Woman's 'amazing' hack to remove weeds from gravel with no chemicals

Man pulling up woody weed from gravel drive
-Credit:(Image: Getty)

Weeds growing in gravel can be a nuisance, but there's a quick and natural solution to tackle them in less than 24 hours without resorting to vinegar. These unwelcome plants, including broadleaf, henbit, purslane, chickweed, and dandelions, can sprout up between stones on patios and gravelled areas.

While it's impossible to completely prevent weed growth in your driveway due to airborne seeds or those carried by birds and insects, you can effectively remove them when they appear. A combination of dirt, moisture, and sunlight is all it takes for weeds to germinate, but there are methods to kill them swiftly.

On the Gardening Hint and Tips Facebook page, Trudy Hurd shared a weed removal technique that she had heard about and subsequently found to be highly effective. Instead of using chemical weed killers from the store, Trudy used two household items: salt and boiling water.

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Her post read: "Someone on here said about killing gravel weeds with boiling water with salt and yes in less than 24 hours the weeds are wilting just thought I'd share." In a further tip, Trudy noted in the comments that this method is ideal for gravel driveways and patios, but should not be used near flowers or grass where it could cause damage, reports the Express.

With 40 years of gardening experience, experts at John French Landscape Design recommend using salt and boiling water to kill weeds between gravel and patios. They explained: "Salt is most effective as a herbicide when it is mixed with water. The recommended strength of the saltwater mixture depends on where you plan to apply the herbicide."

Wilting gravel weeds
The weeds wilted within a matter of hours -Credit:Getty Images

"If you are applying the salt in an area where the long-term health of the soil is not an issue a much stronger mixture can be made such as a two to one or three to one." This amount of salt will definitely affect the pH levels of the soil over time and may cause it to become sterile.

Saltwater solutions should be applied directly to the foliage of the weed. Avoid soaking the roots with the mixture to protect the surrounding soil. The saltwater can be applied using a spray bottle, or it can be poured from a container.

If there are other plants nearby, water them generously after applying the herbicide to the weeds to flush out any saltwater that made it into the surrounding soil. When it comes to using white vinegar on the weeds, the experts noted that "it has been proven over time to be ineffective on its own".

However, when mixed with salt and water, vinegar can control weeds well. As with the salt and water mixture, vinegar must be applied carefully as it can change the pH balance of the soil over time - affecting the growth of future plants.