Of course everyone wants to get rid of the weeds that grow on and in between the pavers of your pathway or patio. That is relatively easy to do and also environmentally friendly.
When you have pavers in your garden you usually also have weeds that grow on and between those pavers. Weed is a name we give to unwanted plants that grow spontaneously in unwanted places. Examples of weeds are grass and moss. In my garden I have some places with a lot of weeds in between and on my pavers. Many people with a garden will recognize this and everyone wants an easy solution for this. You can look for a solution in prevention, chemical treatment and mechanical removal.
I have chosen extra big pavers of 24 by 24 inches (60 x 60 cm) for my patio. There are bigger pavers available but that was not practical for me. A big paver means less joints and that means less places for weeds to grow. The narrower the spaces between the pavers the better.
It will not help very much to place landscape fabric or weed mat underneath the pavers because the weeds will attack from above. The seeds of the weeds will fly onto your patio with the wind and grow roots between and on top of the pavers.
Weeds enjoy a cool, damp environment. By making sure of good water drainage your patio will not stay so damp which makes it less attractive for weeds.
It helps to regularly sweep your patio. That will prevent seedlings to embed and sprout and will disrupt new weeds from fully establishing a place between your pavers. It will also prevent moss from growing on the pavers.
There are special materials to fill the space between the pavers that will prevent weeds to settle. Even for the narrowest joints there is a product. It is even possible to apply the material in existing patios and pathways. You might want to think hard before taking that step. Eventually weeds will start growing anyway. So either you repeat the same procedure or you start battling the weeds again. I have chosen not to use special filling material. I prefer as little as possible artificial or chemical measures.
Once the patio is in use you can kill the weeds chemically. There are plenty of products for sale but I am not a big fan of those chemicals. It will sink into the groundwater and has negative consequences for the environment.
You can also use salt or vinegar to attack weeds. I am not a big supporter of those two either because they will also sink into the ground and reach the groundwater. You may think that you use so very little and that will not cause any harm but if everybody thinks that way it result to quite big amounts. What I also take into account is that if it kills weeds it will also kill other plants that you do want in your garden. Enough reason for me not to use any chemical products in the battle against weeds.
This is the most environmentally friendly and sustainable way to get rid of weed. There are many different tools available that are especially made for removing weeds manually. For example wire brushes, special knives, pressure washers and burners. To me those where not the solution.
The wire brush is meant for using between the pavers. It takes quite some time and then you still have not removed the moss on the pavers.
With the special knife you can cut the root of the weed between the pavers but it takes quite some effort and it does not work well for the surface of the pavers.
With the pressure washer you will blow away everything including the sand you wanted to stay between the pavers. It will blow everywhere including on you. The pressure may also damage you pavers.
With a burner your run the risk of torching plants you want to keep in your garden and even your wooden fence or shed.
Not everyone has these same objections and those tools may very well work for them but not for me.
I don’t mind some physical effort to remove weeds but I do prefer doing it as efficient as possible. Apart from the patio I also have pathways made out of bricks. That means a lot of joints and as a consequence a lot of weeds. I use a paint scraper for the pathways. The advantage of a paint scraper is that you get empty the entire joint at once with the point. With the flat side you can scrape the moss off the surface of the brick or paver. A paint scraper is inexpensive and if you can no longer use is for scraping paint you can give it a second life as a weed scraper.
If you don’t want to risk damaging your bricks or pavers by using a paint scraper you can pour boiling water on the weeds. That will also kill them. Be careful with the boiling water. Put on suitable shoes and perhaps gloves to protect yourself from getting burns.