Envirobond: How to remove weeds from your Paving stone joints
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Whether the weeds are grass, chickweed, buttercup, or other persistent plants, they can quickly take over, spreading along the cracks of a patio, making it look scruffy. Deep-rooted weeds (such as dandelion and dock) can be tricky to remove in flower borders, never mind in the narrow cracks of a patio. With a few expert tips, however, it is possible to find out how to get rid of weeds and also prevent new ones seeding.
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One of the quickest ways to refresh a patio is to get rid of unsightly weeds.
With that in mind, gardening experts have shared some tried-and-tested methods for removing weeds from patios and pavers so your outdoor seating space will be free of these pesky invaders before you know it.
Derry Watkins, owner of Special Plants garden and nursery in Wiltshire advised pouring hot water on patio weeds.
He said: “Just-boiled or hot water is a quick, easy way to get rid of weeds between the paving of a path or patio.
“It’s great for stubborn perennial weeds like dandelions.
“I pour just-boiled water onto them directly from the kettle when they come up.”
Cut or pull off the leafy tops of the weeds then, wearing protective shoes and gloves, pour the kettle carefully and gently into the cracks.
Bulletproof perennial weeds may regrow, but should die after two or three treatments.
The heat collapses the plant’s cell structure and within days, you’ll start to see it start to shrivel and die.
Gardeners using this method on the lawn, take the opportunity to plant new seeds on top after the weeds have been removed because they’ll find it harder to re-sprout through thick and healthy grass.
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Of course, extremely hot water will kill insects, so while it is an effective, fast way for removing weeds from paving, it isn’t wildlife friendly.
One gardening expert suggested that hand weeding is the “best” solution.
Emma O’Neill, Head Gardener at Garden Organic said: “The best way to get rid of patio weeds is by hand weeding.
“This is what we do at Garden Organic’s demonstration garden at Ryton.
“There are specific tools designed for weeding patios which have a blade on the end to get between the cracks of your paving and this has the same effect as hoeing.”
Investing in a good quality paving knife is worthwhile for those plagued by pernicious perennial weeds, such as dandelions.
What’s more, it is easier for your knees if you use a kneeler. Long-handled knives are available for those with bad backs.
For shallower weeds, a wire paving brush is excellent.
Flame throwers (also known as flame guns) are widely available tools that project fire at weeds and are great for getting the job done.
Emma explained: “Using a flame thrower weed gun can sometimes be easier than hand weeding, as it can be tricky to get in between the cracks of a patio to remove weed roots by hand.
“Flame throwers work by disrupting a weed’s cell structure.
“They are, however, best used on annual weeds, as perennial weeds will usually return, but if you keep blasting them it will weaken them.
“I’ve never heard of any patio damage caused by the use of a flame thrower.”
Once the weeds are removed, gardeners can prevent them re-growing with good pointing between pavers.
Emma explained: “Ensuring a patio has the right pointing is crucial to ensure that the weeds cannot break through.”
Polymeric sand is a good material to use as it will lock the pavers in place for a long time, as well as preventing weeds.
Those who have an existing patio in place that has loose pointing or soil between the paving stones, take the time to remove weeds from pavers, any old pointing, and soil before redoing the pointing.
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