Weed ‘em and reap: weed control for lawns, patio pavers and driveway

Weeds are a nuisance for more than just our lawns, and many homeowners and renters will know this. Weeds pop up in houseplants, planting beds, ponds, patio pavers and even the cracks in your concrete driveways! When it comes to weed control for lawns, driveways and everything in between, this blog post is going to discuss it all! Let’s get the dirt on weed control for your entire home.

A close-up picture of chickweed growing in a garden

Breaking down the biology of weeds

Understanding some of the biology of weeds and their life cycles is essential for dealing with weeds in any landscape.

Annual weeds

These types of weeds grow for one season. By producing seeds, they can reproduce the following year. 

The seeds of winter annuals like chickweed are produced the following spring after germination in the autumn. Crabgrass and other summer annual weeds germinate in the spring as soil temperatures rise and produce seeds in the late summer or early autumn before any frost arrives.

Annual weeds to look out for:

  • Common Dubbeltjie
  • Common Morning Glory
  • Fleabane (Flaxleaf Fleabane)
  • Khaki Bur Weed
  • Mexican Poppy
  • Thorn Apple
  • Common Purslane
  • Crabgrass
  • Chickweed

Biennial weeds

Weeds that are biennial typically germinate and grow for a year in a rosette. A rosette weed grows a circular arrangement of leaves.

The seeds germinate in the spring or summer and produce root systems and rosettes of leaves in their first year. Some biennial weeds can also behave as annuals, completing their life cycle in only one growing season.

Biennial weeds to look out for:

  • Wild carrot
  • Wild parsnip
  • Musk thistle

Perennial weeds

Perennial weeds live for more than two years. 

They have vegetative reproductive parts in addition to seeds, which is how they reproduce. These include taproots, bulbs, tubers, nutlets, rhizomes (underground stems), stolons (aboveground reproductive stems), and tubers. 

Perennial weeds to look out for:

  • Canada thistle
  • Dandelion
  • Yellow nutsedge
  • Creeping Sorrel/ Oxalis
  • Paspalum

Be wary of these perennial weeds. They come back year after year, getting more difficult to control each time. 

Efekto’s 7 rules to keep your home and garden weed-free

a plant pot filled with cleaned gardening tools
  1. Never let them seed. These uninvited garden plants need to be removed or treated when they are still young. Once they seed, your weed problem will spread like wildfire.
  2. Inspect your garden regularly. Not only is it great for your body and mind to get outdoors, but spending some extra time inspecting your garden (or patio, driveway or vertical garden) will allow you to spot any pesky weeds that have popped up overnight. 
  3. Clean your gardening tools. When you move from one area of your garden to another, it’s important you clean your garden shears, loppers, spades, rakes and forks. 
  4. Mow your lawn regularly. This will keep any lawn weeds from producing seeds. 
  5. Only buy weed-free mulch, soil and compost from your garden centres. Materials from garden centres may contain weeds, which is something we often forget to look out for.
  6. Having said that, mulch is a great idea! Mulch blocks sunlight, which makes weed seeds harder to push through.
  7. Don’t water your entire garden or you’ll just be watering your weeds! Water just around your plants.

You may also be interested in: A beginner’s guide to garden weed control.

Weed control for lawns

Curating and maintaining a beautiful and lush lawn is usually at the top of any gardener’s list when they have a large garden to look after. 

If you spot broadleaf weeds in a newly planted lawn, your best bet is to use Efekto Banweed MCPA. Remember, newly seeded lawns should be mowed 2-4 times before treatment.

Spray weeds on an established lawn with Efekto Hormoban APM. This product kills annual broadleaf weeds that have invaded your lawn, without harming your beautiful grass. Read the label to make sure your weeds are listed.

Weed control for lawns is not limited to only large areas with many weeds. If you notice a small lawn area filled up with weeds, treat this area with Efekto No Weed Lawn RTU. Efekto No Weed Lawn Ready-To-Use formulation is a good choice for spot treatment of the occasional lawn weed.

And for those tough broadleaved weeds in your lawn, opt for a powerful selective weedkiller, such as Efekto Turfweeder 457.5 SL. It works on broadleaved weeds like clover, dandelion and creeping sorrel.

A gardener wearing gumboots and crouching down to use a gardening fork and spade in a planting bed

Weed control for brick patios, sidewalks, and driveways

Unsightly and annoying, weeds can be found in the tiniest cracks of your driveways, in between the bricks of your patios and even coming through the cracks on your outdoor stairs.

For weed control in gravelled areas in the garden, driveways and footpaths, use Clear Up Weed and Grass Killer or Efekto No Weed Paving RTU. These are non-selective weed killers, and work to kill existing weeds and grasses, right down to their roots. 

The materials can be applied directly to the cracks where weeds are growing. Do not walk on areas treated with these herbicides until the spray dries.

Follow these tips to keep your paved spaces looking their best.

NOTE: Always read and follow herbicide directions carefully.

A garden pathway free of weeds pictured as a young girl walks through the garden

Safety information to remember

  • Don’t apply any weed treatments during windy conditions. Products could drift onto other plants.
  • Spray when the weeds have enough leaf area to absorb the weed killer for the best results. The weeds can be controlled with a light spray; heavy spraying would be wasteful. 
  • Apply when the soil is moist and the weeds are actively growing.
  • For weeds that are well-established or challenging to control, re-treatment may be required. 
  • It is advised to apply a nitrogenous fertiliser two to three weeks before applying a weedkiller.
  • Allow the product to dry before allowing pets and children back into the area.
  • Use weed-killing products responsibly. Before using a product, always read the label and the instructions.

Garden weed control FAQs 

Is pulling weeds a waste of time?

Many articles may tell you that the best form of weed control for lawns, driveways and pavers is to pull weeds. However, pulling weeds is strenuous, time-consuming and back-breaking work. Pulling weeds can cause painful back injuries, too! Efekto’s herbicides were formulated to make your gardening life easier. 

What type of weeds are the most difficult to get rid of?

The most difficult to manage are perennial weeds. They spread by seed and creeping roots, and if the entire root is not removed, the plant can reproduce from every piece of root left behind. Perennial weeds with deep, difficult-to-remove taproots will cause comparable difficulties.

creeping yellow sorrel weed pictured in the cracks of paving

Still feeling lost in the weeds? 

If your brain is abuzz with all of this information, and you’re not quite sure where to start, Efekto’s experts are readily available for you to chat with over WhatsApp about all of your gardening and home protection needs. 

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