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I need a method for killing weeds between pavers

Waconia, MN

Can any of you please share remedies of killing weeds that grow in between pavers in a patio? I know I could use roundup, but there is a pond nearby with fish, frogs, birds, etc., so I would prefer to attempt some sort of organic solution. Any tips or success stories of remedies you have tried?

I think I've read of boiling hot water, maybe vinegar solution, ..., I guess I'm hoping to hear of tried-n-true remedies that have worked for you and hopefully the weeds didn't come back as crazy in subsequent years.

Thanks much!

Thumbnail by jzempel1 Thumbnail by jzempel1
Andrews, TX(Zone 8a)

There is a really good recipe I picked up on a thread here at DG. I cannot remember exactly where I got it but here it is:

Kill'em All
3 quarts warm water
1 cup salt
3 cups white vinegar
1 T liquid dish soap
1 T baking soda

- mix all together until completely dissolved. At this point, it can be put in a spray bottle to target specific weeds.
I put it in a bucket and pour it on the cracks in the cement. It works very well. There were some questions on the post regarding changing the soil ph permanently. I did not consider this a concern because not planting under cement. Worth looking into if broader use is intended.
PLEASE look for the thread with the recipe. It will have more detailed info. I have also heard of vinegar and salt used.
Good luck!

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

The concerns of the PH being changes are because the liquid can run off onto soil a few feet away or more. It's like people who spray weed killers in breezy weather then wonder how their plants have turned brown, that would be because we have not always got control of stuff in liquid form. I think your mixture would be great for areas well away from any form of vegetation like driveways ect.

My preferred way is not what you will want to here but, Iv'e tried all other methods and I end up looking at brown foliage, while the weeds die off, or they sit looking at me as if to say, YEH fooled you ha, ha, ha.
Anyway, my best way is an old screw driver, kneeling mat and plant to weed an area of say 2-3 yards or more a day, the screw driver help get the weed roots out whole and after you clear an area, you do feel you have achieved something good.and no chemicals were used.
After you sweep all the mess up, you will have to go to garden store for a sand mix specially made for the job, and you scatter the sand and brush it into the cracks you cleared of weeds, the sand helps prevent some weeds but they do come back again within a few years IF you allow it, but this method lets you get a good clear out of roots ect and therefore the next year is easier to work with, just a case of keeping an eye out for new weeds as the season goes on.

A good stiff bristled brush like a deck brush will help keep the weeds away also once it has been cleared.
Best of Luck. WeeNel.

Albany, ME(Zone 4b)

Roundup. It only effects the plants on which it was sprayed. Works great. After Roundup, Preen to keep new seeds form germinating.

Andrews, TX(Zone 8a)

I like WeeNel's idea better. I used the recipe on a row of really crazy weeds next to a cement deck. It worked okay. It killed them back a bit, but I had pulled the big ones out first. There really is nothing like getting in there and getting it done. I would rather not use chemicals at all. Luckily I basically xeriscape my back yard. A lot of cactus and other rugged, drought tolerant stuff that doesn't seem to call for much intervention.
It has only been recently that I have liberated some of my plants and put them in the ground. What fun. A very connected experience. Big weeds in West Texas! I had a busy afternoon!

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Nothing like hands dirty with soil, unless ofcource your fanatic about your nails, I cant work with gloves and I love the feeling of compost, soil, plant textures and dare I say, even stone LOL.
Just get outside and dirty your hands while enjoying the fruits of your labour and seeing just what can be achieved in a couple of hours, have a break and get to it again if time permit's. you will be so pleased with the results,
Chemicals are fin BUT they don't work instant, they take time to kill off the weed's and while your waiting for that, new seeds are germinating, so there is no question for me what is the best method,
I have one of those industrial size weed burners that I use on my gravel driveway BUT even that only gets rid of soft growth for good, I still have to get down and with trusty screw driver and kneeling mat, yank out the larger rooted perennial weeds like dock and nettles that have got out of hand as the nettles have creeping roots, it's not a hard job, time consuming yes, enjoyable yes, delighted with results, yes, and cost nothing.

Hope you get something to help soon. Good Luck.

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

Do not use salt, vinegar or baking soda where run off will get into a pond. All these can affect the pond water in ways that are not good for fish or pond plants.

Hand removal is the safest. The job will keep coming back unless you make the area less friendly to weeds.

1) Lift the pavers.
2) Do a really thorough job of weeding, especially the roots.
3) Properly prepare the area for pavers including a 3" minimum layer of compacted base rock under them. Most weeds will not grow through this.
4) Reinstall the pavers,
5) Dust them with Poly Sand, or Polymeric Sand according to the instructions. This will fill between the pavers almost like mortar, and greatly reduce the weeds because there is no space for them any more.

Andrews, TX(Zone 8a)

Even when we think we are doing the "right" thing by not using artificial chemicals, we can still do damage with natural products.

Excellent point!

Opp, AL(Zone 8b)

Boiling water would be fine, as long as adjacent plants aren't affected. I would certainly use it in the more central parts of the patio/walkway. Since you brought it up initially, it must be a small enough area close enough to your kitchen for you to consider it already.

Kansas City, MO

i would pull all the weeds out by hand then i would go to hardware store and get ready mix and fill in the cracks level it of and then there is no where for the weeds to come in at

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