Gardeners share ‘instant’ natural method to kill paving weeds

Envirobond: How to remove weeds from your Paving stone joints

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Spring is in sight now which means gardens across the UK will soon begin to resume growth and bloom. However, this is the time when weeds germinate from seeds in order to fully bloom come summer. Due to this cycle, it’s important to target weeds now, before the task gets harder the following season. Taking to a gardening Facebook page, one woman asked for advice on how to get rid of weeds around her patio slabs.

Posting on Gardening UK, Sharon King wrote: “Any advice on how to get rid of weeds in between patio slabs? I have cats so nothing toxic.”

Many people suggest using a few household products to banish weeds, like vinegar and salt. However, gardening enthusiasts were quick to warn Sharon off of using salt and white vinegar as they claimed it damages paving and is not safe to use around pets.

Sally clone said: “Don’t use salt, it’ll ruin your paving and irritate your cat.”

Rosa Hanson commented: “Avoid using salt and white vinegar. I used it on my patio and I had to replace a few pavers as a result of damage.”

Stephanie Wright said: “Many people have suggested salt. I wouldn’t use this with pets around as they may well lick it directly or get it on their paws and then lick off. Either way, it could make them ill.”

Ellen Harland advised: “Don’t use white vinegar or salt, especially if your patio is near other plants or the lawn as it will kill them.”

Cass Heaphy, the Digital Director at Paving Direct, agreed that salt should not be used to kill paving weeds.

He said: “Do not use salt to kill weeds as this can damage paving. 

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“Not only can salt damage paving, it can also harm soil health and prevent future growth if used on weeds in other areas of the garden.”

Furthermore, most of the group members who commented on the post suggested using boiling water. They claimed that it works “much better” and provides “instant” results.

Sam Lindley recommended: “I prefer using boiling water. It’s much better than the white vinegar and salt method as it works instantly. 

“If you’re trying to get rid of large paving weeds it’s best to trim them down so the boiling water can reach the roots better.”

Rob Parker said: “Boiling water works well. I wouldn’t use salt either – it seeps and stays in the soil for ages killing everything around like weed killer.”

June Holt instructed: “Use boiling water. It’s basically free and the least toxic method there is.”

Yoanna Angelo commented: “Cats are allergic to salt. Try boiling hot water instead. It works better.”

Sue Jones said: “I use the boiling water from my veg pan and pour on the weeds directly! It’s never been a problem.”

According to experts from Gardening Know How, the boiling water hack works “effectively” by “scalding” weeds to the point that they can not grow back.

However, if there are other plants in the vicinity, gardeners should be careful to target only the weed they are hoping to get rid of. If not, the boiling water may also scald other plants nearby and kill them off too.

The experts state: “A tea kettle with a spout and a heatproof handle can be an invaluable asset when using this method to kill weeds.

“The spout allows us to direct the flow of water right on the weeds, while the kettle retains most of the heat.”

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