Crunchy gravel drives and paths may sound good, but weeds can be a year-round problem. Even between paving slabs, perennial weeds and grasses can soon become a nuisance growing in the soil and sand below your path.
Hand weeding is time-consuming, digging ruins the surface and leaves behind pieces of perennial roots that can re-grow and lifting slabs is a mammoth task best avoided. On the other hand, just one weed killer application gets the job done conveniently and easily.
Lots of general purpose weed killers will kill the weeds and grasses that appear on gravel drives, paths and between the slabs of patios. Some weed killers contain glyphosate, a systemic weedkiller that slowly kills all weed growth including the roots. Glyphosate weedkillers can be used in most areas of the garden except the lawn and the treated areas can be re-seeded or planted as soon as the weedkiller has dried on the treated leaves.
Because seeds can germinate easily immediately after treatment these are not the most effective weed killers for use on gravel drives, paths and patios. What you need is a product that will kill existing weeds and prevent the germination of new seeds.
Check products carefully and look for path weedkillers which mention having long lasting results, when applied correctly some products will keep your paths weed free for around 3 months!
You can apply at any time from April to September, but the best time is in spring when the existing weeds are growing strongly and before too many new seeds have germinated.
As many of the weedkillers go in through the leaves, you need to apply on a day when rain is not expected. If rain falls shortly after application a further treatment may be needed.
The systemic effect of the weedkillers may be reduced if you try to remove the top growth before the weed has died back naturally. Allow a few weeks after treatment for the weed to be killed completely before removing the dead foliage, or just leave the weed to decompose naturally.
Imagine the product applied is in the form of an invisible blanket, so any gaps in the treated area may allow weeds to grow through. Also avoid raking over the treated areas as much as possible as this may break up the residual layer and seedlings may pop up.