The best time to introduce weed prevention in a stone pathway is when you build it. Weed control is always down to removing them or poisoning them. If the weeds have become a problem you need to take drastic action.
Step 1 – Assess the Problem
Sometimes what seems to be a major problem is really only an annoyance when looked at calmly. If the situation is that there is an occasional weed growing through your stone pathway you don’t have a real problem at all. The weeds can be pulled out as they grow.
Step 2 – Address the Problem
If the weed growth is a problem you need to work out alternative solutions.
Step 3 – Weed Killers
If the weeds are few in number a topical application of weed killer will usually deal with them. If this is proving hazardous to other plants a more permanent solution is required.
Step 4 – Ideal Prevention at the Building Stage
When you first build a stone walkway the question of weeds should be taken very seriously. A sure preventative method is a growth barrier made out of heavy polythene sheeting. The degree of weed control this gives is total. The sheeting is fitted below the stones in the pathway and held in place by the stones. Weeds cannot penetrate the polythene sheet and the lack of light and ventilation created by the sheet creates a very hostile environment within the walkway.
Step 5 – Prepare to Rebuild the Stone Pathway
The stone pathway can be rebuilt with a minimum of extra work. The work can be split into smaller sections so that you might rebuild a square yard a day or you can set to and do it all in one go.
Step 6 – Remove the Stones
Remove the stones from the pathway but in such a way that you preserve the pattern the stone walkway presented.
Step 7 – Level the Sand Layer
The layer of sand or gravel under the stones will need to be leveled off. As the stones are removed the filler between the stones will have collapsed and caused little mounds on the sand layer. You can either remove them to use when the stones are replaced or smooth them into the sand layer.
Step 8 – Lay the Polythene
Lay the polythene sheeting directly on top of the sand layer and smooth it out.
Step 9 – Replace the Stones
Put the stones back in place on top of the polythene. Try not to slide the stones on the polythene or you could tear it. The stones should go back almost as they were before and you can fill any spaces between them with garden sand or light gravel. Because the stones will not be able to move they will not break through the polythene.
When you have done the whole stone pathway you will have cured the weed problem. If you prefer to do a more thorough job, remove the sand layer as well as the stone and fit the sheeting under the sand and stone.