I was reading over here that salt can be used to control weeds in paved areas?
- Is salt an effective way to kill all (or most) plant types?
- Is it a permanent solution?
- Will using salt affect ground water (I have a bore) and nearby gardens?
Yes, salt will kill plants. In theory, if you use enough of it in the soil, it will kill a tree.
Regarding whether its permanent, no, its not. If you saturate open ground with salt, everything dies, and, by and large, nothing grows for some months, even years. In your case, you want to know whether it works permanently when its been applied to paving. No, is the answer, it will wash through eventually, so you will need to re apply.
Yes, using lots of salt to kill weeds will affect ground water, although how much its affected depends entirely on how much you use and how often. A small amount occasionally is unlikely to cause much harm.
But there is one other factor to consider - salt damages concrete and other paving materials. Damage occurs from the use of salt/grit mixes on concrete or paved surfaces as a de-icing solution - it's more likely to occur when used neat on paving, even if you're trying to only get it in the cracks. It is toxic to plants and other forms of life within the soil, and the risk of run off onto planted areas when it rains should also be considered.
Personally, I would not recommend it. The use of salt as a weedkiller because it's believed to be 'organic' and less toxic than a commercially available tailored-for-purpose path weedkiller is erroneous - salt, used frequently, is much more toxic in comparison to one or two applications of path herbicide a year, assuming the herbicide is intended for amateur garden use rather than professional agriculture.
I have been using salt to control my neighbor's bamboo for 5 years now. He planted a 200 foot line of bamboo with no intention of controlling it. I had to trench my own yard for 200+ feet and lay in a barrier 3 feet off the property line. (After I removed over 100 feet of roots destroying my yard). Then to keep the plants from filling in from the barrier to the property line I place 800-1000 pounds of salt once to twice a year along the area. Any bamboo that crosses the property line not only stops but it kills the offending plants. Thankfully after 5 years of doing this, the bamboo is more intent to grow towards his pool and house instead of filling up my yard.
The reason I went with salt is because other toxins are too expensive, dangerous to kids and I cannot legally spray any of his plants. This leaves me with constant vigilance for new plants which takes much of my time and doesn't cure the problem or creating the "no plants land" 3 feet wide by 200 feet long and salting it. Any offending plant ends up committing suicide and I never touch his property or plants.
I used to have a lot of weeds in my brick driveway and the graveled border around my house. I used to spend a fortune every year treating this with general high street brands.
I then discovered using cooking salt as a weed killer.
I spread it around neat 3 times a year (spring, summer,and autumn) which is much quicker than using a spray bottle amazingly this year I have had no weeds at all.
It's the best and cheapest weed killer I have used and hopefully it has killed them permanently.
I have a small strip of brick paving approximately 40 feet by 4 feet. Weeds and grass grow in the crevices of some of the bricks. I use very hot water to kill weeds early in the growing season. I drag the portable grill to the strip of paving, and start the coals. I then put a coffee can filled with water and cotton rags or old hand towels on the grill. I heat the water until it gets to 180 degrees (it doesn't need to be boiling to be effective). I use extra long (21") BBQ tongs to lift the hot rags from the water. I carefully place the rags on top of the crevices where the weeds are poking through.
I wear long pants and boots when doing this as it would be easy to drop a hot rag on your foot or bare leg.
I have done this for several years, and I have not noticed any spalling of the bricks where the hot rags have been placed. Of course, if spalling has already started on the bricks, you will want to test first to see if the hot water worsens the situation.
If the area where you are treating is close to a plant whose roots might be growing beneath the brick pavers (for example, small shrubs or trees growing nearby), then I would put down flattened cardboard boxes on the paving to smother the weeds. This will take longer, and you will need to place stones, boards or bricks over the cardboard to prevent it from moving out of place when the wind blows.