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How To Stop Weeds Growing Between Paving Slabs

There are few things more frustrating than the sight of weeds growing between paving slabs. And it’s not just a cosmetic problem; they can weaken your patio too, which could lead to structural damage. So what do you do if this happens?

Are you wondering how to stop weeds growing between paving slabs? Here are some tips on how to kill off those pesky weeds for good.

7 Ways to Eliminate Weed Growth in Pavers

Kill Weeds Using Heat

A thermal approach might be best to stop weeds from ruining your paved area without risking nearby plants with chemical weed killers. Heating the soil along with the stem and buds of paver weeds can kill the weed itself and prevent seeds from taking root.

You may have used a heat gun to strip paint, but this handy tool has more than one use. The heat from this device can kill weeds with ease by destroying the structure of the plant. Set the heat gun to 80 degrees Celsius and aim the nozzle at the centre of each weed.

This short video shows how effective a heat gun is on weeds

Apply heat to the surrounding soil to inhibit weed growth by damaging the root system; this should aid in keeping your patio weed-free. Always be careful when using a heat gun, never aim the nozzle at people or animals, and allow for 30 minutes of cooling before storing the device.

Homemade Weed Killers

#1: Vinegar

White vinegar is useful for so many jobs around the house and garden that we recommend every homeowner has a bottle on standby. Not only is vinegar a powerful cleaning agent, but when mixed with dry salt and dish soap, it becomes a fantastic weed killer.

Combine 1 litre of cleaning vinegar, 3 large spoons of salt, and 3 large spoons of dish soap. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and lightly spray all the weeds you want to kill. Make sure to avoid spraying any other plants, as this is non-selective and will kill any plant it’s applied to.

The dish soap will break down the exterior of each weed, whilst the salt and white vinegar work to dry them out. The dead weeds can then be easily removed with a weeding tool or sturdy knife.

#2: Baking Soda

Baking soda is another handy, homemade weed killer that most homes should have access to. Baking soda works in much the same way as vinegar as the substance dries out the weeds and prevents them from growing any further.

Apply baking soda directly to the weeds and wait for the substance to dry them out completely. This should make weed removal easy as the resulting dried weeds can be swept away.

Check out this video to see 10 ways Baking Soda can be used in the garden

#3: Boiling Water

Perhaps the easiest method of weed removal in this guide is to simply kill weeds with boiling water. Not only is this method cost-effective, but it’s also the most environmentally friendly way of removing weeds from your paved patio.

Simply apply boiled water directly to the weeds, ensuring it’s absorbed by the soil to kill the root system effectively. This simple method can also prevent germination to keep your patio rid of weeds for longer.

#4: Dry Salt

Similarly to the vinegar and baking soda mentioned earlier in this guide, salt alone can kill and stop weed growth through dehydration, preventing weeds from damaging your patio. Apply the salt to the weeds growing between your paving stones, making sure to coat the surrounding soil.

Be careful not to salt any paved area too close to flower beds to avoid damaging nearby plants. Allow the salt to work for a few hours to a day, then sweep away the dried out weeds from your patio or block paving.

Kill Weeds With Chemicals

A persistent weed problem may require chemicals to stop the weeds from growing out of control. There are a few chemical weed killers designed for paving to choose from if this is the case, but always be careful and read the instructions carefully.

Total herbicides kill all plants that they come into contact with. These chemicals can be applied directly to weeds and the surrounding soil with a spray bottle and will stop weeds from growing in the future by damaging the root system.

Selective herbicides stop only weeds from growing and will avoid damaging other plants. These chemicals can be applied in a similar fashion to total herbicides and are recommended to keep your patio weed free without harming other garden plants.

Prevent Weeds with Polymeric Sand

If you’re wondering how to stop weeds growing between slabs, look no further than polymeric sand. This joint filler, for use with patios and block paving, provides a solid seal between the pavers that helps stop weeds from growing and damaging your whole patio.

To seal block paving with polymeric sand, you should first make sure that the whole patio area is dry. Wet only the joints between each paving slab with your garden hose and begin adding sand. Ensure that the joints are rid of weeds before you add the sand, as sealing even small weeds is a bad idea.

Compact the sand with a stiff brush and use the trowel’s edge for a tight finish. Once the seal is compacted, lightly mist the joints with water to set the seal. Remove any excess sand from the paving slabs before it sets. This aids in stopping weeds between pavers from growing and protects your paving slabs from damage.

Joint-It – Our Favourite Solution

Joint-It is our favoured method of sealing your block paving and preventing weeds from taking root. Apply this jointing material to a wet patio and work the sand into the joints with a hard-bristled brush. You must keep the area wet whilst you apply this jointing material, so make sure to re-wet the surface as you work. Compact the joints with a soft brush and sweep away any remaining sand; allow the product to dry for about an hour and you should be left with a nicely sealed area of block paving.

Last Resort – Use A Jet Washer

If all else fails, and the other methods mentioned haven’t done the trick, you might resort to using a pressure washer to clean between patio slabs. This method isn’t recommended as it’s messy and does little to prevent weed growth in the future.

Here you’ll find our list of the best power washers for patio paving.

Jet wash the joints with the jet nozzle pointed at a 45-degree angle, or consider using a rotating surface cleaner attachment, to uproot the most significant weeds from the surface. This method will result in a loss of jointing sand if your patio isn’t sealed, but we’ll cover that in the next section of this guide.

Using a pressure washer when weeding between pavers isn’t recommended for a healthy patio. Still, so long as your patio receives regular maintenance, the odd pressure wash shouldn’t cause too much of a problem. Be cautious, however, as constant pressure washing can damage your block paving, especially if your paving slabs are made of natural stone.

Seal It

Applying a sealer to your patio can prevent weeds from growing and protect your paving. Like polymeric sand, a joint sealant will create a strong, impervious seal around your paving slabs that weeds cannot penetrate.

Remove any dirt or debris from your patio using a broom or wire brush, and apply your chosen sealant to the joints. Allow the first coat to dry for a few hours before applying a second to finish the job.

You’ll Never Truly Stop Weeds.

The unfortunate truth about weeding your garden is that weeds can never truly be stopped. All it takes is the slightest crack for a seed to take root and grow, weeds have evolved to survive for this long, so it’s unlikely that we’ll ever truly get the best of them.

Regular maintenance and proactive thinking are really the best tools to protect your garden.

Regular Sweeping Helps A Lot

Perhaps the most crucial line of defence against weeds taking root in your block paving is a regular schedule of sweeping. If your patio or other paved area is regularly swept free of dirt and debris, seeds will rarely have the chance to take root and cause damage, so we recommend that you add a daily sweep to your rota of garden chores to prevent weeds from growing.

Last Word – What Will You Choose?

So now you know how to remove weeds from pavers and even prevent them from taking root in the first place. Which method suits your garden and patio best? And which was a surprise to you when reading our guide?

Whether you choose natural products or chemicals, we hope you’ve found this blog post helpful and the methods you’ve learned come in handy.