How to Remove and Prevent Weeds in Walkways

A dandelion weed growing on a paved pathway

Weeds growing in walkways are unsightly and ugly. They can ruin the way any walkway looks and destroy curb appeal. It just makes a bad first impression, doesn't it? The trouble is, those walkway weeds are often much trickier to remove than the weeds that grow in your landscape and garden areas. They're hard to get to and they tend to be pretty tenacious. Fortunately, you do have several options for getting rid of them once and for all.

Removing Weeds with a Little Elbow Grease

Pulling up a weed with a shovel

There are many reasons why you may not want to use chemicals to rid your walkways of weeds. Chemicals can be bad for the environment and may damage other plants nearby that you do want to keep. Chemical solutions to weed problems may also be dangerous for pets and small children. If you want to remove weeds in a completely safe and non-chemical manner, try using elbow grease to get rid of them.

  • Force them out. Digging weeds out by hand, roots and all, is a tried-and-true method of getting rid of those unsightly problems. Use a screwdriver to get between the cracks of the walkway and access the problematic weed. Dig down beneath the weed to get at the roots, and remove as much of the plant as you can, especially the long tap root.
  • Use water. Boiling water is an elegant and simple solution to any weed problem. Pour it directly on the weeds when the water is at full boil. The heat will kill the weed completely even down to the roots. In fact, the water will kill any plant it touches so be very exact when you pour. You should also wear protective gloves when handling boiling water. To make things a little easier, use a tea kettle rather than a large pot, because this will be much easier to manage.
  • Pull them up. The oldest method of killing weeds is to simply pull them out of the ground. Soften up the soil by pouring water on the weed first. Then, firmly grip the weed as close to the ground as possible and pull it out. Go slowly when needed in order to remove as much of the weed and tap root as possible.

Using a Weed Killer to Remove Weeks

Weed killer sprayed on week in pathway

There are lots of chemical options available for killing weeds, from the stuff you can buy in the store to the solutions you can mix up at home.

  • Vinegar. Make your own weed killer with some vinegar and liquid dish soap. Use about one teaspoon of soap for every cup of vinegar. Mix well and put the solution in a spray bottle. The solution can be sprayed directly on weeds.
  • Baking soda. You don't have to mix anything together to use this highly effective weed killer. Sprinkle baking soda directly on the cracks of your walkway and use a broom to gently sweep it down into the crack. Baking soda has sodium in it that kills plants and actually prevents future plant growth as well. Because of this, you should exercise care when pouring baking soda, as it will kill everythingnot just weeds.
  • Salt. Have you ever heard of an army sowing the fields of their enemies with salt? It's because salt kills plants, and it even spoils the soil to prevent plants from growing in the future. Soil takes time to recover after it has been touched by salt. Pour it directly onto your weeds, and in a few days (up to a week), they should all be dead and you should have a long wait before more weeds appear.

Keep Weeds Away From Your Pathway

Prevent future weeds from growing in the cracks of your walkway by adding bark mulch or pea gravel to the cracks. This is actually practical and decorative. The filler material will prevent new weed growth and it looks attractive.

Remove and prevent the weeks in your walkways to get neat, appealing outdoor spaces like you’ve always wanted. After all, first impressions are just as important for homes as they are for peopleso make a good one!