How to Stop Weeds From Growing in Sidewalk Cracks

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Weeds can sprout up anywhere, even right in the middle of your decorative walkway. Sometimes commercial weed killers can take care of the problem, but other times they just aren't up to snuff. The latter is the more common scenario when it comes to weeds growing in sidewalk and path cracks, because the root systems of these weeds are so well protected by brick and concrete. But if you use this system, you can create an avenue by which your commercial weed killer can get beneath the surface and get the job done.

Things You'll Need

  • Teapot
  • Oven mitt
  • Commercial weed killer
  • Fill a teapot with water and put it over high heat until it comes to a full boil. While the water is heating up, make sure you have a clear path from the kitchen to the patches of weeds you need to kill. If children and pets are in the area, corral them somewhere else for the next few minutes.

  • Put on an oven mitt, just in case, and pick up the boiling teapot. Immediately take it outside and pour the entire pot of boiling water evenly over the troublesome weeds. If you didn't have enough water to fry them all, refill the pot and repeat the process.

  • Monitor the weeds closely over the next few days. The boiling water treatment will almost always completely kill growing weeds; after a few days, they will begin to rot all the way down to the root system. When the weeds look completely brown and dead, pull them out by hand. Pull them slowly and carefully, to give yourself the best shot at taking whole root systems with them.

  • Immediately spray the just-weeded cracks with a powerful commercial weed killer. The gaps you just created by pulling out the weeds and rotting out their root systems will provide the pores that are needed for the weed killer to penetrate.

  • Spray the problem areas about once a month during the late spring, summer and early fall to keep the problem from recurring.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you think you can dig up a fresh weed--root system and all--with a garden spade or screwdriver, you can attempt it even before you use the boiling-water tactic.
  • Most weed killers are toxic to pets and humans, and should be stored safely out of their reach.
  • Carrying around a pot of boiling water xis dangerous, so make sure you minimize your risk of stumbling before doing so. Check to see that your shoes are tied and your path is clear.
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