I've got a rock area around the back of my house that is getting overrun by weeds. The reason the weeds are able to grow there is because the weed barrier has shifted some so there are gaps between some of the sheets, there are holes in it, and some soil has settled on top of the barrier and underneath the rocks. I'm thinking that I'd like to replace the weed barrier to ultimately keep this under control, but I'd like to kill off any weeds that are there first before moving the rock and laying the barrier.

I've tried using Round-Up, but the weeds will usually come back within a few weeks. I've also tried to pull them to keep them under control, but that's getting tiring. I was thinking, since nothing is supposed to be growing there anyways, what if I just bake them out? How would I go about doing this and what supplies should I pick up for this?

  • take a look at this question. I think you may especially be interested in this answer. Please let me know if you want me to expand on "Solarization of the Soil" or another method I used this year on a 50ft x 30ft area in my back garden.
    – Mike Perry
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 16:33
  • 2
    @Joel: I'm not sure you'll get good answers without identifying what you have for weeds. Control techniques against creeping perennial weeds will be different than those used against grassy annuals. (E.g. trying to bake out blackberries seems like a pointless exercise, but you might have luck against something less aggressive like burdock.)
    – bstpierre
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 18:01
  • @Mike Perry Thanks, that second link was what I was thinking about. I heard about it and assumed that it could be done relatively quickly, but it sounds like it's a more intense process than that.
    – Joel
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 19:59
  • @bstpierre I'll try to get some photos tonight of the area and some close up of the weeds to help identify them.
    – Joel
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 19:59
  • @Joel, it isn't a quick fix, but if done properly the results can be impressive. Tell the truth there really isn't a quick fix if you want an area to remain "weed free". Let me know if you want me to go through the method I used this year on a 50ft x 30ft area in my back garden.
    – Mike Perry
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


It all depends on the kind of weeds. Annual weeds like dandelions can be baked out as Mike Perry describes. Crown vetch seems to be far harder to remove and horsetails or equisetum are impossible to remove.
For annual weeds and perennial weeds of some types I recommend pool liner. Whatever thickness you can get, just lay it down on the surface and cover with a mulch. Leave for a few years and some of your problems are gone.

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