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10 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds in Gravel Landscaping

Weeds sprout up on the garden or gravel unexpectedly, and not only do they make the landscape look ugly, but they are also annoying to remove. 

The ones that grow on gravel landscaping grow between the gravels, making them harder to remove even with chemicals. 

There are a variety of common gravel weeds, including grassy species like henbit and purslane and woody species such as broadleaf weeds or dandelions. 

Nonetheless, these weeds can be cleared using natural rock salt and vinegar. Here are the ten natural ways to kill weeds in gravel driveways without further ado. 

1. Hand-Pulling the Weed

Hand-pulling is a good and natural way to eliminate weeds.
Hand-pulling is a good and natural way to eliminate weeds. Image: canva/barbara

The first and easiest approach to naturally killing weeds is to pull them with your hands. This is an effective way to eliminate weeds in a gravel driveway, especially if it is just a small patch. 

You should try this method by wearing protective gloves and ensuring you pull with the roots. 

To do this, grab the plant from the lowest point possible on the soil level and slowly but firmly pull the weed until it loosens from the soil. 

If the weed breaks, use a garden tool such as a spade and dig out the roots and remnants. 

2. Sprinkle Rock Salt on the Weed

Sprinkle rock salt to dry out the weeds.
Sprinkle rock salt to dry out the weeds. Image: canva/jldeines

Using rock salt to kill weeds in gravel driveways is one of the most natural and effective home remedies. 

All you have to do is sprinkle a handful of rock salt on the driveway in the weed-infested area and wait a couple of days for results. 

Salt kills weeds by drying them. It inhibits roots from receiving moisture, making it harder for the weeds to grow. 

However, be careful about how much rock salt you use and where you spray it, as this may cause collateral damage to your lawn. 

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3. Spray Vinegar Solution on the Weeds

Vinegar and dish soap are among the oldest and most effective natural methods of killing weeds in gravel.

It is also an eco-friendly approach to kill weeds permanently and naturally on a gravel landscape.

The procedure involves mixing four and a half liters of vinegar and an ounce of dish soap to form a DIY vinegar-soap solution. 

Next, spray it on the weeds and the gravel landscaping, ensuring they are fully covered. For best results, try this method in non-rainy weather so it doesn’t clear the solution or accidentally seep into your lawn. 

4. Sprinkle Baking Soda on the Gravel’s Cracks

Sprinkle baking soda along the cracks several times to kill the weeds. Image: flickr/lighttherapy

Baking soda is one of the most common and simplest kitchen ingredients that serves most household purposes. 

It is used as a cleaning agent, weed killer, and odor absorbent. It is popularly known as one of the weed-killer solutions, killing weeds that grow on gravel driveways or landscaping cracks. 

It can be used by sprinkling it along the crack where the weeds are growing. You can use a small broom or deck brush to sweep the baking soda in the cracks.

The process must be repeated several times for effectiveness or when it rains because it may dilute the soda. 

5. Install a Landscape Fabric on the Gravel Driveway

A landscape fabric dries out the weeds and prevents further growth.
A landscape fabric dries out the weeds and prevents further growth. Image: canva/bwfolsom

If the weed plants are stubborn after several trials, the best solution is to install a landscape fabric or an artificial grass lawn on the gravel walkway.

It is best to use a weed-blocking landscape fabric during the installation process. 

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By installing a landscape fabric, you can significantly reduce the time spent on pulling weeds in the future. 

Furthermore, installing a landscape fabric under wood chips or gravel landscaping can kill or prevent weeds from growing. 

6. Pour Boiling Water on the Weeds

Pour boiling water on the weeds several times to eliminate them. Image: X/bbcgardeners

Dowsing the weed plants with boiling water is one of the most straightforward and natural ways to kill weeds in gravel. Moreover, it’s a free DIY method with readily available materials. 

The method involves pouring boiling water directly on the weeds growing in the gravel landscaping. It is effective only if you do this multiple times, especially if the weeds have deep tap roots. 

The weeds will eventually die and not grow back. Don’t pour boiling water on the lawn or plants, as it may kill them, too. 

7. Mulching the Weed-Infested Area

Mulch blocks moisture and sunlight from reaching the weeds hence killing them.
Mulch blocks moisture and sunlight from reaching the weeds, hence killing them. Image: canva/sdominick

Mulching protects the soil and inhibits the growth of unwanted weeds. It is a natural method of killing weeds and is also fast, unlike hand-pulling. 

To do this, apply a thick layer of mulch on the gravel or a larger patch if you are working on bare dirt. 

The mulch forms a barrier that keeps the weed seeds and moisture from reaching the soil to germinate. Additionally, it blocks sunlight from those seeds that do reach the soil. 

Knowing the difference between mulch and compost is important when trying this method since compost will give your weed more nutrients and encourage their growth.

We wrote a guide for eliminating weeds in mulch, which will be helpful if you notice a couple some weeds growing through mulch.

8. Use of Rubbing Alcohol or Vodka

While it may sound peculiar, vodka is another foolproof way to eliminate weeds in a gravel driveway.

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Create a DIY weed killer using one cup of vodka and two cups of water in a spray bottle and shake until it mixes evenly. Add two drops of liquid soap and shake well to make a fully effective weed killer. 

Next, spray the solution directly onto the leaves on a sunny day, especially in the afternoon, and they will gradually wither away. 

Vodka dehydrates weeds, drying them out. This method works even quicker in the scorching sun, as it dries the weeds even more.

If you don’t have vodka, you can alternatively use rubbing alcohol, which will have the same effect on the weeds. 

9. Flaming the Weeds Using a Weed Burner

Use a weed burner to kill the weeds
Using a weed burner to eliminate weeds on a driveway.

Using weed burners, alias weed torches, is one of the most effective natural ways to kill weeds in gravel.

It is similar to a flamethrower that burns the whole weed to the roots, thus an effective way to prevent them completely from growing again. 

The only drawback of using this technique is that if your gravel pebbles are light-colored, burning them may change their color and make them look unpleasant. 

Be careful not to burn other plants or grass on your lawn, pets, or feet. 

10. Using Cornmeal to Prevent Weed Germination

To prevent weeds from growing or germinating, you can use cornmeal, a common ingredient in the kitchen. 

Cornmeal inhibits the growth and germination of weeds; only use this method in areas with unwanted weeds. 

Try to evenly distribute the cornmeal in the area where you want to get rid of the unwanted plants. 

Next, lightly sprinkle some water on the ground to activate the oils that will kill the weeds. Do this after every five to six weeks until all the weeds are dead. 

The cornmeal method does not affect fully grown and established plants; thus, it is safe for use on gravel, garden, or flower beds with established plants.  

Now that you’ve successfully removed the weeds, it is time to prevent more weeds from growing through gravel. In this detailed guide, we’ll show you the procedure and tools.

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