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block paving and weeds

Discussion in 'Personal' started by chelsea2, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    For at least the 4th time this year, I have spent 2 days weeding my block paving. It's just bricks, so loads of joins where weeds flourish - and I have the b.p. for my very long drive, patio and the 20 metre long path down my back garden.

    Is there any way of preventing weeds? I've tried assorted weed killers, but the space to be covered is so large, and even weed killers don't last. But I am fed up of spending so many days of my life digging out weeds from between bricks!

    Any ideas (apart from replacing it!)?
  2. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Not really much you can do. You may have a gap between the blocks which allows the seeds to take root. If so, perhaps digging it out to a depth of a few cm and then "grouting" it all again should do it, but that's a lot of work.
    Some garden centres would be able to hire you a professional weed sprayer, which should do the trick.
    Is it new? Who laid the bricks? There ought to be a membrane underneath which supresses weeds, and you might be able to get them back to re-do it all. But if the weeds are growing from the top down, as it were, the thing to do is to fill in that gap.
    Of course, you could always embrace the weeds?
    chelsea2 likes this.
  3. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    This is why I have never wanted it. Only looks good when laid. You could try a heat gun. Most of the weedkillers that gardeners can now buy are not that effective.
  4. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    It's years old - at least 15. It was OK the first 2 or 3 years, but since then I've had the weeding to do. When I worked, it was quite therapeutic in a mindless way. Now I'm retired, it gets in the way of what I really want to do!! And it now makes my back ache! The bigger gaps are actually less of a problem, as the weeds come out easily. The tight gaps are a nightmare, as the weeds just break off and grow back. And they look such a mess, so, no, I won't be embracing them!!
  5. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Could you seed it with something like camomile? Then you could embrace it!
    We have it on our drive, but it was there when we moved in. My husband wanders out with weedkiller regularly and deals with them before they get too big. Is that a possibility?
    chelsea2 and sbkrobson like this.
  6. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Star commenter

    If you don't have a pond or nearby beds make a solution of salty water with a dash of vinegar, it's very effective as a weed killer . OK it doesn't prevent , but in a watering can can be poured fairly quickly maybe twice a year .
    sbkrobson, needabreak and chelsea2 like this.
  7. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    That would look better than the random mix of grass, docks, & unknown green leaves which it generally shows!!
  8. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Didn't know that - will try it next year. Thanks.
  9. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    We've inherited block paving, but it's just moss that grows, not weeds.
    I got one of those 'things' from the garden centre: long handle, like a broom, with a little stiff brush and a hook-type scraper on the end.
    It works very well on moss, but not sure about weeds. Worth a try?
    Otherwise, persevere with the weedkiller that goes into the roots.
    chelsea2 and needabreak like this.
  10. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    I have used caustic soda solution as a weedkiller - on horsetail. Used it on gravel, it might bleach the bricks, zo you would need to do a test on an unseen area. If there are different size gaps sounds like it wasn't laid correctly. Gaps are normally filled with sand.
    chelsea2 likes this.
  11. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    You get that sand that suppresses weeds and brush it between the block paving.

    Anyway, you need a membrane before you lay block paving. Put down the membrane, put down sharp sand, level the sharp sand, lay the blocks, brush weed supressing sand between the blocks, seal the blocks with block paving sealant, spray the block paving with Resolva in early April and late October.

    And, spray every join even if no weeds are coming through. Moss is from the dirt in the atmosphere. It hits the roof of the house and builds up and moss grows in it. Any that falls to the ground hits the block paving, gets washed into the joins by rain and builds up and moss grows. Get a wire brush and scraper on a stick. You'll need one a year.

    Block paving is just like any other aspect of gardening. You sort it out and you maintain it. Maintaining it means having a walk round every day and picking out any tiny weeds before they get the chance to grow.
    chelsea2, sbkrobson and needabreak like this.
  12. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Buy a goat.

    Problem solved.:D
    chelsea2 and sbkrobson like this.
  13. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    A battery operated strimmer can help - you can angle it into the cracks. It is better than weeding such a lot of cracks.
    Also a pressure washer can get out the dirt that the weed seeds are growing in.
    Weedkiller is pretty deadly and it is bad for the planet big time.
    chelsea2 likes this.
  14. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Why are you digging them out? Water them well, grab the top two leaves together and slide them out.You need to sense the right angle-always by the top leaves, never by the stem. Most weeds give themselves up this way,dandelions, couch grass, all the tenacious ones.and the root will come out too, at least partially. And if you have something you can cover it all with ( a tarp?) for a day beforehand, even more will just slide out. Don't pull on the stems or dig-you'll break the weed above the root and it'll come back faster.
    If you're digging between bricks, you're just asking them to come back faster because you'll be chipping off the root and leaving some.
    Another tip is, oddly, more fertilizer on the soil that is there. Manure. Many weeds thrive on nutrient poor soil, or no soil, such as willow herb on roof tiles. If you enrich the soil between the bricks, you'll get fewer deep rooting perennials such as dandelions or bindweed, and the ones you do get will slide out easier because you will have made the soil freer draining by adding to it.
    You cannot prevent the weeds happening because of the circumstantial inevitability of seed dispersal, but you can give them a home which they wont particularly thrive on and from which they will be easier to evict.

    Edit-I really like this thread ( as a very keen gardener). So many solutions, so much to learn, each to our own at the end of the day.
    chelsea2 likes this.
  15. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

    Thin bleach [not the thick gloopy stuff] about 25p a bottle and water, Once a month, just slosh it on broom it in a bit, 10 mins tops. You can also add bag of table salt to the water as well [the cheap own brand stuff]. it will also stop algae and moss growing on it as well. It also will whiten it up a bit too
    chelsea2 likes this.
  16. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Ah. That'll mean a new strimmer every time then?
  17. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    That's lovely.
    Another good one is thyme, I don't know the precise name but there's a tiny leaved yellowish one, not too invasive rootwise, so it wont undermine the structure of the bricks; it has a very low habit, and when you walk on it it releases the best smell. It attracts butterflies and bees when in flower, and best of all for OP, it suppresses weeds. If it becomes too prominent,you just rip out a few strategic clumps (which you can use in the kitchen or the bath)
    chelsea2 likes this.
  18. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Coo - thanks, everyone.
    Lots of ideas to try.

    It was laid on sand with sand between the cracks when it was done years ago. But over time there's been a build up of soil and some shifting - and the patio was relaid further down the garden when I had a conservatory built.

    Thanks again.
  19. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    The strimmer line might break occasionally but you will only lose a bit - greenworks battery operated strimmer is good - it is getting the right angle that is the key...... and it does not involve bending down and only takes a few minutes.
  20. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    Having bought cheap moss and algae killer, I sudenly found it was nolonger sold, but looked at the ingredients, bleach and caustic soda, and made my own. Works really well on our tarmac drives.

    If you can get access to one, a steam cleaner rather than a pressure washer is likely to be effective.

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