hoping for advice from someone with a green thumb here... friend of
mine has a house that was vacant for a while before he bought it so all
the landscaping went to heck. One thing that still looks promising is
some thick hedges between his driveway and his neighbor's driveway. I
suspect that they are English boxwood but am not knowledgeable enough to
say for sure.) Unfortunately, there were all sorts of weeds and such
growing right up through them and choking them. Last fall he and I did
some serious weeding in there and literally removed a truckload of
undesirable plant matter as well as dead branches from the area, then
hit it again in the early spring, yielding much less mess.
Unfortunately, both times I broke out with what I believe now is a rash
caused by some nasty viney stuff... doesn't look like the poison ivy I'm
familiar with but now that it's late spring I can see it coming back
again and this time the new leaves are shiny making me hesitant to touch
it. There's some other stuff coming up in there as well that shouldn't
be there. The good news is that after all that work, the hedges
themselves are filling in nicely and I think after a couple years of
letting them grow and shaping them they will be back to their former
glory. Now that it's lawn-mowing season I've also been encouraging him
to toss his grass clippings under there to keep down any non-established
weeds, but apparently there's a few that we couldn't kill by
pulling/digging that keep coming back.
So the question. Now that we've done the heavy lifting, is there any
kind of herbicide that I could use that won't kill the boxwoods? I've
tried to pull everything that I could but apparently there are some
weeds with long-established, deep roots that might best be killed by
Oddly, I've searched and found others asking similar questions, but not
getting any definitive answers. Is that because what I'm looking for
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Not if you get it on the foliage of the boxwoods, no.
2,4-D or hyphosate (Roundup) if _carefully_ applied only to the leaves
of the undesirables won't hurt the boxwood as it won't be taken up
through the soil in enough concentration to hurt (as long as you don't
just drown stuff, anyway).
But there's no broadleaf herbicide that will get ivy or poison oak or
whatever it is you've got in there that won't also get the shrubs if
Do not use anything that claims to be ground or root-acting; they'll be
the ones that are taken up through the soil and really hurt badly.
If careful you may burn a few leaves but likely will not do any
significant damage; there's so much foliage there that unless you really
cover a significant fraction of it the damage will be pretty well localized.
I'd still suggest actually identifying the weed species as well as the
shrub; contact a nursery or local county extension office and ask for
advice. Sight unseen diagnoses are risky despite generalities that are
so in general.
I did the same kind of clean-up with hedges, but in Florida. One nasty,
nasty plant that got loose in Florida is asparagus fern. Not a fern,
and it is used a lot in planters and cemeteries. Got dense tuberous
roots, impossible to dig up. Pruned truckloads from the hedges, pulled
all the weeds that I could. Crawled on my belly to cut all the a.f.
down to the ground....when it sprouted a good little new growth I took
Roundup and a paintbrush to kill it. A couple of applications, but it
did the trick. Then mulch like mad...shredded leaves, if the owner has
a lot, are very good. Shredded cypress mulch was my favorite in
Florida. Grass clippings are also good, but don't last long.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.