And by Free I mean free of guilt, free of poison, and free of controversy.
This dawned on me quite a while ago and I only began to test this out in a serious manner earlier this summer (here in the US).
I have a driveway and off street parking area. It used to be gravel, until the weeds found it and began to have their way with my gravel. I tried pulling them. Too many, I was overwhelmed in no time. I tried salt. I tried black tarps. I tried propane torches which though somewhat effective, were noisy, scared the neighbors, wasn't inexpensive and still the weeds returned in a week or two. Fact is I had to heat the dirt to kill the weeds. Besides being hot work it took forever and seemed to yield little in the way of success. Commercially available herbicide has too many downsides for me. Price is one thing, effectiveness is another as sooner or later the weeds are coming back. Then there is the "poison laying on the weeds thing" I have dogs, I have a family, we like bare feet. I don't want any un-intentional exposure to any of us.
I also think that there should be a cheaper, safer, cleaner, less environmentally costly way to kill weeds.
I found it in my home, in my faucet and on top of the stove. It's called boiling water. Don't misunderstand, this is serious business and can result in at least as much pain and suffering as roasting your leg with the propane torch so if you think this isn't a manly way to kill weeds please, reconsider your thinking.
Which brings me to-
Boiling water is 212 degrees (+, - depending on your altitude) It will raise blisters and make your life a hell if you are careless with it. If you have never had an unintentional burn ( some pay to be branded but that's far different) consider yourself lucky. There are days of agony ahead of you if you make a mistake with boiling water. Your burn can be painful just being exposed to the air. You MUST WEAR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR. It is up to you what you consider personal protective gear. I consider heavy boots, stout, full length jeans, a sleeved shirt, heavy gloves and safety glasses to be a minimum to work with water that is 212 degrees. With what I'm doing, I also use pot holders.
IF you do not possess a graceful walk and have difficulty NOT spilling a cup of coffee while walking either read and tell someone else about this or do not attempt this.
ONLY YOU can full assess your abilities as I am not there with you therefore I will not be held responsible for your injury or damages you may cause. Because of the inherent dangers of boiling water I recommend that only persons that have reached the age of majority attempt this. AND DON'T FORGET THE ROARING HOT STOVE. Did I forget anything? Like getting run over in the drive way?
#1) Fill pot with water. fill it as full as you feel comfortable carrying the distance to the weeds. I use a 5qt pot and fill it 3/4 full. I live on the second floor and have stairs to negotiate-I've also worked in restaurants for years so I'm comfortable with carrying heated water. Heat the water to a full rolling boil. Not steaming but a full-on boil.
#2) Shut off the stove then, using the pot holders and wearing you PPG, remove the pot from the stove and bring it safely to the area of weeds you would like to eradicate.
#) Put the pot on the ground and TIP it to pour the water out. Flood the weeds. Don't fling the water it cools off in the flight and isn't anywhere near hot enough to get the job done.
If you cook, you will notice the weeds develop a beautiful vibrant green, similar to any greens you may have steamed for a meal.
Sadly the weeds don't melt with the application of water. You have to pull their brown lifeless stalks from the ground and mulch them which you can do because they don't have a residue of herbicide on/in them
Enjoy your new weed free area - sure it's on the small side, do it again, in fact do it several times and or move to different areas. Compare the price of a heated pot of water to a container of your (formerly) favorite herbicide and applicator device. It's amazing how much boiling water you can buy for $26.97.
Enhancements - I recommend that you do this procedure at the hottest time of day. That way you aren't getting the weeds warm and then trying to cook them. Soil or concrete is a wonderful insulator from heat so you will likely have better performance on/in an area of thinner / harder soil.
This can have results in as little as 2 hours. I've applied the boiling water and noticed that the weeds were brown in a relatively short time. ie reading my email then "HEY! Lookit that!!" sort of thing. I've also had to "treat" a weed patch a couple of times to make it work the way I'd like. NOTICE- this is not a surgical procedure - don't do this near your Tuberous Begonia or any other desirable plant. You'll likely cook the Hosta and leave the weeds (ask yourself, "How does he know this?")
One final note- the images out doors were taken using cool water. When you go to pour the water out you will hold the pot using the handles on the sides and your PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR
As an aside- Instructables is acting a bit wonky for me. I'd like to be sure the images display properly as I've put quite a bit of effort into them but, we'll have to see how it turns out- sort of tired of this issue.
I suppose that's about it. Be Careful please. Enjoy your freedom from commercially available herbicide and. . . say look at that. There's a black helicopter outside my window with Monsa . . . **LOST CARRIER**