How To Prepare A Weed Infested Area For New Landscape

Knowing how to prepare a weed infested area for new landscape requires a few simple steps and some basic landscaping tools.  Weeds are the enemy of any landscape, and can make life difficult for anyone wanting to improve their yards or gardens.  However; with a few basic steps, preparing a weed infested area for new landscape can be a rewarding experience.

To prepare a weed infested area for new landscape you will need:

  • A lawn mower or trimmer
  • Rotary tiller
  • Metal rake
  • Basic garden tools (hoe, shovel, spade)
  • Water hose and sprayer
  • Clear plastic sheeting
  • Landscape fabric
  • Mulch
  • Gloves
  • Hat


  1. Wear a hat and gloves to protect your skin and head.  You don’t want to end up with sunburn or cut up hands while preparing your weed infested area for new landscape.  Take the extra precautions to make your landscaping experience pleasant.
  2. Use the lawn mower to cut down tall weeds.  To prepare your weed infested area for new landscape, mow down the tall weeds to about an inch.  This will make it easier for you to work in the area and will set you up for the next step in cleaning up a weed infested area.  If your area is too weed infested for a mower, use a weed trimmer to get rid of the heavy overgrowth then run the mower over the newly shorn weeds. 
  3. Uproot the weeds using a rotary tiller.  Preparing your weed infested area for new landscaping requires use of a tiller.  Rotary tillers will dig into the soil and uproot the weeds.  The tines of the tiller need to dig deep enough to remove the weeds and the roots.  To get deep enough to uproot the weeds, you may have to run the tiller over the same area several times.  
  4. Even out the soil by raking.  Prepare for new landscaping by getting rid of any loose rocks or roots.  Smooth out the soil using your metal rake.  Set rocks aside to be used in other areas of your landscape.
  5. Wet the soil.  Spray down your weed infested soil using a water hose and a spray attachment.  Make sure all dirt in the area to be landscaped is damp.
  6. Spread plastic over the area.  Place the plastic over your weed infested area and secure the edges with a heavy object like a rock or brick.  Leave the plastic in place for three to four weeks.  During this time, the weed seeds will be cooked due to the intense heat generated by the plastic and won’t have a chance to sprout.
  7. Put down landscape fabric.  Landscape fabric is lightweight and allows air and water to penetrate the soil while protecting the area from weeds.  Once you have removed the plastic in your new landscape area, unroll the fabric and place over the soil. If you run out of fabric and need to use a new roll, make sure to overlap the landscape fabric sections to prevent weed formation. 
  8. Landscape the area.  Now is your opportunity to plant flowers, shrubs, and trees.  The design of your new landscape area should suit your needs and personality.  When you are ready to plant, cut the landscape fabric just large enough for the plants to fit through without leaving room for weed growth.
  9. Mulch the new landscape.  Once you have landscaped your formerly weed infested area, put down mulch to completely cover the landscape fabric.  Weeds don’t grow as well in mulch and since the dirt is below the landscape fabric, weeds will have a harder time growing in your newly landscaped area.
  10. Pull weeds by hand.  If you do find some weeds popping up in your new landscaping, pull them out by hand.  They won’t have time to form strong roots in the soil and removal will be easy.
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