Whether it's for a walkway or simply decorative, a rock area can easily become overrun with weeds. Eliminating those weeds can be a real chore. This is a guide about getting rid of weeds in rocks.
A great, thrifty, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly way to rid spaces of weeds is to simply pour boiling water on them. I use my electric tea kettle and bring some water to a boil. Then I go out and pour the boiling water on any weeds I want to get rid of. It really works! Unlike chemical weed killers, the weeds disappear after just one day! They don't grow back either. Of course, you must be careful not to burn yourself or get any boiling water on any plants that you do not want to kill.
Source: A dog rescue newsletter - it was a suggestion to get rid of weeds without using chemicals that could harm your pets.
By LoracMc from IA
My son in law is a landscaper. He uses regular boxed salt to get rid of weeds and it really does work. How nice to find something so cheap and eco friendly to take care of weed problems.
By Gem from VA
Keep the weeds down for over a year in a rock garden by using white vinegar. It may even last longer than a year. I no longer have weeds in my white rock. It kills everything, so keep it away from the lawn and flowers.
By Ardis Ilene
Does rock salt kill grass in a rock walkway?
1 gallon white vinegar, 1 cup table salt, and 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid. Pour this on the weeds.
Or you can just pour Morton table salt on the weeds in between the rocks. Make sure it is mounded or sticking up in mounds at least one inch or so above the rocks.
Take your tea kettle full of boiling water to the weeds. Cheaper and works on most. GG Vi
When you need to move rocks and have a bad back, I found that a good way to do this is to use a rake. Most of the rocks that I move are for edging, which would make them around bowling-ball size. The tines of the rake hook onto the ragged edges of the rocks very well, and you can just move them along the ground without having to bend over.
You don't want to move a whole bunch of rocks (one at a time, of course), because this is STILL hard work and you don't want to be laid up for days with a hurting back.
By one.of.a.kind from AL
Does anyone have any ideas for how to kill weeds among the stones and also in the carport which is made up of brick tiles. I have tried vinegar but it does not work. Thanks.
By chickabea from Sydney, Australia
Try spraying bleach.
Pour boiling water over the weeds.
1 gal of vinegar, 1/2 cup regular table salt, a GOOD squirt of LEMON dish detergent in a watering can. Mix together so salt dissolves and 'water' the weeds. They will be dead by morning! I do this monthly in my dog's pen to keep grass & weeds down with great success.
What do you do with the dogs when you use the boiling water with vinegar
Spray hot vinegar on the weeds. No chemicals, and very organic. To help prevent germination of weeds, scatter corn meal around before a rain.
I have lots of rocks around all my flower beds in my yard. Some are really large, and weeds always found a space to come up in between them. It was difficult to move them each time this happened.
Maybe you don't like chemicals but I do know Round-up works great. Vinegar seems to do it as a one time spot kill but they come back. (01/30/2009)
You might try salt if you are sure it will not run off into other vegetation. Boiling water works on smaller areas--I've used it on grass coming up in a brick walkway. (01/30/2009)
I would put newspaper down and cover it with dirt or use plastic. This might work for you if the rocks are close together, but not so much if the rocks are spaced far apart.
By Robyn Fed
Buy the vinegar from a plant nursery (it's much stronger!), also if you heat it up it works even better. Boiling water works temporarily. You can also buy the kind of salt they put on roads, but this will stop everything from growing forever! If you use the salt, first dissolve it in water, then pour or spray it on. For large areas you can sprinkle it on with a Parmesan shaker (from the dollar store) then water the area with a hose to dissolve it. Don't use very much water, you want the salt to stay close to the surface. Don't use much salt because this isn't very good for the water table.
Here in Seattle we never salt our roads because it can change the salt content in our rivers, lakes, the sound, and it kills the salmon. But in places like Chicago and Minnesota they use rock salt all the time on the roads. If you can't find rock salt buy the salt they use in water softeners (it's sold at Home Depot where they sell water purifiers and it's pretty cheap. It looks like crystals).
Stay away from chemicals. (01/30/2009)
I don't know anything about your rock area, but rather than pouring salt or vinegar on it which will kill any grass or others plants it leaks on to, I would just plant some creeping thyme or something like that.
Thyme, is very low lying and grows even more as you walk on it. It will also keep the area a little cooler rather than just having heat reflecting rocks. Plus it smells good as it is walked on or trimmed. It will drown out the weeds and take over the area providing beauty and be usefulness. by the way, rock salt has other chemicals in it, it is not purified salt. (01/31/2009)
My sister swears by straight Clorox for removing weeds from her rock garden. She sprays it on like Round-Up and it works just as well, only cheaper. I haven't tried it myself but I've seen her garden and she has no weeds! (01/31/2009)
By Dena J.
I don't know what the other person did that they had bad results with Round Up. Maybe they watered too soon after using it. You need to wait 48hrs after using it, also it needs to be at least 78 degrees for it to work. I use it all the time. I like it cause it doesn't hurt the ground or birds and bees after it hits the ground. I have also heard that pouring boiling water on the weeds works. I tried it once and it didn't seem to help. (02/03/2009)
By C T
Rock salt can destroy a lot more than you plan on ridding yourself of. Check out my MN yard. If you are set on that, go buy solar water softener salt. Comes crushed in some brands.
I swear by the vinegar. Straight from the jug to the spray bottle. If you have rain, have to do treatment again. And you can control where you spray. This is the most earth friendly I can come up with. (02/03/2009)
They do make weed torches. They are light and easy to use. They are not pricey either. (02/04/2009)
I have a 20'x40' dog pen that I de-weed monthly. I use 1 gal vinegar [store brand], a 'healthy' squirt of any lemon dish soap, and and half cup table salt. The vinegar burns the part of the weed below the surface, the salt gets what the vinegar doesn't and the soap is for absorption by the plant of the entire mixture. Have used it for years with great success.
The dogs' "presents" act as fertilizer for the weeds, but this recipe lets me have to treat the pen only monthly or 5-6 weeks. (02/04/2009)
I use a granular product called Noxall, it works for a year. I love the flaming torch, it's fun to go around making little weeds droop and die. You could put down thick (one inch) newspaper and have carpet or gravel over that for a longtime no-chemical solution. Carpet lasts for years with a barrier underneath it. Check the dumpster behind a carpet store regularly and they'll thank you to take it away. (02/05/2009)
You can use boiling hot water, whether you cooked your brussel sprouts in it or not. It will kill the weed. It will also loosen the roots enough so you can pull it out the following day. If you make yourself tea from a kettle, you can empty the remainder onto a specific weed to try it out. Can't hurt and it's practically free. (02/06/2009)