This widespread irritation around the home is mainly caused by grass and weeds growing out of pavement cracks. With lawn care, weeds are bad enough, yet in these areas, when you remove weeds from crevices, you have to tackle them individually. While most plants can’t survive in such areas, weeds in sidewalk cracks thrive with little effort. Thus, grasses and broadleaf weeds growing through pavement cracks are difficult to control.
It’s simple to pull the tops off, yet this success is short-lived because the pesky weeds grow back unless the root is removed or killed.
In our guide, you can learn more about different ways of how to get weeds out of cracks. By the end, you’ll know how to deal with these unwanted plants, and how to get weeds out of cracks can be easier than your regular lawn care. (Learn What Is The Strongest Weed Killer)
When to Kill Pavement Weeds
You can tell which weeds prefer certain seasons and which control methods you need. For example, hand weeding is best done in the spring, while chemical herbicides are best used in the dry months of late summer.
Knowing the weeds’ preferences is the first step to weed control triumph, especially when you face weeds in your driveway and sidewalk cracks.
These small cracks store soil and organic matter. Besides this, plenty of moisture keeps grass and weed seeds fed. You can even find some weeds tolerate cold weather, and the asphalt or concrete absorbs heat from the sun to keep these weeds warm enough to survive.
A genetic adaptation to the circumstances provided by concrete, brick, or asphalt paving allows weeds and grasses to flourish in concrete cracks. Controlling these super invasive plants will need many methods for removing weeds.
How To Kill Pavement Weeds
You’ll find many ways to deal with weeds in the cracks of concrete around your home here.
Pull Weeds By Hand
The tried-and-true method remains one of the best. You may prevent weeds from resprouting by gently pulling them out and extracting the entire plant, root, etc.
- It will be easier to pull weeds after rain or a garden hose has softened the soil in the cracks and the underlying soil that holds the roots. Before pulling the weed, thoroughly wet it.
- Pull the weed carefully and slowly with a gentle wiggling motion. Extract the entire plant, root, and all to stop the weed from sprouting again. Use a small screwdriver or other thin tool to free the weed’s roots.
- Vacuum out the crack first, then fill it using mortar or masonry caulk.
Kill Weeds With Boiling Water
While many weeds prefer warm temperatures, none will endure boiling water, which is the most natural weed killer you can use.
- Carefully transport a pot of boiling water (or a kettle) to weed-infested pavement cracks. Use oven mitts to stop any splashes burning you.
- Carefully pour over the weeds and watch an eye on them as they scald.
- Repeat once a few minutes have passed.
- Some persistent weeds with long taproots may require multiple boiled-water treatments.
- However, after two or three treatments, almost any weed will yield. The dead weed should now be removed, and the remaining hole sealed with masonry caulk.
Kill Pavement Weeds With Vinegar
A salt mixture will kill most weeds and grasses, and white vinegar (5 percent acetic acid) is sprayed on pavements.
- In a large plastic jug, combine 1 cup of salt and 1 gallon of white vinegar with 5% acetic acid (regular household vinegar).
- 1 cup of lemon juice will make it even more acidic.
- Add a little dish soap to boost sticking power.
Top vinegar killing tips:
Pickling vinegar is more acidic than white vinegar and maybe more effective. Otherwise, look for horticultural vinegar. This vinegar has a 20% acetic acid content.
Combine this with some orange oil and dish soap.
Note: Acetic acid burns the plant’s top growth, preventing it from photosynthesizing. Also, it is corrosive and can burn your hands and eyes, so wear gloves and eye protection.
Half fill a small spray bottle with a vinegar solution, then spray the pavement weeds carefully.
After a few days, remove the dead weed from the crack in the pavement and fill using caulk after cleaning out as much of the soil and old weeds. (Read Homemade Weed Killer Recipe)
Remove Pavement Weeds With a Propane Torch
Weeds springing through pavement cracks can be burned with an ordinary propane torch.
Long-handled weed torch tools are now available from several manufacturers expressly for this purpose.
- Attach the tank to the torch handle with care.
- Cracking the valve and using a spark lighter or match to light the torch. When the flame catches, fully open the valve.
- Move back and forth over the weed with the live flame until it gets black and burned.
- However, don’t burn your concrete or, worse, hold it too close to the asphalt and for too long.
- Allow the area to cool fully after eliminating the weed, extinguishing any embers with water if required.
- Clean the dead weed and soil from the pavement after it has cooled, then fill the crack with masonry or asphalt caulk.
Stop Grass Growing In Concrete
Nothing is worse than seeing those pesky weeds emerge from your nice new path, up to your driveway, or onto your sidewalk. They might be an annoyance and destroy your carefully chosen aesthetics, but they can also cause more severe issues.
Weeds that grow out of sidewalk cracks damage the concrete. Untreated, these weeds will gradually widen the cracks, forcing you to repave. To avoid this, let’s examine why these weeds grow and how to stop them.
Conventional Weed Killer
Commercial herbicides are one method for preventing grass and weeds from growing in cracks in your pavement.
These remedies are straightforward to apply and may be obtained in gardening stores. However, because they contain toxic chemicals, it is best to contact a lawn treatment firm.
Because it is the most well-known choice, a traditional weed killer is a popular option for controlling weed growth.
However, it contains toxic chemicals that can destroy the environment and clothing and pose health risks. Thankfully, some natural weed killers and ecologically friendly options will suffice.
Vinegar is another solution that you’ll have at home to kill the weeds. Because of its acidic nature, vinegar is an excellent choice for controlling grass and weeds.
- Mix a gallon of white vinegar containing a 5% acetic acid concentration.
- Add a cup of table salt and a cup of lemon juice.
- Mix in two tablespoons of phosphate-free dish soap.
- Add to a spray bottle.
- Spray directly onto the weeds and in between stone joints.
Aim to get a hold of pickling, or horticultural vinegar, as these are stronger than white vinegar.
Baking soda can get rid of weeds similarly. This is a fantastic method if you have a cluster of weeds growing near surrounding plants because it may be a very localized method.
You can also use it across a more comprehensive range based on your weed problem. For example, sprinkle a teaspoon of baking soda directly on weeds or sprinkle baking soda on the entire surface and brush it into the cracks of the concrete. (Learn When To Spray Weed Killer)
The baking soda will change the soil’s pH and stop weeds from growing.
How to Prevent Weeds in Driveway Cracks
Taking preventative actions before installing your hardscapes is the best time to prevent weeds from creeping up through cracks, seams, and joints.
You may still do things to prevent weed growth if your paving stone driveway, brick pathway, or concrete patio has already been installed.
Here are some ways to stop weeds from growing in your driveway cracks and walkways:
If weeds grow through cracks in your concrete driveway or the seams between the slabs, caulk the cracks to prevent future weed growth.
Cement crack filler is affordable and widely available in hardware and home improvement stores.
You can also seal them with mortar or masonry caulk.
Some options come in squeeze bottles with applicator tips, allowing you to squeeze the filler into its gaps to seal them
Other options need a caulking gun and are applied to the cracks in the pavement surfaces.
Pull Weeds Early
Removing weeds by hand isn’t a long-term solution since new weeds will grow in the cracks. It’s critical to pull weeds before they go to seed if you wish to prevent future weed growth.
In addition to spreading rapidly to other areas of your yard, weed seeds can also be transferred and dropped when transporting weeds to the yard waste bin.
Weeds survive whatever way they can, and you’ll find you need other measures to stop weeds from growing back.
Install Landscaping Fabric
You should be able to begin weed prevention initiatives before your hardscapes are installed.
For example, if you’re putting in a paving stone driveway, make sure you use landscaping fabric or weed control fabric beneath your pavers.
Fabric barriers won’t kill weeds, yet they stop them from growing later.
Sterilizing the soil prevents weed growth, and salt is the easiest way to do this. However, if your pathways are close to desirable plants, the same can easily be affected.
Avoid salt overflowing into healthy soil while salting driveway cracks or walkway seams.
If you want an easier way, you can add rock salt to hot water and pour this into the driveway cracks to get the best of both.
Cape Cod Weeder
A Cape Cod weeder or soil knife can help folks who have issues grabbing weeds or with their backs. Cape Cod weeders have short or long handles and a hoe-like blade. In addition, the V-notch weed’s notch enables easier extraction.
You can use these weeding tools to prune, harvest, and more besides killing weeds around desirable plants. (Learn How To Kill Horsetail Weeds)
Non-Selective Weed Killer
If other methods fail, spot-treating grasses and weeds with a weed-killer containing glyphosate (such as Roundup) will kill the plant, roots, etc.
Any chemical product should be used with caution, but glyphosate does not remain in the environment, unlike other weedkiller chemicals. For example, other weedkillers may kill broadleaf weeds but won’t kill grasses growing in paving stone joints will not be killed.
Weeds absorb the nutrients from organic fertilizer when you apply it to your lawn. So, make it a habit to pull weeds before watering and fertilizing your plants.