Why Using A Pressure Washer to Kill Weeds Is Bad Idea - Backyard Boss
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Why Using A Pressure Washer to Kill Weeds Is Bad Idea

It’s no secret that weeds are one of the most frustrating parts of gardening. So when you discover a quick hack for freeing your garden, lawn, and pathways of these unsightly roots, it can be tempting to jump on the bandwagon. However, it’s crucial to conduct proper research to determine if the “remedy” actually works.

You may have heard you can use a pressure washer to kill weeds. The idea is that the pressure washer will uproot the weeds, effectively removing them from your garden or cracks in your driveway. But is it the right method? Or is it a quick fix that can do more harm to your garden and yard than good? Find out below!

Can You Use a Pressure Washer to Kill Weeds?

pavement cleaning with high pressure washer
Image credits: ronstik via Shutterstock

Unfortunately, a pressure washer is on the list of “solutions” that do more harm than good. First of all, it can damage the mortar or cement. As the pressure washer forces weeds out of the cracks, there’s a chance the mortar will lift too. It can also create more space for weeds to grow through.

If you use a pressure washer in your garden or on your lawn, the force will displace soil, plants, and grass. Overall, this will harm your plants and the appearance of your garden. It can cause more work as you will have to reconfigure your garden and rescue damaged plants.

While pressure washing may remove small weeds, it won’t do much if there’s an extensive root system. So, the final answer is that you technically can remove these unsightly plants with a pressure washer, but it won’t necessarily rid your yard of weeds.

Other Options for Killing Weeds

Weeding garden
Image credits: miskolin via Canva

While a pressure washer isn’t the best way to free your yard of weeds, there are other options to kill weeds that won’t hurt your garden. Options such as manual weeding and natural alternatives are best for use around garden plants and lawns. On the other hand, herbicides and flame weeders are good for handling pesky weeds that sneak up in cracks on walkways, drivewaysgravel gardens, or patios.

Manually pulling weeds is a taxing job, but if you keep an eye on your garden and get rid of weeds as soon as you spot them, it can save you a lot of future heartache and time. To remove weeds by hand, grab a pair of gardening gloves and a trowel or hoe. Then, gently dig around the weed and pull it to remove the root system.

Flame weeding is another option. It is powered by propane or another heat source and operates as a large lighter. To use a flame weeder, touch the tip of the tool to the plant and switch it on. The heat will kill the plant’s cell barrier, and the weed will wilt and die over the next few days.

There are also many natural alternatives, such as homemade mixturesbaking soda, and boiling water. These DIY solutions are usually safe to use in the garden, but it’s important to focus them on the weeds at hand to ensure you don’t kill other plants.

Herbicides are also an effective way to rid your yard of weeds but may hurt your garden. You can use a post-emergent herbicide on germinated weeds or a pre-emergent herbicide before weeds develop. Pre-emergent is generally the most effective because it halts root development and stops seeds from spreading.

What Can You Use a Pressure Washer For?

cleaning the terrace with a pressure washer
Image credits: bubutu via Shutterstock

You can use pressure washers for cleaning, whether you’ve got a build-up of dirt and debris on your patio, the walls of your home, or your driveway. They’re a “blast” to use! To put it simply, the pressure washer uses a stream of high-pressure hot or cold water to spray dirt off surfaces. It’s a time-consuming task, but it’s much easier than scrubbing on your hands and knees!

Once you’ve cleared your pathway or patio of weeds, you can use the pressure washer to clean up!

Environmental Effects of Power Washing

An Image of walkway cleaning - high pressure cleaner
Image credit: Ulf Wittrock via Shutterstock

It’s a common misconception that pressure washing is bad for the environment. As it turns out, the tool actually has environmental benefits!

First of all, pressure washing is a much quicker way to clean. This means you’ll use less energy and water than you would with something like a garden hose. Also, pressure washing will keep your items in tip-top shape, limiting your need to repurchase or replace them and reducing waste.

While many pressure washers use chemicals for cleaning, you can opt for green pressure washing detergents that are biodegradable. With that said, water alone will usually clean the surface properly!

No Pressure!

A pressure washer is an excellent tool to have in your collection, but it isn’t the best way to handle unsightly plants. With that said, many other solutions are safer to use in your garden, lawn, and pathways. And no matter what you end up doing, prevention is the best way to handle weeds so you can truly nip them in the bud!

Do you have any tips for taking care of weeds? Let us know in the comments below, and as always please share! 

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