When it comes to stopping weeds in driveways, walkways, paths and patios, you don’t have to resort to harsh chemicals and sprays to get the upper hand.
In fact, it’s actually quite easy to tackle the problem permanently with a few simple and much safer natural solutions. And yes, they really do work!
Let’s face it, battling weeds can be a never ending nightmare for so many homeowners. What starts out as a few little weeds in a gravel path can quickly become a small jungle. The same goes for driveway and patio weeds as well.
Whether coming up through stone, brick or even concrete and asphalt, weeds can certainly become an eyesore to your property. But they can also cause additional issues as well, and many can be costly to repair.
As weeds grow and take hold in hard surface such as concrete and asphalt, their roots expand underneath. Not only can this widen the cracks, it allow water to seep down into the surfaces. In the summer, the moisture can slowly erode the material away. But in the winter – it can freeze and thaw, creating even more damage.
All-Natural Solutions To Stop Weeds In Driveways & More
That damage is not only unsightly, but expensive to repair. But beyond the issues weeds might cause, for most homeowners, the real issue is simply the thought of having to constantly weed again and again. Or even worse, having to resort to harsh chemical sprays to get the job done.
It is an issue we face on a constant basis at the farm. With hundreds of yards of gravel paths, a few brick patios, and a 300+ foot driveway – finding a safe, effective and economical solution for weeds is a must.
Luckily, there is more than just a single solution. In fact, we use three separate and simple solutions to keep weeds at bay. Best of all, none of them involve using man-made chemicals or sprays that can be dangerous to use – and harmful to pets, children or adults to come in contact with.
With that in mind, here is a look at how to keep your paths clear of weeds naturally, and with ease!
3 Great Ways To Stop Weeds Naturally In Driveways, Sidewalks & Walkways
1. The All-Natural Vinegar Solution – How To Stop Weeds In Driveways, Patios & More
There is little doubt our number one go-to natural weed killer for our paths and walkways is vinegar. But not just regular vinegar – we use high-strength horticultural vinegar.
Although standard vinegar found in the grocery store can be used, horticultural vinegar is the better choice for long-term weed control. It has a higher acidity content (15% to 45%) than the typical 5% found in common vinegar.
The problem with using traditional store-bought vinegar is that is just doesn’t have the kill or lasting power for weeds. Especially tough weeds like thistle which can have deep roots. We use our vinegar at a strength of around 20 to 25% and it works incredibly well for most weeds.
We actually purchase the 45% solution below and mix it with equal parts of water to get it a little over 20%. If we happen to have a stubborn, thick rooted weed, we will spray a bit on at full strength to knock it out. Product Link : MaxTite Ultra-Strength 45% Vinegar for Home & Garden
Weed Control With Horticultural Vinegar – How To Stop Weeds In Driveways
We use vinegar as our first line of defense. It is wonderful for clearing large areas of weeds. If you have an exceptionally bad area, it may take a few applications a week or so apart, but it will eventually get it under control.
The good news is that as the season progresses, once we have total control, we apply it at an even lighter rate to keep the paths clear.
Small weeds simply don’t require as much strength for a kill. Even more, once we have it under control, we use the two other methods below to keep it clean and clear with ease.
One final note on using vinegar of any strength, always wear eye and hand protection. It can burn your skin or eyes if it comes in contact with them. To be fair to the purists, yes, vinegar is a chemical compound. However, it is all-natural, using its natural acidity to kill weeds.
One thing vinegar weed killer solutions won’t do is discriminate between weeds, plants and flowers. So it is not an effective solution to use on or near lawn and garden plants. You can find our complete article and recipe for using vinegar to control weeds here: How To Kill Weeds With Vinegar – Simple, Effective And Natural!
Boiling Hot Water – How To Stop Weeds In Driveways, Patios & More
You can’t get more natural for stopping weeds than boiling hot water! But believe it or not, scalding hot water works incredibly well to stop weeds. Especially when you have just a few to kill on a patio or walkway.
Just heat up a pot or two on the stove, and pour on the weeds in your driveway or patio. The boiling water will shrivel up the weeds instantly, with little worry they are coming back.
The process works because the hot water breaks down the outer cell walls of the weed’s foliage, thus destroying its ability to repair the damage.
Some users like to add a bit of salt to the mixture to enhance the solution’s effectiveness. We only use this method for spot control, so have never had the need to add sodium. In addition, the salt residue can stain brick or asphalt, so we just leave it out.
One thing is for sure, boiling hot water is a great solution when you have just a few weeds to eliminate!
Weed Torch – How To Stop Weeds In Driveways, Patios & More
That leads us to our third and final all-natural solution for killing weeds in driveways and paths – and this one is honestly just a little fun to use!
If you have never seen a weed burning torch, it is exactly as it is described. Using a hot flame at the end of a torch, weeds are simply burnt with the flame. The process works in the same fashion as boiling water, destroying the cell structure of the foliage.
There are a variety of models on the market. Most attach to a propane canister or tank to provide the fuel for a hot flame. And that flame kills and shrivels weeds on contact. The nice thing with a weed torch is there is no waiting for the weeds to curl and die – they are simply burned and disintegrate on contact.
Last year, we switched to a larger model with a bigger end flame cone. It’s perfect for knocking out stubborn weeds in the driveway or that find their way into cracks in our rock edging.
A little extra use…
The torch also has a few extra uses around the house. It is perfect for starting our bonfires, the wood-fired pizza grill, and for melting snow and ice! Product Link: Propane Weed Torch
It goes without saying that these should be used with caution. And never in dry areas where there is a danger of starting a fire!
There you have it, 3 great ways to control and stop weeds in your driveway, walkways, paths and patios. Like all landscaping chores, the more you stay on a regular schedule with taking care of your paths, the easier and less time consuming it will be! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary.