvitae or privet) can act as a barrier to windblown seeds such as dandelion. Mulch beneath them with two inches of stone or wood chips to keep seeds from rooting beneath the barrier. While a chain link fence won’t help against windblown seeds, a stockade privacy fence will.

Pre-emergent Herbicide

Spread in early spring, a pre-emergent herbicide like corn gluten will keep weed seeds from sprouting. This is a good way to take care of crabgrass and other weeds that deposit seeds over winter and sprout the following growing season.

Mulch or Rocks

Bare ground is a haven for weed seeds to sprout. It’s nature’s way of preventing erosion, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But who wants weeds, right? If you’ve got bare ground, cover it with landscape fabric and two to three inches of stone or wood chips. Occasionally weed seeds will still germinate in the mulch. But the landscape fabric makes it impossible for them to send down roots, so they are easily pulled.

Fortified Lawn

A thick, lush lawn is a great defense in itself. Keep your turf in top shape by aerating, fertilizing and watering. This makes it tough for weed seeds to germinate and also keeps creeping plants like ground ivy from successfully rooting via migrating stems.

Luke Miller
Luke Miller is an award-winning garden editor with 25 years' experience in horticultural communications, including editing a national magazine and creating print and online gardening content for a national retailer. He grew up across the street from a park arboretum and has a lifelong passion for gardening in general and trees in particular. In addition to his journalism degree, he has studied horticulture and is a Master Gardener.