Weeds are one of the most common problems for homeowners. While they may not seem a threat, they can destroy almost all kinds of materials, from wood to stone. If you have a concrete slab, stone garden paths, or composite decking, it may be a problem when they start to grow under them. The worst-case scenario would be them getting ruined, which will need replacement, which might cost you some money. Instead, why not stop it before it grows? It will save you so much time and money from doing so. But the question is, how do you prevent the weeds from growing underneath the stones?
Start from the Foundation
One of the ways to prevent weed growth is to start from the foundation. While this method won’t work for existing stone structures, you can use this when you plan to build new ones. So how do you prevent weed growth even from the start?
One way is to cover the foundation with landscaping fabric. This method works well when building concrete slabs. When you dig for the foundation, you can cover the area with a fabric that stops weed growth. You can buy them from your local stores. Make sure there are no gaps between the fabrics when you’re using multiple pieces.
After placing the fabric, you can cover it with mixed coarse and fine aggregates to give better drainage. The fabric acts as the barrier between the foundation and the ground. The gravel, compact sand, or other stones act as drainage. Together, they can effectively halt the growth of the weeds.
If you already have the structure installed, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. Sure, doing it from the start is best the time to prevent weed growth, but there still are things you can do to halt or slow down their growth.
The first thing you want to do is to remove any visible weed within the surrounding stone. How you will do it depends on how much weed you’ll be working with. If there are a few, you can manually handpick them. If there’s quite a lot, you might need to dig deeper and uproot them.
Another way to protect your stone structures is by using herbicides. There are many herbicides available on the market. The most commonly used one is products with glyphosates. It stops the plants from producing certain proteins which are necessary for its growth.
Where do you spray the herbicides? First, spray it on the perimeter of the concrete or stone. This will prevent the weeds from crawling towards the stone. If you see any cracks and holes, you may also spray herbicide inside them. When using these chemicals, however, make sure that you have the necessary precautions, such as wearing gloves and protective clothes.
Aside from commercial products, you can also try making your own herbicides. For instance, you can use vinegar and salt mixed with soap. The acid on the vinegar plus the salt kills the weeds quickly. You can also use baking soda. It’s effective, cheap, and readily available. If you want something simpler, you can even pour boiling water on freshly cut weeds to kill them.
A proven method of effectively eliminating weeds is by torching it. It has been tested and used for many centuries. To do this, you will need a weed torch or a blowtorch, which you can get from your local hardware stores.
The only problem with this method is that it requires precaution. Using fire can be quite dangerous. Make sure that there are no flammable materials or structures nearby, such as wood, sheds, decks, or plants.
Place Mulch on the Perimeter
Another excellent way to prevent weed growth is to surround the stone structure with mulch. There are two types of mulch. You can use inorganic materials such as gravel and coarse rocks as mulch. You can also use organic materials, such as wood chips, paper, and shredded bark. They block the sunlight, which the weeds need to grow. For it to be effective, you will need two to three inches of mulch.
While both types of mulch are effective in keeping the weeds at bay, organic mulch improves the quality of the soil. However, you will need to replace them often. Whereas inorganic mulch rarely needs refilling.