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Keeping Your Paving Free of Moss and Weeds

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However you have your paving arranged, it's the one spot in the garden that's clear, simple and neat, providing an easy way to get around without trampling on the lawn or your prized plants. Unfortunately, it doesn't always stay that way.

It's not too difficult to stop grass from growing across paving, but weeds and moss? That's another story. Sometimes it seems like various undesirable plants spring up in all the gaps overnight, and a thick mossy covering can appear out of nowhere.

While there are numerous products on the market for dealing with these types of problems, not all gardeners want to drench their paving with an unknown mix of strong chemicals; for one, you could inadvertently damage the plants you actually want. Luckily, there are some more natural ways to get rid of unwanted growth and keep it at bay while you're at it.

Recognise your paving materials

Check what you're dealing with and try to assess how porous your paving is. This can make all the difference with moss, in particular; the more porous a paver, the more it makes a great growing medium for moss. If you do have very porous stones and you don't want to replace them, take extra care when watering around them.

Check what's between the gaps

First of all, narrower gaps between paving stones are better, but you might find it hard to adjust them if they're already in place. Sand that contains sodium silicate is excellent as a filling material, stopping weeds from growing and helping those joints clear.

Get brushing

If you have a problem with mossy pavers, brushing with a stiff broom should be enough to remove the growth. You might have to scrub at it a bit, but it shouldn't be too difficult. Regular brushing, while it's clear, helps prevent it from growing back.

Mix up your own weedkiller

As an alternative to shop-bought weedkillers, a little bit of bleach mixed into some lukewarm water works well. This should clear moss and other weeds, but be careful where you apply it, as it can damage other plants.

If you prefer to avoid chemicals, a half-and-half solution of water and white vinegar has a milder weed-killing effect and inhibits moss growth on stone.

Keep it bright and dry

The perfect conditions for moss are dark and damp, so increasing sunlight and reducing moisture can work wonders. This might mean trimming back some trees or shrubs and adjusting sprinklers—whatever you can do to brighten and dry out the area.