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Cucumbers, tomatoes, courgettes, beans and many other types of vegetables, as well as strawberries and sweet fruit in general, have grown splendidly this summer and brought in plentiful yields, albeit with regional differences. However, garden owners were also kept in check by weeds just as lavishly, because in many places there has been veritable greenhouse weather in recent weeks. There are many ways to make the proverbial life difficult for the weeds, the most effective but also the most physically demanding is and remains the manual method of plucking by hand, as long as the garden areas are manageable in size.

Burning weeds is one way to get rid of weeds easily

However, today we are not going to explain to you how you can get your beds weed-free as quickly as possible, but we want to get to the bottom of the pesky little plants between the paving stones, paving stones and concrete joints.

Weed fleece as a mechanical barrier to growth

Garden owners have little or no trouble with dandelions, piglet weed, creeping couch grass, etc., when laying out their garden paths or the quiet zone with barbecue area, which is painstakingly paved with mosaic stones, if the most energy-saving weed control was already considered before construction. The right laying technique, suitable materials and the targeted introduction of barrier layers can already have a great effect as a preventive measure and make it difficult for weeds to settle. The use of non-rotting and frost-resistant weed fleece (€21.70), which is commercially available as rolled goods or in the form of pre-made tarpaulins, has proven particularly effective. When purchasing polyester webs, the following criteria should be considered:

  • Material thickness at least 150g/m2;
  • High light tightness and water permeability;
  • tear strength;
  • As dark as possible to ensure light deprivation;
  • Free from chemical binders.

Sealing the joints with synthetic resin

The formation of weeds is all the more favoured, the more irregular the joint pattern is after laying paving slabs or the very popular quarry stone slabs made of natural stone. Wide gaps promote growth considerably, and if the accumulating moisture is added to this, the uncontrolled growth of weeds can hardly be controlled. Paving joint mortar can be used to seal concrete and natural stone paving, but also clinker paving, quickly, permanently and very inexpensively against all types of weeds that grow back. They are self-compacting, have a high abrasion resistance, withstand de-icing salts and frost and also reduce the risk of accidents caused by protruding edges of the pavement.

Salt & Vinegar- (not) a home remedy for unwanted green!?

Neither of the two notorious home remedies will curb weed growth in the long term, and certainly not without negative effects on neighboring plantings. In addition, according to the interpretation of the Plant Protection Act, vinegar-salt solutions are prohibited in the garden or not, as the Oldenburg Higher Regional Court recently decided. Nevertheless, it should be noted:

  • Salt: cannot be mined on sealed surfaces such as driveways, terraces and paths, gets into the groundwater and makes things difficult for the waterworks.
  • Vinegar: Depending on the concentration of the vinegar solution, the cell membranes of other plants in the area are severely affected, so the use of this home remedy is considered questionable.

Total attack on weeds with weed flamers

And the flamethrowers or, to put it more appropriately, the weed burners are all the rage and do a great job with their 1,000-degree gas flame. Available in various sizes, as gas cylinders or small cartridge devices, they work with a propane-air mixture and fight weeds down to the roots. Important to know: it does not have to be held on until the plants burn. A short and bold swing of the lance at the target object is enough, as the cell walls required for growth are already completely destroyed, including the existing seeds, so that your weeds will die within a few days. You can make relatively quick progress in combating relatively young plants, where the risk of new weeds growing back is very low. You can get relatively simple and, because of their design, also very light weed burners in specialist shops for less than 20.00 euros. Important when flaming: The devices should only be operated when the weather is as windless as possible, since the risk of fire is quite high, especially if there are dry leaves or grass clippings in the immediate vicinity.

Combat weeds with high-pressure technology and hot water

Although this environmentally friendly method is still relatively unknown, the hot water technique is winning over more and more garden owners. The reasons are obvious:

  • Efficient and time-saving weed control;
  • No chemicals needed, the hot water just soaks into the sand;
  • Very precise work possible, neighboring plants are not affected;
  • Floor coverings (natural stone, clinker, etc.) are also cleaned at the same time;
  • Low noise pollution with user-friendly workflows;
  • Lasting effect due to the 98°C hot water;

The principle of action of thermal weed control

Basically, the biological properties of plants are used, that their protein molecules are slowly but surely broken down at a temperature of 42 degrees Celsius. Garden owners are familiar with this when the lawn or certain vegetable crops begin to turn brown during the midsummer weather. Hot water also has the advantage that it can penetrate to the roots because it has high thermal conductivity. Nevertheless, success in removing weeds with hot water does not come immediately. With this technology, three to four applications are required in the first year before the plants die off completely. After that, the amount of work is reduced by about half.

Equipment for the private user

Whilst the local authorities began several years ago to use the hot water steam technology on a large scale and mounted on special vehicles, garden owners who are concerned about cleanliness have to be content with smaller devices. Market leader Kärcher has brought system solutions of different sizes onto the market, which are also suitable for private users. The Batavia steam cleaners, which are available for around 150.00 euros, are significantly cheaper but no less efficient.

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