4 Ways To Control Weeds On Driveways & Patios – Without Chemicals!

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to use harsh chemical concoctions to control weeds in driveways, patios, and other hardscape areas of your landscape.

Not only can herbicides be dangerous to you, pets, and the environment, they can also be quite expensive. Luckily, there are plenty of all-natural methods to control weeds that work just well, if not better!

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Here are 4 great solutions that work wonders for all-natural weed control on driveways, patios and sidewalks.

4 Great Ways To Control Weeds On Hardscapes

It’s important to note, all four methods below are for areas where you are not trying to grow anything at all – such as driveways, walkways, paths and patios. For controlling weeds in flowerbeds, see : How To Eliminate Weeds From Flowerbeds, For Good!

#1 Boiling Water

One of the oldest and most effective natural methods for taking out unwanted weeds is with boiling water.

When poured over plants, the scorching heat burns and shrivels the foliage of plants in an instant. In addition, the excessive heat also destroys the cell walls within the plant, rendering it lifeless.

boiling water to kill weeds
Boiling water is one of the quickest ways to take care of weeds on sidewalks and driveways.

Boiling water is a great choice when trying to eliminate stubborn weeds growing through cracks and crevices. The hot water easily finds it’s way to the plant, making it easier than trying to pull or spray.

To use, simply heat up a boiling pot of water and pour over the foliage of the weeds. It is both fast and effective – and virtually free!

#2 Control Weeds With A Weed Torch

Weed torches are great for keeping brick, gravel and paver patios free and clear of weeds. They can also be a lot of fun to use!

Weed torches work by using a fuel source (usually propane) to ignite a burner on the end of a wand. To use, simply light the torch and apply the flame to the weeds.

controlling weeds
Weed torches make quick work of stubborn weeds on walkways, patios and driveways.

There are a wide variety of models available to control weeds in both small and large areas. Small torches use a propane or butane canister that can be easily carried around for quick use. (Product Link : Red Dragon Portable Weed Torch)

Weed torches should only be used where there is no danger of setting fire to mulch or nearby structures.

#3 Salt Water

Another highly effective and inexpensive homemade solution is mixing water with a little salt. This method works by drying out and dehydrating the weeds, leaving them unable to hydrate.

salt water
A salt water solution being sprayed on a walking path.

Ordinary table salt works well, and the recipe is simple and economical:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil

For best results to control weeds, heat the water to a low boil in a pan. Add in salt along with the olive oil, and stir until dissolved. Let the mixture cool and then transfer to a spray bottle to apply.

Apply on hot and sunny days for maximum effectiveness. The mixture will be most effective when weeds are under the most stress, and the sun and heat provide plenty of that!

Although great for driveways and patios, do not use on existing flowerbeds. The salt will settle in the soil over time, making it hard for anything to grow.

#4 Vinegar

Vinegar has long been used for making a great all-natural weed killer. Traditional store-bought vinegar will work, but it’s lower acidity of 5% is not as effective as horticultural vinegar.

Horticultural vinegar can range from 20 to 30% acidity, and is highly effective at weed control. Product Link : Horticultural Vinegar

horticultural vinegar
Horticultural vinegar works best for killing weeds.

It can be used full strength for maximum kill to control weeds. However, mixing a 30% solution of horticultural vinegar in a 1:1 ratio with water will effectively kill most weeds in driveways and on patios.

Horticultural vinegar can be hard to find in local stores, but start by asking your local farm stores. If not, it can also be found on-line.

Remember that vinegar is acidic and will burn the skin. Be sure to wear protective clothing and goggles when applying.

So there you have it – 4 great alternatives to using herbicides and harsh chemicals to control weeds in the hardscape areas of your landscape.

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