Salt: Weed Warfare

I have a lovely patio, with perfect cracks between the stones for growing weeds.

The people who owned this house before us would use Round-Up to keep the weeds down. However, I don’t want poisons in my yard, where my children play and where we breathe in fumes (while spraying). Yes, I understand that the makers of these weed neurotoxins state that they are harmless to humans, and that they disintegrate after a few hours of exposure to sun/air. I also know that Round-Up is chemically very, very close to a human neurotoxin which destroyed the dopamine center of the brain in the unfortunate people who took it (as a street drug), clinically launching them into complete paralysis as in endstage Parkinson’s Disease.

When it comes down to it, I just try to avoid poisons of all kinds.

And that’s why my patio looked like it did in the picture above. Terrible. Some of the weeds were as high as my knee.

Of course we had to pull them out; no easy spraying method here. And of course, some of the plants had tap roots that wouldn’t come up/got broken off (probably old roots which broke off last year).

A month ago, I pulled weeds all around the deck, where it comes down to the patio, and then used regular table salt in the cracks. To date, it is keeping down all the weeds in this one area.

I got this idea as I remembered something about the Romans sewing fields with salt in lands that they conquered. I looked this up on Wiki, and it seems that there are as many myths about this as anything, although salting fields was used at other times in history as a punishment for crimes.

Whatever. I know that for our backyard, we won’t be poisoned by salt, and that nothing will grow in salty cracks.

This week, we tackled the whole patio, big weeds and all. Here are my weeding helpers. Many hands make light(er) work!

The salt I used is the cheapest on the grocery store shelf, and I want to make clear that we DO NOT use this type of refined, bleached, iodized salt for eating. I had it on hand for making playdough.

If you are just switching over to healthy, unrefined salt with all the wonderful minerals in it (which your body is craving . . . so salt away!), then weed abatement might be the perfect use for the salt that was previously in your shaker.

Remember: wherever you put salt, it is likely that NOTHING will grow there for a very long time, so you obviously can’t salt areas of your yard where you have plantings, grass, etc.

We were careful not to put so much salt on that it would run off onto the lawn when wet.

Wow, look at those weeds!

Once we had finished pulling and salting, I ran water over the salt to melt it into the cracks, and then I sprayed off the whole patio.

Now it looks so lovely, we ate dinner out there last night and breakfast this morning!