Weeds love a challenge. Sure, they may grow in your yard or planting beds where there are wide expanses of soil, but they also pick tiny, narrow spaces where nothing else seems to grow. Between pavers in patios and walkways seems to be one of their favorite places. An eighth of an inch of sand or dirt is all it takes to make a weed happy.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to remove weeds from your patio and keep them from coming back.
How Did They Get There?
You may think that weeds are growing up from below your patio. More than likely, that is not the case. The compacted subsoil and compacted aggregate under your patio are usually enough to prevent weeds from finding their way up between the pavers. Over time, paver sand can wash out of place, allowing dirt and weed seeds to find their way in from above. The seeds may blow in from almost anywhere. Add some rain water, and you have weeds
Killing and Removing Patio Weeds
The sooner you remove weeds, the better. Small weeds are easier to get rid of than big ones and extensive weed growth can end up dislodging pavers. A few small weeds can be pulled by hand. Commercial herbicides such as Roundup will also kill them, but if you prefer not to use chemicals, household white vinegar kills most weeds. Test a small amount on your pavers before applying it extensively to ensure the stone doesn’t react adversely.
Sometimes, pressure washing and vigorous sweeping is needed to get rid of large numbers of weeds that are threatening to take over a patio. Be careful to minimize disruption of joint sand and the pavers themselves.
Preventing Weeds Between Pavers
Proper initial construction will help prevent future weed growth. A sloped walk or patio has adequate surface drainage so that less moisture remains between pavers. Still, there will be some moisture after any rainfall. The best thing is to lessen the number of weed seeds that get between pavers.
Polymeric sand has binders that help form a dense surface between pavers. In addition, it is much more difficult to dislodge; polymeric sand remains in place with normal weather, maintenance and use. Using polymeric sand significantly lessens the chance that weed seeds will get lodged between pavers because there is nowhere for new weeds to take hold. If you do not have polymeric sand as your joint sand, consider replacing the existing sand. It is less difficult than you would think. Talk to your closest Grand River Natural Stone outlet for guidance.
Though there may not be any method that prevents all weeds all the time, these guidelines will take care of almost every weed that is thinking about settling a new frontier in your patio or walkway. If you use proper construction techniques and polymeric sand as your joint sand, it will be a rare occasion when you need to pull weeds from between your pavers.