How to Kill Plants Between Patio Bricks

large dandelion growing between paver stones
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
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Weeds and various unwanted green things growing between your patio bricks, pavers, flash stones, or pathways are always annoying and often distracting from the overall manicured appearance of your landscape. There are several ways to control that unwanted growth. Choose the best method for your specific needs.

1. Start Over

To limit any future weed growth, start over by removing the brick and begin again with a weed-free area. This method is labor-intensive but very effective.

Remove and stack each brick. Replace cracked and damaged brick. Then churn up the area to remove and clear it of weeds and assorted unwanted growth. Next, mix a weed control product directly into the soil. Smooth and compact the area. Place a landscaper's ground cloth over the area to be bricked to block future weed growth. Then apply a thin layer of sand over the cloth. Finally, reposition bricks and fill cracks with sand.

2. Salt Water

Purchase rock salt, the type used for melting ice on the driveway in winter. There are two methods of application.

The first is to place a small handful of rock salt directly around the base of the plants you wish to eliminate. Be conservative, as over time the salt will leach into the surrounding area and kill grass, shrubs, or garden plots.

The second option is to mix salt in hot water. Allow the salt to dissolve then apply directly to plants using a pitcher or sprayer. This will leach to some degree and may discolor your bricks. Use carefully. A few hours after application you will see the plants browning. The next day, they will be dead, dry, and ready to sweep away with a very stiff broom.

3. Vinegar

vinegar in a bottle

Purchase a gallon of distilled white vinegar and pour directly on the weeds. Vinegar works well killing weeds during the first two weeks of their appearance. More mature plants often need a stronger type of treatment. Vinegar works better on hot days.

4. Flame Weeder

A flame weeder is a long wand that attaches to a standard propane tank (not included). It has a push button on/off switch and a variable flame intensity adjustment.

Point and shoot the flame at the weed between the cracks. You won't need to crispy fry them—plants usually die once their leaves have been burned. This is a finely-tuned method of weed control and can have many other applications such as melting ice off those same patio bricks in the winter.

5. Commercial Products

spraying weeds in a crack

Several effective weed-control products are on the market, though many only offer short term solutions. Most will not do the job as well as the preceding methods because they only treat the weed topically and do not work on the roots.

6. Miscellaneous

Check the direction of your watering system. If there is a large level of residual spray, consider adjusting the head so less water will feed the brick area.

To get that patio cleaned up quickly—though only a topical solution—use a weedeater to cut the weeds down to ground level.