How to Remove Persistent Weeds in Driveway, Patio, and Sidewalk Cracks
Weeds growing out of driveways, patios, and sidewalks are a thing of constant annoyance to me and I’m sure I speak for most homeowners. I, sometimes, find it baffling how these grasses manage to grow better in crevices than on lawns. It’s mind-boggling how these grasses survive because pavement surfaces are hot and dry, and plants aren’t meant to survive there due to the temperature.
Weeds are invasive species that grow through the cracks in the pavements tend to be hard to control. There are variety of weeds, if you decide to pluck out the blade of the grass, without ensuring to uproot it completely, probability is the plant will grow again. Therefore, to get rid of these unsightly and annoying plants, here are tips to help you. But first, let’s discuss plants’ affinity to crevices.
When Should Pavement Weeds Be Removed?
By dedicating a little time to weed control each week, you can keep on top of things. Many homeowners like to finish their weekly lawn mowing or garden maintenance by plucking or eradicating the weeds that sprout from the crevices in the pavement.
You’ll immediately notice that different weeds prefer different seasons and are susceptible to different control strategies. During the wet spring, manually plucking weeds may be the greatest option, however chemical herbicides may be the preferable option during the dry months of late summer.
Why Plants Like Crevices
Despite the high temperature of the pavement, weeds survive. That’s because the driveway and sidewalk holds a high amount of soil and retains moisture a lot longer than other parts of your yard. Thus, it’s easier for any plants that manage to fall inside the crack to grow.
How to Control Grass and Weeds
Using fabric barriers such as landscaping fabrics under the pavers is an effective way to control weed growth. You’ll need to ensure the ground is cleared of weed first, else the plants will still find their way into the fabric and be more difficult to remove. Combine the fabric with gravel in between rocks and pavers, and you will have sufficiently suppressed the weeds.
Other Ways to Remove Weeds
If your hardscapes are already in place but weeds are an issue, the first step to solving the problem is to remove the weeds that are currently growing in your yard. Here are some methods for removing weeds from walks and driveway cracks:
By boiling water and slowly pouring it on the weed, the entire plant down to its root will die due to the extreme heat of the hot water. Ensure you apply it so that the roots are well doused with the hot water.
Regular old vinegar can help you get rid of weeds. Mixing one gallon of vinegar with one cup of salt and one cup of lemon juice will ensure its more active. You can even add in two tablespoons of dish soap to make it stick more. Aim to get a hold of pickling, or horticultural vinegar, they’re more effective than white vinegar. You can store this liquid in a plastic bottle with sprayer and spray it on your lawn. If you don’t have plastic bottle you can use garden hose for spraying the solution on the plants. You can also use aerosol spray to protect your plants. This DIY weed control method always works. Make the solution properly or else it can show the adverse effect.
Using a propane blow torch can help you get rid of that stubborn weed. You can use the type used by plumbers for soldiering repairs, or you can use the long-handled propane weed-killer, which allows you to torch weeds from a standing position. Just be careful not to torch dry grasses to avoid starting a fire.
Weeds can only grow where there is space. If there are no cracks and crevices, the plants won’t find a place to grow. Ensure you inspect your pavements at least once a year, so you can spot and seal off cracks where the weeds might be tempted to grow. You can also use mortar or masonry caulk to seal them off.
The tried-and-true strategy is still one of the most effective. You may prevent weeds from sprouting seed by gently plucking them out and extracting the entire plant, root and all. This procedure works better for some weeds than others, but it’s always easier after rain or a garden hose has softened the fill dirt in the crevices and the underlying soil containing the roots. However, this is not a long-term solution, as new weeds will undoubtedly establish themselves in the vacant cracks unless you make an effort to cover them with a patching compound or pavement sealant. First, vacuum out the cracks, then seal them with cement or masonry caulk.
Although it may be difficult to locate in local stores, it may be obtained online. This vinegar has a 20% acetic acid content. Combine it with a little orange oil and phosphate-free dish soap. Acetic acid burns the top growth of the plant, preventing it from photosynthesizing. It is corrosive and can burn your hands and eyes, so use gloves with proper clothing and eye protection.
Cape Cod Weeder, V-notch Weeder, or Soil knife
A Cape Cod weeder or a notched weeder can make things much easier for people who have trouble grabbing weeds or who have back difficulties. Cape Cod weeders have short or long handles and a narrow, sharp blade that resembles a hoe. The notch on V-notch weeders allows you to hook the weed for easier extraction. A soil knife can also be used to remove weeds, and you may like this multi-purpose tool because it can also be used to cut twine, prune, harvest, and perform a variety of other activities in the garden. Weeds can also be removed from cracks using putty knives and scrapers.
Non-selective Weed Killer
Spot-treating grasses and weeds with a weed-killer containing glyphosate (such as Roundup) will kill the plant, roots and all, if other approaches fail. Any chemical product should be used with caution, but glyphosate does not stay in the environment as other weedkillers’ ingredients do. Other weedkillers may kill broadleaf weeds, but they won’t kill grasses growing in cracks in the pavement.
When you put fertilizer into your lawn, weed takes the nutrient from those organic fertilizer. Make habit to remove weeds before irrigation and spraying fertilizer on the plants.
How to Prevent Weeds in Walkways and Cracks in Driveways
Take preventative actions before installing your hardscapes to avoid weeds creeping up via gaps, seams, and joints. There are still things you may do to avoid weed growth if your paving stone driveway, brick pathway, or concrete patio has already been installed. You can also put putty on the brick or paving stone to make it beautiful and prevent it from weeds.
Here are five strategies to keep weeds out of gaps in driveways, paving stone joints, and walkways:
Fill in the gaps
If weeds are growing through gaps in your concrete driveway or the seams between the slabs, caulk the cracks to prevent future weed growth. Cement crack filler is affordable and widely available in hardware and home improvement stores. Some choices come in squeeze bottles with applicator tips, allowing you to walk (or crawl) along the crack and squeeze the filler into it to seal it. Other methods need the use of a caulking gun and are applied to the cracks in the same way that caulk is.
Weeds should be pulled before they go to seed
It’s critical to eliminate current weeds before they go to seed if you want to avoid future weed growth. Once your present weeds have produced seeds, they can easily spread to other cracks or areas of your yard, and the seeds can even be transported and dropped when you carry the weeds to the yard waste bin.
Before putting in hardscapes, lay down landscaping cloth or a geotextile mesh
You should be able to begin weed control activities before your hardscapes are installed, if possible. If you’re putting in a paving stone driveway, for example, make sure you ask your installer about putting a geotextile mesh under the pavers. If you’re building a brick walkway yourself, you might want to consider using geotextile mesh or landscaping cloth to help prevent weed growth.
Maintain the cleanliness of your garden tools
After each usage, wipe down your weeding tools and other gardening instruments. Weed seeds are easily transmitted on garden tools, so even if you’re just moving your shovel from the flowerbed to the shed, you can be unintentionally spreading weed seeds.
Using these secure, do-it-yourself methods can work but only for a little while. Weeds can be stubborn, hard to kill and not good for plant’s health. Cleaning weeds are important. Remove the weeds before they become the reason for your plant’s death. If like me, you can’t stand their presence in your driveway, sidewalks, and patio, consider getting help from professional or people who are into agriculture business, who have extensive knowledge about this. At Eden, experts are available to help you to eliminate those annoying weeds and make your landscape a beauty once again. You can also refer to our article to learn more. We will provide problem solving solution. Follow Eden for master gardener program to stay updated.