Even through rock mulch and gravel, weeds will somehow find a way to grow. Luckily for you, these can be handled like weeds in any other part of your garden. You can spray a chemical killer, pull them by hand, or use a variety of household materials to help keep your yard free of these plant pests.
Method One of Three:
Spraying Chemical Weed KillersEdit
1Purchase liquid spray rather than granules. Granular herbicides usually cover a wider area than desired, especially if there are other plants in the area. Purchase a liquid spray weed killer to easily spot treat for weeds.
- Liquid sprays are available as an all-in-one product or in a concentrated form to be mixed with water. Either product will work in this instance.
2Select the killer depending on which weeds are present. Specific weeds will react differently depending on the product that you choose. Some weed killers will only target specific styles of plants, so determine which types are present in your rock beds.
- Broadleaf weeds, like dandelions and ragweed, can be targeted separately with a broadleaf killer without damaging any other grasses.
- Grassy weed killer will target Bermudagrass and others, but it is not selective and will your lawn if it comes into contact with it.
- Sedge weed killers will help take care of crabgrass and is specific to this type of weed. Most plants like this form from bulbs, so it may take multiple sprays to fully remove them.
- Non-selective sprays will kill everything they are applied to. This will also include plants that you have planted and your lawn, so use non-selective spray sparingly.
3Cover up with clothing to protect your skin. Cover as much skin as possible before using weed killer. Wear closed-toe shoes, long pants, and sleeves. Use eye protection, like glasses, sunglasses, or goggles. Don't forget the garden gloves!
- To make sure you are using the weed killer safely, always read the label before you begin.
4Spray on a dry day when rain is not expected. Typically, late summer or early autumn is the best time to spray as the weather is fairly consistent. Check the weather to be sure it will not rain within 6 hours of you spraying.
- If you want a weed-free garden all summer, spray in the late spring or early summer instead. It will also reduce weeds before they grow out of control.
5Pour 10 milliliters of weed killer per 1 liter of water into a sprayer. If using an herbicide concentration, mix 10 mL of the solution per 1 liter of water. Mix the solution well by swishing it in the sprayer.
- Always follow the label instructions closely to determine how much concentrate to add.
6Apply the liquid to the weeds with the sprayer. Thoroughly spray the weeds you are targeting until the leaves are completely wet. The weed killer will penetrate through the leaves deeper into the plant.
- While some weeds may die within hours, some may take a few days to fully die.
7Respray the weeds in one week if they are still alive. Some weeds are resilient and will need to be sprayed multiple times before they completely die.Advertisement
Method Two of Three:
Pulling Weeds by HandEdit
1Water the weeds to loosen the root system. If the entirety of the root system isn’t removed, it’s possible that the weeds will regrow and return. Wait one or two days after you water or after it rains heavily so the soil has time to soak.
- Pulling weeds from wet soil will disturb surrounding plants less than dry soil.
2Wear knee pads and gloves to protect your body. Instead of kneeling on hard ground or rocks, wear knee pads to prevent soreness and stiffness later. Gloves will help stop any skin irritation and can also prevent blisters from long days of pulling weeds.
3Loosen weeds with a soil knife or garden fork. This will make the weeds easier to pull up. Use the tool to dig around in the soil around the weeds. This can also help you dig up more established weeds.
4Grab and pull weeds individually rather than in clumps. If you grab the weeds in handfuls, you may not pull out the taproot, or the root that provides most of the weed’s water. While it is more tedious, to prevent weeds from growing back, pull them one at a time.
5Pull the weed from its base with an upward and twisting motion. This ensures that you grab the weed by the main root. Twisting the weed will help break off smaller roots and make it easier to pull out.Advertisement
Method Three of Three:
Using Household Materials as AlternativesEdit
1Pour boiling water on the weeds with a tea kettle for spot treatment. Bring water to a boil and pour it onto the weeds. To prevent splashing and to have more control of the stream, use a tea kettle.
- Ensure you only pour the water over the weeds, and not plants you wish to keep.
2Use vinegar to kill isolated weeds. If the weeds are near other plants, you can use distilled white vinegar in a garden sprayer to kill weeds. Make sure the vinegar has at least 5% acidity.
- Vinegar is not a selective herbicide, so it will also kill plants you wish to keep if they are sprayed.
3Spread rock salt on a rock path or driveway. Salt will absorb the moisture from the soil and effectively kill the weeds in the area. However, the salt will also affect the surrounding plants that you wish to keep, so use salt sparingly.
- Salt is a great way to kill weeds in the cracks between pavers and cement slabs as well.