Control Weeds and Grass in Driveways, Sidewalks, Patio and Pavement Cracks

For modern gardens or lawns, one common nuisance is grass and weeds creeping out from the cracks of pavements, sidewalks, driveways, as well as patios. Plants often appear to thrive better in these little cracks than on the grass and garden. This contradicts common logic because pavements are extremely hot and dry environments where nothing could possibly thrive. But, hardy grasses and weedy plants not only survive but appear to thrive in these extreme conditions of scorching hot tarmac.

Grasses and weeds which grow through these pavement and driveway cracks are extremely difficult to manage. It is simple to remove the visible top part of the weed plant or grass at ground level, but without removing the complete root, the plant frequently grows back again.

Why do Weeds thrive in Sidewalk and Driveway cracks?

Cracks in sidewalks, pavements, and driveways contain a surprising amount of dirt, soil, and other organic material. Thus making these cracks an ideal breeding ground for grasses as well as weed seeds.

Moisture that penetrates into driveway or sidewalk cracks may last far longer than moisture that penetrates into other sections of the landscape. The sidewalk or driveway holds moisture below the surface in the same manner as mulch does, and so any plant with roots that extend underneath the pavement has access to this contained moisture.

We can conclude that adaptability is the main strength of grasses and weeds growing in pavements and driveways.

Types of Weeds Growing in Sidewalk and Pavement Cracks

Under hot conditions, certain grasses and weeds grow aggressively. Crabgrass, for example, is a hot-season annual grass that grows in gaps in driveways and patios.  Its seeds are so little that they may get through even the slightest gaps. Quackgrass is much more pernicious since it is a perennial plant that may thrive even if only a few bits of root survive beneath the slab. If the exposed section of this grass is cut away, a new shoot shall sprout in no time.

A dark-colored roadway (asphalt) absorbs sunlight in cold weather, keeping the soil underneath warmer than that of the surrounding environment. Many types of weeds and grasses are resistant to the salts included in ice melt products. Fescue, for example, is really a cool-season grass which is relatively salt-tolerant and may be able to survive a winter driveway.

Sedge is another such grass variety that stays green throughout the winter. Then there are these cold-loving weeds, like chickweed, which seem to revel in temperatures at which many other plant varieties would have died.

Killing Weeds in Pavement, Driveway, Patio, and Sidewalk Cracks

Here are some of the tried and tested methods for dealing with weeds and grasses growing in sidewalks and pavement cracks. Most of these are organic weed killing methods while in some cases we might have to use chemical herbicides when dealing with woody plants and weeds.

Kitchen Vinegar Mixture

Most weeds and grasses will be killed by a mixture of 1 cup salt (around 228 grams) and one gallon of white vinegar (5 percent of acetic acid) applied to the hardscape. Add 1 cup (about 0.28 liters) of lemon juice to make it more caustic in nature. Add 2 tablespoons of dish soap to improve sticking strength. Vinegar used for pickling is more acidic than normal white vinegar and perhaps more effective if you have it.

Horticultural Vinegar

Although it may be difficult to obtain in local stores, it may be bought online. This gardening vinegar has 20% acetic acid. Combine it with some Citric acid and phosphate-free dish soap. Acetic acid burns the top growth of the plant, depleting it of its capacity to photosynthesize. Use gloves and eye protection since it is corrosive and can burn your skin. So be cautious while following this method.

Boiling Water

You can use boiling hot water to kill newly sprouting weeds and grasses. This method might not work well on well-established and mature weedy plants. Most grasses and broadleaf weeds will die if you repeatedly pour boiling water over them. But, you might have to repeat this process over a few days.

Propane Torch

Weeds growing through pavement gaps can be burned with a standard propane torch. Many weeds can withstand moderate heat, but not really the 2,000 degrees temperature generated by the propane gas flame. Long-handled weed burner tools are now available from several manufacturers, particularly for this purpose.

Non-Selective Herbicides

Using herbicides is the most effective way to destroy weed roots in the pavement. There are numerous formulations available for purchase that target various sorts of weeds. Brush and berry plants need the most potent formula available. However, be cautious because these herbicides are not always selective, and any surrounding plants might be harmed by drifting spray.

If all other measures fail, spot-treating weeds and grass with a glyphosate-containing weed-killer (like Roundup) will kill the plant, roots, and all. Any chemical substance should be handled with caution, however, glyphosate does not remain in the environment like the chemicals in other weedkillers do. It is important to note that most weed herbicides will not kill grasses, only broadleaf weeds.

Sealing the Pavement Cracks

Plants cannot grow when there are no gaps or cracks through which seeds can sprout. Every year, inspect your pavement and fix existing cracks with mortar or perhaps a mortar caulking solution. To seal the cracks, first vacuum them out, then cover these crevices with mortar or mortar caulk.

Preventing Weeds in Pavement Cracks

You can follow the above-mentioned methods and get rid of most of the weeds and grasses occurring on driveway and pavement cracks. However, weed control in pavement cracks is a continuous process as these weeds are persistent and keep sprouting up one way or the other.