industrai
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HELP: grass in bricks

Hi there,

In my backyard there's an area consisting of bricks. The cracks in the bricks are littered with grass, weeds and moss.

[img]https://img13.imageshack.us/img13/2613/img0571z.jpg[/img]

How should I go about clearing this up? Plucking? Most of the stuff I grab at just breaks off, so I know it will be back in a matter of weeks.

Thanks!

cynthia_h
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I've attacked weeds in my sidewalk and (cracked asphalt) driveway with boiling water, followed by pulling 12 to 24 hours later.

They come out fairly easily then, because the roots have started to die.

A teakettle or other container with an easily-aimed spout does the trick for me; I'm not interested in having to go up the stairs into the house multiple times for extra pots of water.

Best wishes for success against these weeds/unwanted grasses.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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applestar
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I bought my DH a flame thrower attachment for his BBQ grill propane tanks to burn the weeds off. He loves using it. Sometimes we don't have enough propane for the grill! :lol:

industrai
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ok i've put boiling water on one half, and salt and vinegar (7%) on the other half. I'll give it a day and see what happens..

sammy004
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industrai wrote:ok i've put boiling water on one half, and salt and vinegar (7%) on the other half. I'll give it a day and see what happens..
Did you have any luck with your experiment?

industrai
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honestly, no. the grass and weeds are a little browner, but it's still very tough to rip anything out.

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applestar
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You haven't looked into "weed burner torches"?
[img]https://steinbring.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/07/weed_burner0720.jpg[/img]
You need an attachment and hose to connect to a larger tank. DH thought the itty bitty tank like the one in the picture was useless.

industrai
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i thought you were joking, but you actually use a flame thrower on your weeds? I've only just started gardening; I think if I jumped right into the flame throwing phase I might have skipped a few key steps.

sammy004
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wow flame throwers are you serious? Can I just use a reg plummer type pipe soldering torch?

cynthia_h
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I don't know whether those weed torches are legal around here--we have dry months in most years from April through mid-November. Things get very crackling dry. That's part of what's been behind the sharp increase in wildfires in California the last several years--an earlier start to the dry season, and a later end to it.

No weed torches for me.

The boiling water needs to be added fairly generously to each crack in the pavement. Try again, wait overnight, and see what happens. I worked on the pavement about 8 feet at a time because it was a linear run, not cross-hatched like yours, and running back up the stairs into the house got old after a while...

Cynthia

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Kisal
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If you decide to use a torch to burn out the weeds, be careful around anything flammable, such as mulch. I've always been amazed that many of my friends don't realize that most mulches will catch on fire and burn. I had one friend put out a cigarette in one of my front flower beds, and it caught fire. I was lucky that another friend noticed the thin wisp of smoke rising from the bed several days later! My house could have burned down! :eek:

Another friend decided to bury her cigarette in one of the wood flower boxes on my patio. I kept smelling smoke, and finally looked out the back door to find the thing fully engulfed in flames! :roll:

Non-gardeners seem to think "the ground" won't burn. [img]https://bestsmileys.com/clueless/4.gif[/img]
Last edited by Kisal on Sat May 02, 2009 4:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

Charlie MV
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Does ACME make that torch? This thread reads like a Roadrunner cartoon. I'm gonna suggest a backhoe and a few bottles of nitroglycerin. i'd give you the formula for napalm but we don't want Homeland Security zooming in on the Helpful Gardener.

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applestar
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FWIW -- so you people won't think I'm this awful person that encourages my hubby to go out starting fires :roll: :wink: What I usually do is when I cook pasta, I scoop out the pasta with a perforated ladle and then dump the hot (unsalted) water on the brick patio outside the kitchen door. The starchy water seems to "stick" to the weeds and help "cook" them. When I don't have the time to take advantage of the hot liquid, I dump it in the compost pile later. :mrgreen:

I also weed the bricks after rain when they pull out much better and satisfyingly with all their roots. This works better when the weeds have grown enough so you can get a good grip though. :()

cynthia_h
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Ooh, pasta water! I *like* it! :D :clapping hands:

Cynthia

Charlie MV
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applestar wrote:FWIW -- so you people won't think I'm this awful person that encourages my hubby to go out starting fires :()

Awful? You may be the coolest person I ever met. He's a lucky lucky man.

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Kisal
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I have a nice little hand-held torch that I used to use to "burn off" my big outdoor wildlife habitat cages before putting new animals in them. It's the only way you can destroy certain parasite eggs. My cages were wood with metal wire, so I had to be careful. It can be done, though ... just take care. I'll have to give it a try on some of my weeds this year. :D

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applestar
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Awww... :oops: You made my day, CharlieMV! :wink:

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rainbowgardener
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grass in the bricks

Couldn't you learn to like it? :) Some landscape designers deliberately plant creeping thyme or other ground covery things like that into the cracks in pavers. The contrast between the brick color and the green is very nice. I liked the look of your picture. Just go over it with a weed whacker every once in awhile so that it doesn't get tall... Saves a lot of work!

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