How to stop weeds in a brick patio

Written by jessica whitta
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Weeds are pesky and persistent foes that can wreak havoc on any landscape. Brick patio joints are especially vulnerable; these small cracks are frequently overrun with unwanted plants that can be difficult to kill. Ideally, weed control begins before a brick patio is even installed. If you have an established patio, however, you can still enjoy a weed-free area with a little work.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • New patios:
  • Commercial weed barrier
  • Heavy duty scissors or shears
  • Newspaper (optional)
  • Established patios:
  • Wire brush
  • Boiling water
  • Commercial weed killer
  • Cornmeal gluten

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    For New Brick Patios

  1. 1

    Install a commercial weed barrier before laying a new brick patio. Barriers provide a simple and effective weed control option and are available at most home improvement stores. After you excavate the patio area, cut the weed barrier fabric to fit your space and lay it on top of the soil.

    If you prefer a less-expensive approach, make your own weed barrier out of old newspapers. Soak them in water in stacks of five or six pages before laying them, overlapping the sections of paper by about 1 inch until the entire patio area is covered. Weeds are unable to penetrate the wet newspapers, making them an earth-friendly and economical weed control solution.

  2. 2

    Continue installing the patio as normal. Put in a thick layer of base material before laying the bricks to provide additional weed control.

  3. 3

    Once you lay the bricks, tightly pack the joints with fine sand. Weeds will be less likely to grow.

    For Established Brick Patios

  1. 1

    Scrape the gaps. If weeds are growing in the joints of your established brick patio, simply scrape the weeds with a wire brush. Because patio joints allow limited growth, weeds are normally small and will come out with little effort.

  2. 2

    Use boiling water, another earth-friendly option. The water will burn and eventually kill the unwanted plants.

  3. 3

    Apply a commercial weed killer if necessary. Simply spray the product on the leaves and roots of the weeds. After a few days, the weeds will begin to die. The weed killers are available at lawn and garden stores.

  4. 4

    Use cornmeal gluten for weed prevention. A natural herbicide, cornmeal does not work on established plants, so use it to prevent new weeds from sprouting. Spread it over the patio joints and water it in.

Tips and warnings

  • Cornmeal gluten is not available in all areas. Check the Iowa State University website in the Resource section for some authorised retailers.
  • Wear gloves when applying commercial weed killer. The overspray can be harmful to the skin. Avoid getting the spray on plants and grasses, because it could kill them along with the weeds.

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