- Fantastic Team
- 9min read
- Published: June 28, 2019
- Views: 21,368
How to Stop Weeds from Growing Between Paving Slabs
Paved patios and driveways add a great deal to the overall aesthetic of almost any home and that makes them a most welcome addition. However, if neglected for an indefinite amount of time, these patios can get overrun with pesky weeds. Before you know it, they will be popping up, right and left between the slabs or blocks of your patio.
These weeds can be quite detrimental for your nicely paved outdoor space and should be taken care of as soon as noticed. Otherwise, you might be looking at some long-lasting effects that could put a hefty hole in your pocket. Unlike weeds that grow in the garden and are easily removable, patio weeds require a little bit more effort. In this post, we will look at the best ways to get rid of weeds growing between the block paving.
Continue reading if you:
- Have an aesthetically paved patio ridden with weeds
- Can’t get rid of the moss and weeds growing in between the paving
- Want to find how to perform regular maintenance of your paving slabs or block paving.
Weeding block paving and paving slabs
One way to take care of patio weeds is to take the old fashioned approach. For this, you will need gloves, some tools and a little bit of elbow grease. Just bear in mind, this method does take some time and it doesn’t boast a 100% success rate.
If the weeds aren’t properly removed from the roots, they are likely to grow back again soon. To make sure that doesn’t happen, diligently follow the steps listed below.
Using your handy tools
Before you start clearing the weeds from the block paving, use a hose to dampen the soil that they’re growing out of. This will loosen them up and make them easier to pull out. Next, don your trusty gloves and pick your weeding tool. We recommend you use a billhook for wider cracks and a sturdy knife for narrower ones.
Once done with that, grab the weeds using one hand and stick the tool in the cracks with the other one. Now sway back and forth the hand with the tool (into the crack) while simultaneously pulling with the other one. This will help you remove the weeds from the roots.
Electric weeding machine
If you’re having trouble bending down for longer periods of time, an electric weeding machine might just be the thing for you. Its light weight and rotating wire brush make it fast and efficient at removing weeds that have occupied your block paved patio. This tool shines especially when used on moss growing in hard to scrape areas.
Weeding the patio should be done around once every week as weeds can be quite persistent sometimes. Luckily, by performing regular patio maintenance, you can stop the weeds in their tracks. Around 15 minutes a week of weeding is enough to keep your block paved area in good shape.
When in doubt, use a pressure washer
Using a pressure washer is an ideal way to stop weeds from growing on block paving. However, you have to be careful not to go overboard with it. Constant pressure washing can cause long-term damage to your patio. This is due to the fact that overusing a jet washer can erode the sand structure beneath the paving, inevitably causing it to sink.
If this is is putting you off from using a pressure washer, fret not! With the necessary precautions, jet washing can be very beneficial in removing weeds from your patio. Next time after you pressure clean the block paved area of your property consider applying joint stabilizing sealer. This will help the sand stay in place and also prevent weeds from growing back in your patio.
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Kill weeds with the help of chemicals
There are many ways to get rid of weeds, but the most effortless of all has to be by using moss and weed killer for block paving. Nowadays there’s a huge selection of brands that you can choose from. Some of them even offer eco-friendly weed killers that only kill particular weeds without harming any nearby plants. Still, most weed killers will kill any plant they come in contact with, so you must be careful when applying them. Luckily, anything that grows between the block paving of your patio has to go.
Before using any weed killer on your block paved area, be sure to read the instructions first. Herbicides have different ways of application. For example, some can be applied on weeds, directly out of the container, while others need to be diluted with water first. Try applying the weed killer when the weeds are actively growing this will help you achieve your desired results.
Use natural weed killer remedies
Believe it or not, there are certain products that everyone has in their kitchen which can substitute store-bought weed killer. Not only are they easy to get a hold of but they’re also surprisingly effective. However, it’s good to bear in mind that none of these are as strong and as effective as commercial herbicides. Therefore, you may notice weeds growing back faster than when you use store-bought weed killer.
- Vinegar – Thanks to its acetic acid content, vinegar can be used as a weed killer. However, it’s important to note that not all types of vinegar will work. You have to make sure the one you’re using has a concentration of at least 5% acetic acid (cleaning vinegar is a great example of this). You can test the recipe for vinegar garden spray, that we have recently published. Vinegar is super effective when dealing with smaller weeds, not so much with bigger ones. When applying it to weeds, make sure not to spill it on any neighbouring plants, as it will burn them as well.
- Salt – Salt has been used for centuries as a herbicide because of how effective it is. To start things off, mix well 3 parts water and 1 part salt in a spray bottle. Spray the weeds growing between the block paving and wait for the mixture to dry up. Once it’s all good and dry, cover the more weed infested areas with some dry salt. Be sure to do this method once every 2-4 weeks when the weather outside isn’t too windy.
- Baking soda – Baking soda is also a good natural weed killer. To make use of this method, scatter some baking soda in bigger quantities all over the block paving. Then with the help of a broom, sweep the soda into the cracks where the weeds are growing out of. Add the finishing touch by spraying water all over your patio, using a hose. This method is most effective during spring and autumn.
Kill weeds using heat
Heat can be one of your best friends for killing weeds from block paving, that is if you know how to utilise it properly. When going with this method, you have to be careful with the extremely high temperatures you’ll be dealing with. Therefore, it’s a good idea to put on some goggles and protective foot and legwear before starting. There are 2 ways of going about using heat to kill weeds that grow on your patio or driveway.
Boiling water is not only good for killing weeds but also for preventing germination of already existing seeds. Take a pot filled with boiling water and pour it all over the cracks where the weeds are popping out of. Repeat this process around 3 times to get the best results. Be sure to use kitchen gloves to avoid burning your hands. This method has no downsides and can be repeated as often as you would like.
A Butane Weed Wand is another great tool you can take advantage of when dealing with weeds. This hand-held blow torch is especially effective when dealing with moss and weeds growing between block paving and paving slabs. A great benefit of using a long-handled butane weed wand is that it requires no crouching down and can be used while standing in a comfortable position.
Killing weeds with the help of a hand-held blow torch is safer than using chemicals. When burned, weeds usually take around 2 days to die. It’s a quite fast and simple method but might require to visit your local convenience store for gas canisters every now and then.
How to prevent weeds from growing in between block paving
Aside from regular patio maintenance, there is also a longlasting weed prevention method you can try. For this, you will need a pressure washer, a broom and some joint stabilizing sealer.
- Start things off by doing some weeding to remove everything growing between your block paving.
- Pressure wash your patio area well to remove any seeds, small weeds and still attached roots you might have missed. To get the best results point the jet washer directly at each and every crack and hold the stream for around 20 seconds.
- Use a joint stabilizing sealer after the jet washing to prevent weeds from growing back between the paver joints. You’re probably wondering how to seal block paving to stop those pesky weeds, well here we’ll go over just that. Once you have bought the sealer, spray it on the block paved patio. The liquid will be absorbed by the sand in the joints and the stone surface. This, in turn, will harden the joint sand and help it resist displacement from rain, wind and also prevent weeds from growing back.
- Sweep your patio at least twice a week. It’s a common misconception that weeds appear from underneath the ground when in reality seeds fall onto the paved area (usually carried by the wind). This is why sweeping regularly to prevent seeds from settling in is very important.
Is dealing with weeds too bothersome? Why not leave it to us?Learn more
Prevent weed growth between paving slabs with the help of Polymeric Sand
Polymeric sand can be used for more than just preventing weeds from popping out between block paving. For example, thanks to it, you can also reduce the number of bugs finding their way onto your property, through the cracks between the block paving. And that’s a priceless two in one package if you ask us. Best of all, you can find polymeric sand at almost any convenience store.
Before you start scattering polymeric sand everywhere, there are some steps you will need to follow. All of the weeds and moss have to be removed, preferably pressure washed. Also, it isn’t a bad idea to jet wash the paving stones as well before applying polymeric sand.
With that out of the way, it’s “polymeric sand spreading time”. Use a plastic cup to pour the sand into the block paving’s joints.
Sweep the sand into the joints using a broom. According to the directions on the back of the package, the sand must be ⅛ an inch(or 3 millimetres) below the paving slabs or stones. It’s important to remove any leftover polymeric sand covering the patio stones. As the sand contains a colorant and might stain the rocky surfaces. To avoid that, simply use a leaf blower to remove excess sand.
Once all that is done, use your garden sprayer to lightly spray the joint filled with the polymeric sand. Don’t go overboard with the spraying however, as to not wash away the polymer. Repeat this process around four times over a period of one hour. After the hour passes, avoid stepping on the patio. After around 24 hours, it will be good to go!
- Weeds can be quite persistent, so you should try and weed your patio around once a week.
- You can use a pressure washer to stop weeds from growing on block paving.
- Take extra care and read the instructions if applying weed killer to your patio.
- Avoid using bleach, as it can easily spread to the rest of your garden.
- Vinegar, salt and baking soda are good natural remedies, but aren’t as strong as commercial herbicides.
- Removing weeds with a hand-held blow torch is safer than using chemicals.
Weeds growing in between block paving can be a huge pain to deal with, but that doesn’t mean they have to be. With the right amount of effort and the appropriate tools, you’ll be one step closer to making your patio stand out from the rest.
Do you know any secret methods for dealing with patio weeds? Please let us know in the comments below! We’re always on the lookout for more helpful information.
Image source: struvictory/shutterstock.com
- Last update: July 16, 2020
Posted in Garden Advice
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