How to Keep Weeds From Growing in Your Driveway - Backyard Boss
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How to Keep Weeds From Growing in Your Driveway

If you live in a house with a driveway, you know it’s important to maintain it just as well as you maintain your garden. It’s obvious then that seeing weeds pop through the smallest driveway cracks can send any homeowner into rage and panic.

Pavement surfaces are scorching and dry, especially during summers, which typically means that nothing can survive underneath them. If that’s the case, how do weeds defy all logic and appear on surfaces that are brutally hot?

You probably already know that these weeds will not be easy to remove, especially if they can withstand such scorching temperatures! You’d be tempted to pluck them off, but the weed will regrow if you leave behind the root. This is why this list of methods for keeping weeds from growing in your driveway, exists!

Getting to Know Your Enemy

Grass on road cracks
Image credit: successo images via Shutterstock

First, you’ll need to figure out what these pesky plants like and dislike so you don’t unintentionally provide them with an environment that helps them thrive. Driveway cracks hold a good amount of soil, organic matter, and moisture. Add heat to the mix, and you’ve got the perfect environment for weeds that thrive in high temperatures, like crabgrass.

They can grow through even the tiniest cracks and survive even if only a small piece of root remains beneath the surface. So, a new shoot will show up quickly, if not entirely removed. Some weeds like bluegrass and chickweed, thrive in cold conditions.

Weeds thrive in gravel and the cracks of your driveway, so don’t be surprised if they don’t disappear on your first try. Unfortunately, you’ll need various methods and tools to eliminate these invasive and, surprisingly, hardy plants.

Equipment And Materials You Will Need

Garden maintenance equipment, including clippers, a weeding tool, gloves, and a bucket full of weeds and trimmings
Image credits: Nancy J. Ondra via shutterstock

Depending on the weed-removal method, you will need different equipment and materials.

Handpicking Method

Small screwdriver Shop vacuum Caulk gun
Water Asphalt caulk

Boiling Water Method

Pot Small screwdriver Shop vacuum
Caulk gun Water Asphalt caulk

Vinegar Method

Spray bottle Small screwdriver Shop vacuum
Caulk gun White vinegar Salt
Lemon juice (optional if you want to make the spray stronger) Dish soap (optional, if you want to make the spray stronger) Asphalt caulk

Propane Torch Method

Weed torch and fuel tank Small screwdriver Shop vacuum
Caulk gun Asphalt caulk

Herbicide Method

Spray bottle or garden sprayer (depending on the size of your driveway) Small screwdriver Shop vacuum
Caulk gun Face mask Garden gloves or rubber gloves

Step-by-Step Tutorials for Each Method of Weed Removal

1. Handpicking Method

The farmer weeds the garden and removes the weeds
Image credits: Sergii Petruk via Canva

This is perhaps the oldest and most used weed-killing method. With this method, you’ll ensure that you extract the weed together with its roots, leaving nothing behind to regrow. Here’s how to do it:

    • Make sure that the driveway is wet – this way, the soil in which the weeds are growing will be moist, and the extraction process will be more straightforward.
    • Remove the weed – you will need to carefully and slowly pull out the weeds. You should do it gently with a wiggling motion to remove the whole plant and root. A small screwdriver will help with loosening the roots.
    • Clear and fill the cracks – use a vacuum to remove any seeds or small root particles that are left behind, then fill it with caulk to seal it.

2. Boiling Water

Image credits: Ken Boyd via Pixabay

Water can keep weeds alive but can also kill them quickly and effectively. Although these pesky plants can survive through many harsh conditions, boiling water is not one of them. Here’s how:

      • Wear your gloves, boil water, and carry it to your driveway – be careful, so you don’t burn yourself.
      • Pour boiling water over the weeds – do this from a low height and slowly to avoid splash back. Ensure that the weed is soaked.
      • Repeat and clean – sometimes weeds can be pretty persistent, so repeat the process. After this is done, pull the weed out with the help of a screwdriver, vacuum the crack, and fill it with caulk.

    3. Vinegar Method

    spraying on weed
    Image credits: Dean Clarke via Shutterstock

    Vinegar, salt, and dish soap can be a powerful ally in your fight against weeds. Here’s how to get started:

      • Mix everything – add one cup of salt to one gallon of white vinegar, add two tablespoons of dish soap, and mix well. To make it stronger, add a cup of lemon juice. Using horticultural vinegar can be even better since its acidity is at 20 percent, contrary to the five percent of regular white vinegar. However, it may be more difficult to find.
      • Spray – put the mixture in a spray bottle and then generously spray the weeds with it.
      • Remove and fill – Pluck the dead weeds after a few days. Vacuum the crack and fill it with caulk.

    4. Propane Torch Method

    fire to kill weeds
    Image credits: manfredrichter via Pixabay

    Fire is a safety hazard, so please wear protective gear before handling a propane torch. Always have a fire extinguisher handy if things get out of hand.

      • Get the torch ready – ensure the fuel tank is on and start the flame.
      • Burn the weed – put the fire over the weed until it is charred. Once complete, let the area cool down and extinguish any remaining flames.
      • Clean and fill – using the screwdriver, dig out as much weed and soil as possible. Vacuum the crack and seal it with caulk.

    5. Herbicide Method

    Spraying the lawn with the white clover (Trifolium repens) herbicide in the garden
    Image credits: photowind via shutterstock

    Chemicals should be your very last resort. They’ll reduce your soil’s health and are bad for the environment. However, if you have to resort to using herbicides, ensure that you wear protective gear, including gloves and a facemask.

      • Mix the herbicide – make sure you follow the directions on the label.
      • Apply the herbicide – soak the weed and let it stay for a couple of days until it has completely died.
      • Clean and fill – soak the crack and pull out the weed and its roots using the screwdriver. Then vacuum the crack and proceed to fill it with caulk. Wash your hands thoroughly after removing the weeds.

      Weed ‘Em Out!

      It is natural to panic when you see weeds peeping through the cracks of your driveway. Although they are somewhat difficult to eliminate, the above methods are very effective and will undoubtedly assist you.

      Hopefully, this article was helpful for you in your struggle against the weeds. Let us know your experiences and questions in the comment section below, and share the article if you like it.

      Happy Gardening!