No matter how well your patio stones or bricks are laid, over time dirt works its way into the cracks. This is an ideal environment for opportunistic weeds and grass to flourish. The same goes for driveways, even those made of seemingly snug interlocking bricks. After a few years you will find vegetation pushing up in the smallest of cracks.
Weeds and Grass Love Little Cracks in the Patio and Driveway
In northern environments subject to frost, patio stones and bricks, no matter how carefully they are laid, will inevitably separate and it only takes the thinnest of spaces the size of the smallest seed to produce an unsightly pattern of vegetation precisely where none is wanted.
Even where frost is not a factor in shifting the patio bricks and stones, rain will, over time, create thin spaces between them and hardy plants will begin to sprout. Your patio or drive will become quite an unsightly embarrassment.
Weed Control The Hard Way
One method of ensuring that your patio or driveway is clear of weeds and grass is to get down on your hands and knees and try to remove them with a paring knife.
This is very slow and tedious work and not always worth the effort. If it is grass that you’re trying to remove, this method keeps the botanical pests away for only a short time because the roots are likely to be well established below the stones or bricks and will just produce more grass to grow up through the cracks.
Moss is even worse. It seems to come back very quickly and even greener after you have scraped and swept.
The Problems With Herbicides
A chemical herbicide is one method of weed control.
There are two strikes against its use. It is a killer that does not distinguish between wanted and unwanted vegetation.
It will not be kind to the plants nearby. It must be applied on a windless day otherwise the adjacent treasured plants suffer.
There is growing evidence that herbicides are more harmful to the environment than their makers would have us believe.
So why use them when there is an alternative?
Herbicides are not environmentally friendly. That’s why they have been prohibited from home use in many municipalities.
Weed Control: The Cheap and Easy Method
By far the easiest and least expensive way to keep a patio or a brick driveway free of weeds, grass and moss is to apply a small line of table salt along the cracks.
A gentle sweeping will ensure that all the cracks get the right dose of this harmless treatment.
After a couple of weeks the plants will be completely dead and the dried remnants can be swept away. If the salt is applied in the fall there will be little or no growth of weeds and grass in the spring.
A little salt goes a long way so you don’t need to be too generous. If you still have a couple of strands of grass or weeds or a little green moss just give them another moderate dash of salt
Try it. It works. You will have a grassless and weed free patio and driveway. You can be proud of the fact that you avoided work and were kind to the environment at the same time.