Dig out as much of the weed as possible before cleaning out any remaining dirt or debris from the crack with water and a stiff wire brush. Allow the concrete to dry before continuing.
Spray the weeds with a 5-percent acetic household vinegar. Concentrate the spray on the weeds, reapplying several times over a two- to three-day period or until the weed tops and roots are dead.
Aside from being aesthetically unpleasant, weeds poking through sidewalks pose several threats to your asphalt, and family. If left unattended, the weeds will thrive, grow and can eventually create severe concrete deformations and heaving, which is only mended by tearing out the slab. Larger weeds are also tripping hazards, and will continue to reemerge after countless applications of herbicides. Manually eradicate the weeds before prepping the cracks and applying a quick-drying joint sealant.
Pack the crack tightly with sand before filling it with a quick-drying joint sealant. Cut the sealant’s tip and insert it directly into the crack. Squeeze the product into the crack and overfill to allow for the shrinkage that occurs after drying.
Allow the crack sealer to dry for 12 to 24 hours, or according to the package directions. Examine the crack and reapply, if necessary, to fill any remaining small holes or voids in the hardened product.
There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
This article was co-authored by Scott Johnson. Scott Johnson is the Owner and Lead Design Consultant for Concrete Creations, Inc., an award-winning landscape and design company based in the San Diego, California metro area. He has over 30 years of experience in the pool and landscape construction industry and specializes in large estate outdoor environment construction projects. His work has been featured in San Diego Home & Garden Magazine and on Pool Kings TV Show. He earned a BS degree in Construction Management with an emphasis in Architecture and CAD design from Northern Arizona University.
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Weeds are invasive plants that can overrun your desirable plants and cause damage to housing and yard materials. While some weeds are fairly easy to kill, they can be a bit tricky to remove when they sprout up through the cracks in your driveway, walkways, porch, or pavers. To kill the weeds growing in these cracks, you can use a variety of different home remedies or purchase a commercially-available weed killing liquid or device. You can also remove weeds from cracks by digging up the plants and their roots before sealing the cracks with concrete or gravel.
In cold weather, a dark-colored asphalt driveway absorbs sunlight and keeps the soil beneath warmer than the surrounding landscape. Some grasses and weeds can easily tolerate the salts in ice-melt products. Fescue, for instance, is a cool-season grass that is somewhat salt-tolerant and might have a good chance of surviving through the winter in a driveway. Sedge is a grass relative that tends to stay green in winter. And then there are the cold-happy weeds such as chickweed that seem to scoff at temperatures at which other plants would have long disappeared.
You will quickly recognize that various weeds have their favorite seasons, and are vulnerable to different control methods. The damp spring might be best suited to plucking weeds by hand, while during the dry months of late summer, chemical herbicides might be the better strategy.
The Spruce / Jayme Burrows
Driveway and sidewalk cracks turn out to be surprisingly friendly places for weeds. These cracks can hold a considerable amount of soil and organic matter, a perfect bed for grass and weed seeds, which are often very tiny. And just below the surface of the paving there is often trapped moisture, and any plant that sends its roots down below the slab has access to it.
Click Play to Learn How to Get Rid of Weeds
The reality is that pavement weed control is an ongoing landscaping maintenance task for homeowners, but the work is easier if you have a variety of workable strategies to choose from.
Kathleen Connolly has been an advanced master gardener and accredited organic lawn care professional for over 30 years. She specializes in lawn care, horticulture, and landscape design. Kathleen earned a Master's Degree in Landscape Planning and Design and Sustainable Land Use Planning and Design.
Successful weed control begins with knowing your foe's likes and dislikes and habits. In their own way, weeds are marvels of genetic evolution. s
Before Getting Started
Thanks to this genetic tenacity, grasses and broadleaf weeds that sprout up through the cracks in the pavement are very hard to control. It is easy enough to pluck the top off at pavement level or sever them with a string trimmer, but unless you extract or kill the entire root, the plant often simply sprouts up again.
Grasses and weeds growing out of pavement cracks in sidewalks, driveways, and patios is a common annoyance. Sometimes it seems as though these unwanted plants grow even better in tiny pavement crevices than they do in the lawn and garden. This defies all logic since pavement surfaces are brutally hot and dry places where you might think that nothing could survive. But not only do these tenacious grasses and weeds survive, they alsoseem to positively thrive in this no man’s land of blistering hot pavement.