Weeds commonly pop up between patio paving stones and they need to be dealt with before they get out of control and start damaging the structure. They also look unsightly and make any paved area look unkempt. Dealing with the problem quickly is the best prevention, and there are fortunately various methods for getting weeds under control.
Manually Remove the Larger Weeds
Removing the larger weeds is often the easiest part of the job. You will normally be able to remove these manually by getting a good grip over the bottom of the plant and pulling the root out of the ground with it. Sometimes, however, the roots can be left behind and it will allow the weeds to grow back again later. If you are having difficulty removing the whole weed, there are special gardening tools that are designed to help in these situations. A long-handled pavement weeding tool can help get down deeper to pull up the entire root, or you may consider removing the paving stone itself to make the root more accessible. Other tools, such as a scraper or a knife, can be used to dig out roots after the paving stone is removed.
Kill Weeds without Chemical Herbicides
An inexpensive, yet effective, way of getting rid of weeds is simply to pour boiling water over the area. This will help to eliminate the plants quickly with no toxic effects, unlike dealing with chemical herbicides. After the water is administered, the weeds should die within a few days.
Another environmentally friendly method of killing weeds is using vinegar. This solution will normally kill the plants with a few days as well.
Kill Weeds with Weed Killer
There are always likely to be some stubborn plants that will not go away completely until you use some specially designed herbicide on them. You should be able to buy such products at your local gardening center. Try the milder chemicals first as these have a minimal negative impact on the surrounding environment and are relatively non-toxic. Chemical herbicides must always be used with care and should be applied only in dry conditions because rain can wash them away into ponds or streams, causing great harm to the aquatic life there.
Try a Weed Burner
Though it may sound rather excessive, burning the weeds is a highly effective method and something that anyone who is familiar with using a propane blowtorch might want to try. This will destroy the weeds, right down to the root, and make clean-up easy. The biggest disadvantage of this method is that there is a higher risk of damaging the paving stones. It is essential to take proper safety precautions and exercise all due care when using this method.