When we first learned about plants in school, they seemed so straightforward: Make sure they have the right amounts of soil, sunlight, and water, and they’ll grow. Then we learned that it’s a little more complicated than that, and many different factors determine whether and how well a plant will grow.
But, as most new gardeners find out at one time or another, there can be situations where you’re doing everything right (to the best of your knowledge), and no matter what, you can’t get a plant to grow. And then, on the opposite end of that spectrum, there are weeds that somehow grow through the smallest cracks in pavement, or between bricks, and, against all odds, manage to flourish.
While you do have to get these weeds credit for their persistence, you probably also don’t want them in your driveway, footpath, or patio. Here are a few ways to get rid of them.
Pull them out by hand (at least the easy ones)
Regardless of which method you decide to go with, you may want to start out by pulling out at least some of the existing weeds — especially those that come out easily. Your pavement will immediately look better, and it’ll allow whatever you put on next to penetrate the ground more efficiently.
Unsurprisingly, white vinegar is a popular natural weed killer. Pour or spray full-strength vinegar on your weeds for several days in a row, and eventually they’ll shrivel up, turn brown, and die.
Basically, it’s the same method as the one above, except instead of vinegar, you’re going to cover the weeds in a layer of salt. Alternatively, make a solution that’s three parts water to one part salt and spray it on the weeds.
Corn gluten meal
If your weeds haven’t sprouted yet, you can keep them away by spreading corn gluten meal along the cracks where they usually grow.
First, wet your weeds with a garden hose. Then, sprinkle them with a heavy layer of baking soda. This also works as a preventative measure before the weeds start to poke through the pavement.
Store-bought weed killers
And, of course, there are always traditional weed killers, if you want to go that route.