Weeds are simply plants growing in unwanted spaces, but they can be incredibly annoying for gardeners who have spent lots of time making their outdoor space look perfect. Luckily, according to the RHS, there are “several options” to help tackle weeds which grow on hard surfaces, such as driveways and cracks between paving.
The RHS said: “Paths or patios are sometimes deliberately planted with thymes or other low-growing plants to add interest.
“However, many unwelcome weeds find their way into drives and the cracks between paving. There are several options to tackle them.”
Cracks which grow between paving and less worn areas at the edges of paths and driveways are “colonised by unwanted vegetative growth”.
This can make the area “unsightly”, not to mention uneven or even slippery when wet. If not treated, other growths such as moss and algae can also grow.
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It can also help to kill any seeds which may be lying dormant in the soil. The expert said: “It’s brilliant for walkways, garden paths and driveways.”
The transfer of heat energy onto the plant leads to the distortion of plant cells, causing it to die. Some hardy weeds may need a couple of attempts before they disappear but they should die overnight.
Using boiling water to kill weeds is one of the cheapest methods because it doesn’t involve buying any products. While Britons will need to pay for energy to boil the appliance, if the kettle is already boiled for pasta or a cup of tea, it is a cost-effective solution.
Gardeners should not use boiling water to kill lawn weeds as it could inhibit the growth of the grass too.
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Weeds on hard surfaces are usually common lawn weeds such as dandelions, annual meadow grass and creeping buttercup.
According to the RHS, deep-rooted weeds such as dandelions require the removal of their tap root. They explained: “This can be tricky in crevices or cracks.
“Specially designed narrow-bladed weeding tools, sometimes called dandelion weeders, for tackling such weeds are the most effective.
“More generally, a block paving knife can be run along between pavers to sever most weeds. A wire-bristled block paving brush is good at removing moss and smaller weeds.
“On loose gravel drives, hoeing on a dry day may be successful on shallow-rooted weeds.”
The RHS strongly discourages the use of bleach or salt to kill weeds on paths and drives as it can cause pollution and damage plants.
According to lawn experts at The Grass People, applying white vinegar between pavement cracks is an ideal way to kill these unsightly plants.
Mixing white vinegar with washing-up liquid also makes for a very potent and “effective” weed-killing solution.
The experts explained: “The acetic acid in vinegar sucks out the water from the weed, which dries it up, while the dish soap breaks down the outside of the plant, helping the vinegar to penetrate it quicker.
“However, as with all DIY weed removal methods, this should never be used on your grass or lawn or other organic matter as it could turn yellow and die off.”