Mother Nature is a cruel mistress. And while we wish we could just enjoy the sights, smells, and blooms of our plants and our outdoor space, most of us spend our weekends working on how to stop weeds from growing in block paving, instead.
Of course, we understand that knowing how to kill weeds is important when you have any outside space. But by the time you’ve learned how to remove weeds from a patio, learning how to stop weeds growing in your driveway or another area of your property can take up a huge amount of time, effort, and energy you probably don’t want to spend on, well, weeds! However, the good news it's a little more straightforward than working out how to get rid of weeds in gravel.
You’ll be happy to know that you can save your block paving, though. And while weeds will always try their hardest to set up shop in and around your garden, there are ways to prevent them from growing in the first place.
How to stop weeds growing in block paving
Weeds in block paving can be a real pain in the rear. Not only are they ugly to look at, but they can also cause a huge amount of damage if left to their own devices. That’s why we’ve rounded up some natural remedies that will keep your block paving free of weeds and nasty chemicals.
1. Clean after de-weeding
To stop weeds from growing in block paving, you first need to get rid of the weeds themselves. But did you know that pulling up weeds can actually cause even more to grow? That’s because weeds spread through their seeds, and pulling them up can dislodge these seeds and force them into the cracks in your block paving.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important that you clean your block paving after de-weeding - and there are a few different ways to do that. We personally love this Newman and Cole Blade Scraper and Brush from Amazon, as it offers a de-weeding tool to scrape weeds out of the gaps in your block paving and a brush to sweep away any excess in one handy tool.
A simple sweep with a broom can also do the trick, as this will brush away any seeds that may have fallen onto the block paving. But you could even go one step further and use one of the best pressure washers on the market to really get into the nooks and crannies of your block paving.
This will remove any lingering seeds, but it's important to understand why there are some things you should never clean with a pressure washer. And while you can clean block paving with a pressure washer, you can’t do it too often as it could break down the mortar that keeps the blocks in place.
2. Sprinkle baking soda
Although there are many things that you shouldn't clean with baking soda, this store cupboard essential can work wonders if you want to know how to stop weeds growing in block paving.
Weeds hate baking soda, making it your best friend whether you want to de-weed your driveway or garden and stop them from growing back. A mixture of baking soda and water will not only soften weeds but will also kill them from the root.
Simply sprinkle baking soda on your block paving, pour some water over the top, and pull them out with ease. When you’ve done this, you should be weed-free for a little while. But it’s always a good idea to use this as a preventative measure every month or so to ensure rogue seeds don’t sprout.
3. Use white vinegar
There are so many ways to use the different types of vinegar, but there’s no doubt that white vinegar is a particular favourite of ours. And while you could shell out for chemical weed killer, why would you do that when you probably already have a cheap natural alternative in your kitchen cupboards?
Steve Chilton, the garden expert at LeisureBench, explains, ‘Apply it directly on the weeds or target the areas where weeds are prone to grow. White vinegar is better than using harsh chemicals as it's less likely to damage your paving stones while being equally as effective.’
You can even pour white vinegar and dish soap into a spray bottle and spritz your weeds, too. The dish soap will help the vinegar stick to the weeds, making sure the vinegar works its magic and kills them from the root. Then, just pull them out.
Steve is a passionate and knowledgeable garden expert with several years of experience within the field and has developed strong expertise for all things nature and plants. Steve is a keen educator and loves to share this knowledge with others. He strives to simplify complex garden practices and encourage eco-friendly gardening.
4. Use salt water
Block paving is a haven for weeds, as the cracks in between the blocks offer the perfect growing conditions. If you want to stop weeds growing in your block paving, your job is to make it as undesirable as possible. And you can use salt water to do that.
By mixing together a 1:3 ratio of salt and water and pouring it down the cracks, you can kill any seeds that may want to sprout, as well as any weeds that are already starting to grow. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t a permanent fix.
To ensure that you can keep weeds at bay for as long as possible, aim to repeat this process every 3-4 weeks - and you might want to do a little top-up after it rains.
5. Re-seal your paving
Although block paving is a durable option for driveways and garden patios, it's not invincible. As time wears on, the mortar between the blocks can break apart. This is often caused by age, harsh weather, and even weed roots.
When these cracks appear, it doesn’t take long for even more weeds to invade that space. That’s why it’s important to re-seal your block paving if you can see visible cracks and missing chunks. Of course, always make sure you de-weed and thoroughly clean your block paving before you do this.
When you’re confident that your paving is clean, you can then turn your attention to the jointing compound - like this Sika Fast Fix All Weather Jointing Compound from Amazon. As long as you follow the specific instructions for the product you buy, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve done your best to stop weeds growing in block paving.
Steve is particularly fond of polymeric sand. ‘This type of sand hardens when it gets wet, creating a barrier that prevents weed growth. It also helps stabilise the blocks, making them less likely to shift and develop gaps.’
How do you permanently stop weeds in block paving?
Unfortunately, there’s no way to permanently stop weeds in block paving, as these ruthless plants will always find a way to get where they want. But there are countless ways to kill weeds in block paving, as well as numerous methods to try and stop them from growing back.
The easiest option is to keep on top of de-weeding and cleaning your block patio on a regular basis to stop seeds from settling and sprouting between the gaps. Steve says, ‘Pulling out the weed and fully bringing out the root is essential in weed control with block paving. Regularly checking for and manually removing weeds can help prevent them from spreading and establish a stronger root system.’
When you’ve done that, you can focus on treating your block paving with things that weeds absolutely hate. Of course, you can use chemical measures, but using the likes of baking soda, vinegar, and saltwater can offer the same effects.
Does salt stop weeds in block paving?
Yes, weeds hate salt water. Not only will the salt water kill any weeds you have in your block paving, but it should also help to prevent any more weeds from growing in the future.
However, it’s important to note that this isn’t a permanent solution. If you want to stop weeds growing in block paving for as long as possible, it’s always a good idea to pour salt water on your block paving every month or so - especially after it rains.
Hopefully you now have all the tools to banish those weeds for good.
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Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.
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