Weeds are a common nuisance that can make your yard or flower beds look unkempt and uncared for. Unwanted plants also look bad growing out of cracks in sidewalks and driveways, and can bring down the entire appearance of your home.
But, you don't have to put up with it any longer. Get rid of the weeds and prevent them from coming back in your paved areas by following these simple tips.
Step 1: Use Chemical Herbicides
Post-emergent herbicides work on weeds that have already begun to grow, and are a fast and effective choice for getting rid of weeds as they pop up between cracks in sidewalks, concrete and asphalt driveways and in graveled areas. However, they only kill the existing weeds and won't prevent new plants from growing. When using these herbicides, take care not to damage wanted plants that might be adjacent to where you’re applying them.
Many post-emergent herbicides can be toxic. Purchase only as much as you need and wear protective clothing and garden gloves. Dispose of herbicides according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Temporarily keep children and pets away from areas that have been recently treated with herbicides. On a dry day, herbicides are safe to walk on soon after application.
There are a number of commercially available chemical weed killer options at your disposal. Whitney Farms and St. Gabriel are just two manufacturers that offer organic herbicide options. Many of the most popular ones come in small, handheld spray bottles, concentrated formulas with garden hose attachments, or for use in gallon-sized tanks with sprayer applicators. For quick, spot-weeding jobs where you only have a handful of weeds peeking out of cracks, the handheld spray bottle is a good choice. You simply spray the plant and wait for it to wither and die off. For larger areas with more weed infestation, the garden hose sprayer, or the gallon-sized tank/sprayer applicator option, are better options for getting rid of more weeds at once. These are especially effective for gravel driveways. Be sure to read all manufacturer instructions carefully before use. You should start to see results even in just a few hours.
Avoid using spray herbicides on windy days if you can. It’s more economical and you can keep overspray to a minimum.
Step 2: Pull Weeds
Pulling up weeds by hand is the time-tested technique of getting rid of unwanted vegetation. The only way to ensure they won't come back is to remove the entire root system. You can do this by pulling firmly by hand, or by using a weeding tool. Keep in mind; pulling weeds will not always guarantee a lasting solution, particularly with perennial weeds. Whereas annuals are produced only by seed and live for a single season. Perennials can reproduce by seed or by vegetative means, such as rooting, and will continue to thrive as long as conditions permit.
Step 3: Take Preventative Steps
There aren’t as many weed-preventing methods available for paved areas as there are for lawns and gardens because you can’t usually treat the problem until you see weeds peeking out of cracks. That doesn’t mean though that there is nothing that can be done.
You can use pre-emergent herbicides on paved surfaces. Pre-emergent herbicide controls weeds or weed seeds before they can "emerge" or germinate. It does not kill existing weeds. By using a pre-emergent herbicide, you can effectively prevent weeds for up to three months. Sprinkle by hand or use a garden hose attachment to spray on paved surfaces in early spring. However, some drawbacks to this method are that it is not the most efficient and you have to be careful that you don’t spray adjacent vegetation that you want to keep if you’re not using a selective herbicide. This method works well for graveled areas.
Take some time each year to rake your graveled surfaces. Raking moves the gravel around and makes it harder for weeds underneath to find their way up through the repositioned pieces of rock. Use an iron rake to move the gravel around.
Alright! Now you’ve got the knowledge you need to control unsightly weeds sprouting in your paved areas.
Project Shopping List
Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project successfully.