Paving stones can look great either as a decorative addition to your yard or as a driveway or parking lot. However, paving stones are notorious for getting weeds growing between them, which can make your paving stones look unkempt and can eventually ruin the stability of your surface. Because paving stones have sand between each stone, it is natural for weeds to take root between them. However, with regular maintenance you can prevent your weed problems, keeping your paving stones structurally sound and looking good. Below are a few tips for weed maintenance on your paving stones.
Regularly Brush or Wash Your Paving Stones
Because there is sand or dirt between your paving stones, it is possible for seeds to get caught between your paving stones and for weeds to grow. The easiest way to prevent this is to prevent seeds from sinking between your paving stones. You should brush your paving stones with a stiff-bristled broom about once a week to remove plant debris and dirt that may contain seeds or spores. A strong brushing can also remove smaller plants that do not have deep roots. If you have a large weed problem, you may need to brush your stones more often. If you rarely get weeds, you may only need to do this once a month.
Besides dry brushing, you can also clean your paving stones with warm, soapy water. Make a solution of either patio cleaner and water or bleach and water and pour it liberally on the surface. Brush the solution into the stones with a stiff brush, wait a few minutes, and then rinse the stones with clean water.
Remove Weeds When You See Them
If you see weeds growing between your paving stones, you can remove them by gripping them at their base, as close to the paving stone as possible, and gently lifting them from between the paving stones. This should be done any time you notice a weed growing on your paved surface. However, sometimes you may not have time for individual weeding, in which case dry brushing can help control the problem until you can hire a professional.
Consider Weed Killers
If you have a recurring weed problem, you should consider treating the cracks between your paving stones with an herbicide. Applying herbicide to the cracks can help kill roots that have survived and continue to regrow. If you are concerned about chemicals, you can try a natural weed killer such as vinegar or salt. However, you may want to test a small area to see if your solution causes discoloration on your particular paving stones before doing a large area.
Hire a Contractor to Remove Well-Rooted Weeds
If you have large, stubborn weeds, there is a high possibility that their roots have grown down beneath the paving stones. In order to fully remove the roots, the paving stone may be dislodged. Even if the paving stones are not dislodged, it is important to fill in any large gaps with sand in order to prevent future movement. In this case, you may want to call a professional paving contractor to remove the weeds and replace your paving stones evenly.
Have Your Paving Stones Sealed Regularly
Sealants can help reduce the amount of debris that gets between your paving stones and make it easier to clean the surface. However, sealants can rub off and need to be replaced regularly. You should consult the manufacturer's recommendations or your local paving contractor to learn how often you should apply your specific choice of sealant for optimum protection.
Weeds can be problematic after the installation of any paving stone. However, with proper maintenance you can greatly reduce the issues they cause. For more information, check out this post.