Killing Weeds In A Brick Walkway


I used to be a fairly avid gardener.

I was the lady on the street who was out watering at 5 a.m., moving heavy things in a wheelbarrow, completely covered in dirt, not noticing that I looked like a crazy person with twigs and leaves in my hair. Sort of like a homeless person, but with a home. I amended the soil, fertilized, and planted lots of flower beds in my yard, planted trees, moved trees, built raised gardens and a brick patio, “harvested” rocks from the soil to make borders for my beds, changed my mind and moved things again. And again. My neighbors used to say things like, “Oh Annie, how do you find the energy for all of this?” and “You are really ‘something’ to be doing all of this.” What they actually meant was – “You look like a crazy homeless person and I am bewildered by you,” and “Don’t you have anything better to do?” or maybe “Is this what becomes of you when you get divorced? Yikes.”

My beau claims I was just killing time and burning energy until he came along. Maybe he is right, because I have really let things slip in recent years. Weeds have become a bit of a problem at my house.



On The Art Of Doing Stuff blog, I read that boiling water can kill weeds, so I poured some boiling water on the weeds on my front walk. After a few days, I could see that the boiling water had made an impact.


As I was pouring a teakettle of boiling water on my front walk, a neighbor came by (possibly to get a closer look to see if I had sticks and leaves in my hair) and casually mentioned that Borax might also kill weeds.

I read up on this and found out that Borax can sterilize the soil so that the weeds can’t grow back. Perfect!

Neutered weeds. They can’t reproduce. No weeds can grow back. This is what I have always wanted. Is this my birthday?

I know it isn’t totally, completely green to want to sterilize natural growing things – but at least I am not using chemicals to do my dirty work. And c’mon – they are WEEDS! I figure the growing things under my front walk don’t really need to be fertile, right? Please don’t get all huffy about this – I don’t want to neuter all of the plants in the world – just the little patch under my brick walkway. I am sure I have unintentionally done much worse things to the environment. And remember, this blog is not called Totally Perfect, it is called Plenty Perfect.

So I added Borax to my weed killing spree and this is what happened.



(If the soil police come to my house, I am going to tell them I accidentally dropped a box of Borax on my front walk. Or I don’t know what that white stuff was because I was afraid to leave the house while a drug cartel was camped out on my front walk for a few days. Or I will tell them that the gypsies did it.)


Dead weeds. Yay!



Apparently, you can mix Borax with water and spray it on weeds – but, sprinkling the powder directly on weeds works well too. Once the rain washes the Borax into the cracks, I figure the job should be done.

Neutering your weeds can be fun – you should try it!

By the way, if you think this means that there are no more weeds in my brick walk, think again. Just because the weeds are dead doesn’t mean I have had time to pull them out. Again, let me remind you that this blog is not called Totally Perfect, it is called Plenty Perfect.

Do you have a good way to get rid of weeds? Or do you ignore them? Have the soil police ever come to your house?

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  1. Sara Tetreault Reply

    I have tried the hot boiling water and I’ve tried baking soda/vinegar. Neither works really well so I am definitely doing this with the Borax! We use Borax on our laundry and the kids use it for scrubbing out the toilets. Notice I said kids use it??? ;)

    • annie kip Reply

      Excellent ways to put Borax and kids to work!

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