Weeds are plants which grow rapidly, often competing with plants and flowers that you would like to grow in your garden. are so successful because they are able to quickly get established on the minimum of soil, including in poor soil quality. Additionally, they can often germinate at very low temperatures, and this means that as the winter months give way to spring, the weed will have what can only be called an unfair advantage over the other plants you would like to grow.
A weed is defined as a plant which grows where you don’t want it. This includes daisies and dandelions, which are often found growing in poorly kept lawns, and thistles and nettles which tend to settle more at the edges of borders and in shady areas. There are also nasty weeds such as Japanese knotweed and bindweed which can be incredibly pervasive in some gardens.
But, had you considered that even grass can be classed as a weed, if it is not growing where you want it? Grass is often one of the first plants to take hold when there are cracks in tarmac or paved drives, and it is also often found along the edge where a house meets the ground. If it is not treated quickly, the grass provides a route for water to enter between the sides of the crack and then, when the winter months come, the water can expand. This expansion can be quite dramatic and will, over time, cause larger and larger cracks in what was once a smooth and beautiful driveway.
Treatment of weeds, as early as possible, is essential to prevent damage and further weed growth over time. Many harsh chemicals exist to treat weeds, including systemic weed killers which will not only kill off the above-ground growth, but will actually kill the root system of the weeds too. When treating a large area, it is vital that you use protective coverings on your body, and also that you protect any surrounding lawn or border areas so that you only kill the weeds.
If you do not yet have too many weeds growing on your drive area or at the edges of your home, it may be worth considering other things that can be done, before turning to commercial weed killers. One way to remove weeds is to make their growing environment too difficult. This is hard to do on a lawn or border because you will want to grow your own plants in that area in the future, but on a drive or by a wall you do not have this restraint. A natural way to prevent weeds growing is to use common household salt. Salt is of course widely available and cheap. It is additionally not harmful to wildlife and will not cause any discoloration of your brickwork or drive.
To use salt, you can either apply one tablespoon of salt to each weed when it appears, or when the rain has gone for a while and the sun is out, you can liberally sprinkle salt over a wide area so that the soil is much more saline than normal. As weeds try to settle, they will find it much harder to grow at all.
There is definitely a place for commercial weed killer. When you are suffering from pervasive weeds such as bindweed and Japanese knotweed, nothing else can help. But if you are just trying to keep the edges of your house, and your driveway clear of grass, and other common weeds, then you could try salt to see how it helps.