Pour table salt on problem areas. Like vinegar, salt is an organic and inexpensive method for ridding your asphalt of at least some weeds. Avoid using it near where the asphalt adjoins an ornamental garden or lawn. Salt can seep into soil, making the entire area inhospitable for ornamental plants.
Attack woody weeds such as ground ivy in late summer, when the plants are attempting to store nutrients in their roots for the following year. Chop the weeds down to the base, then pour vinegar or a nontoxic commercial spray directly onto the pruned areas.
Boil water in a kettle and pour it through asphalt cracks. Extremely hot water cooks and kills plant cells. Don’t boil more water than you can safely carry, even it means repeated visits to the kitchen for more boiling water.
Hand-pull easily loosened, large weeds growing through asphalt. If they haven’t yet developed seeds, turn the pulled clump upside-down and use the exposed soil to smother later-blooming weeds in the same patch of ground. If the weeds have set seed, remove and discard them.
Sprinkle corn gluten meal in asphalt cracks and around the edges of the asphalt. Corn gluten meal stops weed seeds from germinating. Follow package directions for how much of the meal to sprinkle per square foot. Because corn gluten meal only controls unsprouted weeds, it’s important to apply it in late winter or early spring, before vegetation normally emerges in your area.
Patch asphalt cracks to smother existing weeds and prevent future weeds from having room to grow. In large gaps that you can’t afford to patch, set down a layer of newspaper or cardboard and cover it with several inches of gravel.
Few things look more neglected than a patch of asphalt with weeds growing through the cracks. Yet weeds are among the hardest of all plants to control, especially in walkways, patios or driveways that can’t be tilled or mulched. A systematic approach to eradicating weeds from asphalted areas is a sensible one. Start by killing as many weeds as possible before they even have a chance to sprout, then move on to removing survivors and preventing future weedy challengers.
This article has been viewed 19,172 times.
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.
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.
The Spruce / Jayme Burrows
In other words, the weeds and grasses that thrive in pavement cracks do so because they are genetically well adapted to the conditions created by concrete, brick, or asphalt paving. It will take repeated efforts using a variety of methods to control these invasive super plants.
You can stay on top of weed control by devoting a bit of time to the job each week. Many homeowners like to conclude weekly mowing or garden work with a few minutes spent plucking or killing the weeds sprouting out the pavement cracks around the landscape.
Click Play to Learn How to Get Rid of Weeds
The Spruce / Jayme Burrows
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.
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.
Before Getting Started
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.
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.