Weeds in the cracks?

Here’s an option for dealing with weeds in the cracks of paver walkways and patios that does not require hours of bending and pulling, or resorting to potentially harmful weed killers.

Tea kettle weed killer

Tea kettle weed killer

Try boiling water.

Now, keep in mind that this advice is for areas NOT in drought conditions.

Every spring the cracks between our now 16-year-old paver walkway and bluestone patio fill with weeds. As an organic land care professional the last thing I choose to reach for is a toxic weed-killer. Instead, I reach for the tea kettle.

Boiling water means death to newly emerging weeds.

With a long walkway and a good-sized patio, my boiling water attack takes some time, but not as much as it would if I tried to pull the weeds by hand.

To break up the chore, I do a section each morning until all emerging weeds have been boiled.

Standard caution is called for, such as carefully carrying the hot kettle of boiling water to the treatment area and using extra care to not burn your feet while pouring the water … but you were going to be careful anyway … right?

Here’s a section of untreated weeds.

walkway weeds, untreated

walkway weeds, untreated

Here’s a section a few days after the boiling water treatment.

weeds treated with boiling water

weeds treated with boiling water

Weeds treated with boiling water will be mostly brown the day after treatment. If, after a couple of days, some parts remain green, they are easily retreated. After a few days the brown foliage will dry and can be swept away.

Newly emerging weeds can be similarly treated throughout the growing season. Dandelions and any wayward violets you want to eradicate will require repeated boiling water treatments to keep them in check. However, boiling water treatments may not kill such deeply rooted plants. Still, it’s better than pouring toxic chemicals into your environment.

Let me know if you try this method, and if it works for you.


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2 comments for “Weeds in the cracks?

  1. May 6, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    What a smart idea! Thank you for the suggestion.

    • May 7, 2015 at 7:16 am

      Thanks, Jean. I’ve been using this method for years, just never got around to posting about it.

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