Wild herbs and flowers have the bad habit of spreading quickly and extensively. And especially in the joints of paved paths: in the driveway, in the garden or on the terrace. If wild growth is a thorn in your side, you have no choice but to remove the weeds regularly. In this article you can find out how this works best, which methods are particularly effective and why you are not allowed to use poison to control wild herbs in Germany.
According to the Plant Protection Act (PflSchG), the use of weed killers containing glyphosate is prohibited on sealed surfaces such as paved footpaths and sidewalks, terraces and driveways. If the poison - also called herbicide - is used anyway, you face a fine of up to 50,000 euros. But why actually? In fact, the toxic chemicals would get into the groundwater through the rain, completely unfiltered. On the other hand, use is permitted on agricultural, forestry and gardening areas, since the ingredients first flow through several layers of earth, in which the active ingredients are broken down, before they reach the groundwater. Important to know: Organic preparations and home-made weed killers as well as household remedies (e.g. vinegar or salt) must not be used around paving stones.
A simple tool that you can use to easily remove unwanted wild herbs and flowers from the cracks is the joint scraper. The pointed tool gets deep into the earth to catch as many roots as possible. To make the work easier on the back, you can extend the joint scraper with a telescopic handle. Alternatively, a special joint brush made of wire is available for superficial treatments, while a so-called weed puller is suitable for wider distances between the paving slabs. However, keep in mind that the tools mentioned do not remove the weeds completely (a few seeds or roots always remain stuck in the soil), so unfortunately these are only temporary solutions.
If you want to remove weeds from joints, you can also use an electric joint scraper, which – ideally – can even be adjusted in height (and is therefore easier on the back). In addition, the device should contain different brushes that are suitable for different applications: A metal brush is used if you want to remove overgrown growth from non-sensitive surfaces, such as paving joints or sidewalks. On the other hand, for sensitive floors that can be easily scratched (e.g. wooden floors on the terrace), a plastic joint brush is recommended. The application is the same in both cases: push the tool over the soil so that the bristles reach into the joints and loosen the weeds quickly and efficiently.
In contrast to the electric weed killer, the weed burner does not fight wild growth with electrically generated heat, but with fire. Burning out the joints not only destroys the weeds, but also any seeds that are still in the soil. This effectively prevents unwanted wild herbs and flowers from growing back quickly. Sounds almost too good to be true - because this method also has a catch: When using gas-powered weed burners, a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted, which pollutes our climate. For this reason, this tool is unfortunately not an environmentally friendly product.
To clear weeds from the joints of sealed surfaces, you can also use technical aids, such as an electric weed killer. This works with heat, which - depending on the model and manufacturer - reaches up to 1000 degrees. However, according to experts, the device should reach at least 600 degrees in order to effectively combat weeds. What all models have in common is that they do not require the use of chemicals or carbon dioxide. To remove the wild herbs, switch on the weed killer and run it over the overgrown joints.
Another, albeit by far the most expensive, method of removing weeds is the high-pressure cleaner. Except for the water consumption, which you can control yourself, it is also an environmentally friendly way to free your joints from overgrowth. Many models are already supplied with a brush for paved surfaces, but this can also be purchased as an alternative. The water pressure generated literally blows moss and weeds out of the joints along with seedlings and seeds – but also the soil. For this reason, you must then fill the cleaned joints with sand (preferably a special joint sand for prevention, which is described in the next section). You can see how to use a high-pressure cleaner correctly here.
After the joints have been cleared of weeds, you can take preventive measures to avoid new wild growth. This should work best with Dansand for joints, as it has weed-inhibiting properties: Its low pH value makes it difficult for wild herbs and wild flowers to grow. In addition, the special sand compacts the joints, but still remains permeable to water, which means that the roots of weeds cannot find a footing. It is therefore important that you fill the cracks between the paving stones - in the truest sense of the word - and compact them well. You can use a tamper here to help.
Source: My beautiful garden
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