Preventing weeds in cobbles

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Preventing weeds in cobbles

Postby gardenlaw » Mon Oct 17, 2005 10:41 pm

20 years ago we had a drive of stone cobbles/setts laid. A mixture of dry sand and cement was brushed into the joints. After a few years grass and weeds grew between the joints and now return each year. What is the best way to prevent them regrowing in future?
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Postby Beech » Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:01 am

:oops: weedkiller! We use a longlasting one on our gravel drive that seems to stop the grass growing. We use the same on an area of paving.
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Re: Preventing weeds in cobbles

Postby happygilmore » Mon Nov 07, 2005 1:50 pm

gardenlaw wrote:20 years ago we had a drive of stone cobbles/setts laid. A mixture of dry sand and cement was brushed into the joints. After a few years grass and weeds grew between the joints and now return each year. What is the best way to prevent them regrowing in future?

brushed dry sand and cement is a very poor way of sealing things for instance
1 it is too lose and needs compacting down
2 it takes the moisture out the air to set and in heavy rain washes away

it should have been a wet mix and applied like grout on floor tiles
what you need to do is chip away all the loose cement get a nice stiff mix of cement and re-grout it and wipe away excess with a wet sponge.

the mix 3 sand to 1 cement will do perfectly
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Postby Dorset Boy » Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:18 pm

gardenlaw.
Assuming you do not want vegetation on your drive then weedkiller is probably the best solution although if the drive is small and you are sufficiently enthusiastic you could remove it manually so avoiding pesticide use. Please bear in mind before application that some herbicides can travel in the soil or run off to adjacent soil zones which may be supporting desirable plants (commonly lawns) such herbicides are the residual types which promise to keep your path clear for several months. A safer option is a non-residual contact translocated herbicide such as any Glyphosate based product. These will work on existing vegetation only and kill totally if applied correctly.
Stop for a moment though and consider if nature is sending you a message. Perhaps you could spray out the exisiting weed and then introduce some desirable ground cover species, chamomile and Thymus are two that spring to mind both of which would grow in very small and fairly poor root zones and would soften the appearance of your drive. In addition, because you have cobbles, the planting would be in keeping with the look of the hard landscape material. this ground cover will not entirely suffocate any emerging weed but will significantly reduce the quantity and, with a bit of manual removal, you should get a totally different feel to your drive which would be complimented by any informal or cottage style planting you may have around the drive. Final big bonus is that the plants will take light foot traffic and produce nice smells when walked on.
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Postby nigelrb » Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:00 am

Now this may be seen as rather radical, but why not rip the lot up and concrete it?

Cobbles are no good anymore; massive legal liability should the postie twist an ankle on it, or worse still, you're stunning wife's stilletto heel gets caught in the groove. Kids can't play marbles or any decent games on there, can't ride a bike or trike and you sweep them and there's all the mess left in the cracks.

Mmmm . . . concrete, the 21st century answer to harmonious outdoor living.
Cheers, Nigel
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