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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - May 26, 2010

From: Hamilton Co., TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests
Title: Use of saltwater to kill weeds in gravel in Hamilton Co. TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I want to get rid of weeds and grasses in our gravel driveway and parking areas. Which would be less harmful to the adjacent native plants and trees: saltwater or herbicide?

ANSWER:

From what we have been able to find, both could be equally damaging to surrounding plants, including to the roots of plants that may be under your gravel driveway.This article from Garden Guide.com Salt Water as a Weed Killer lays out the facts better than we could. Of course, our usual recommendation, which is the lowest risk to the environment, is to pull the darn things out. This may be pretty daunting at first, depending on the size of the area you have to deal with, but many weeds are annuals. If you start when they first start to peek out in the Spring, and stay with it, they will at least be diminished. The main thing to do is not to allow any weed to go to seed. If you can't pull a weed out right away, at least cut the blooms off  before they go to seed. There will be seeds from other places that will be blown in or delivered by birds, so you will never be without weeds. 

 

 

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