How to kill weeds in a gravel garden

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to kill weeds in a gravel garden
Keep your gravel garden weed-free. (AnnekeDeBlok/iStock/Getty Images)

Weeds in a gravel garden can be stubborn, returning year after year to ruin the appearance of the gravel landscape. Because you don't need to worry about damaging other plants nearby, your weed removal options are many. Consider herbicides, natural weed removal methods or even a flame weeder to eradicate unsightly weeds growing in the gravel. With concentrated effort, your gravel beds can be a weed-free, attractive feature of your garden again.

Things you need

  • Non-selective herbicide
  • White vinegar
  • Boiling water
  • Flame weeder
  • Bucket

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  1. 1

    Saturate actively growing weeds with the non-selective herbicide spray. Because the herbicide spray is non-selective, it will kill virtually any vegetation it touches, so take care not to overspray any desired plants with the herbicide. Continue spraying until you coat the surfaces of all weeds completely with the herbicide. Allow up to two weeks for the herbicide to kill the weeds. Reapply the herbicide again if any weeds continue to grow after this time.

  2. 2

    Pour white vinegar or boiling water over the weeds growing in the gravel. Completely saturate the weeds with either liquid so that the liquid seeps into the soil down to the roots. You should notice marked wilting and yellowing of the weeds within approximately 12 hours. Reapply either liquid if any weeds remain growing and thriving after about 24 hours.

  3. 3

    Use the flame weeder to kill weeds growing in the gravel. Treat the weeds with the flame weeder while the weeds are small to prevent seeds from spreading through the gravel. Direct the flame back and forth over the weeds to kill them without setting them alight. The heat of the flame weeder will kill the weeds without burning them. Continue working until you eradicate all weeds in the gravel with the flame weeder. Treat surviving weeds again if they continue to grow in the gravel.

  4. 4

    Smother weeds with an additional 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inches) of gravel placed over the existing gravel garden. You can slow weed growth substantially by increasing the gravel depth.

Tips and warnings

  • Spray the herbicide on a sunny day when the temperature ranges between 16 to 27 degrees C (60F to 80F) to ensure the most weed-killing success.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby as you use the flame weeder to douse errant flames immediately.

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