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hilldweller

My wife and I have spent a lot of money adapting our home to suit our disabilities, this included making our large garden plot low maintenance.

Apart from a small lawn it is now mainly flagged in different materials with large areas of pebbles and shingle laid on geofabric to keep the weeds down. The geofabric is useless, after a couple of years there's enough organic material above it to grow a lawn !

All that was required up to a few years ago was a quick flit around with a watering can of Sodium Chlorate weedkiller carefully applied to the non planted areas. This was sufficient to eradicate the weeds for a good year or two.

Nowadays of course some Herbert sat in the EU headquarters has decreed that Sodium Chlorate (even the de-activated stuff) cannot be sold to the general public.

I have tried every brand of weedkiller on the shelves, Roundup, Super Strength Weedol, Super Strength Brushkiller, Apocalypse Nuclear Annillation, (I'm kidding about that one). Nothing makes the the slightest impression. The instructions say it may take 3 weeks to begin to work, after 3 weeks they're healthier than ever.

On an 18" square flag that makes 2 linear yards of weeds all around it. I must have hundreds of flags.

I've taken to using a propane powered blowtorch gadget on a long handle to burn them away but within a week their back. I'm getting through gas canisters like tins of beans, heaven knows what I'm doing to the ozone layer.

Does anyone know of an efficient long term path and patio weedkiller that works ?

I've seen Sodium Chlorate advertised on Amazon, but it turns out it's a different chemical and I don't know if it would work.

HD

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ukelele lady

I use to buy Sodium Chlorate at Wilkinsons to get rid of the roots of blackberry bushes, it was the only thing

that worked , that was 2 years ago so I don't suppose they sell it anymore although I haven't had the need to look.

As for just ordinary weeds I find most stuff works, you must have some mighty tough weeds at your end. :o

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hilldweller

I use to buy Sodium Chlorate at Wilkinsons to get rid of the roots of blackberry bushes, it was the only thing

that worked , that was 2 years ago so I don't suppose they sell it anymore although I haven't had the need to look.

As for just ordinary weeds I find most stuff works, you must have some mighty tough weeds at your end. :o

The problem is that my wife treats the garden as if it was the drawing room carpet. I'm expected to eradicate the weeds when they are only a quarter of an inch high (no metrication here). I don't think the weedkillers work until the weed is well established. The Sodium Chlorate stopped them growing in the first place.

HD

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Ordinary Rocksalt might do it HD, although getting enough of it down the seams in the paving could be a problem.

I keep a bag of it in the back yard for use in winter. No weeds grow in the gravel around it where the salt leaches out during the year.

I use Pathclear on the rest of the gravelled area, and I usually have to do it a couple of times a year. Until you asked the question I'd never thought about just trying salt on the rest of the area.

I'm going to have a go this weekend.

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Sodium Chlorate, NaClO3 or sodium chlorate(V) as it is now called is very effective at killing all manner of plants and has, as hilldweller rightly says, been banned from domestic use as it is highly flammable and oxidising and can form dangerously explosive mixtures when added to other very common everyday chemicals. In these days of terrorism this presents a real threat if any fanatic with grudge gets there hands on it.

There isn't actually any other form of sodium chlorate, rocksalt itself is ordinary salt, sodium chloride, NaCl. Very safe and it would probably take quite a lot of it to kill a plant. Sodium chlorate (sodium chlorate(V)) could be confused with sodium chlorate(I) (sodium hypochlorite) or sodium chlorate(III) (sodium chlorite) but these are very different chemicals, readily releasing chlorine and having a definite bleach like smell, in fact the hypochlorite one IS bleach.

Of the modern weedkillers, Roundup is regarded as being the best. My wife works in a garden centre and would testify to that claim and they certainly sell more of it than any other weedkiller.
However, modern weedkillers use glycophosphate compounds and these are systemic, selective broad leafed weedkillers. They enter the plant through the leaves, so the bigger the leaves the better. Hilldweller implies that he may be adding the stuff too soon before the weed is big enough. This may well be the reason why it isn't working for him. Sodium chlorate kills everything but glycophosphate is selective, - you can spray it on a lawn and it will kill the dandelions and not touch the grass, this is its biggest advantage.

Word of genuine safety advice. If you have used sodium chlorate, - the real, now banned, stuff then DO NOT attempt to use a flamethrower device on the same plants for several weeks and until after it has rained and dissolved it away.


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I have block paving and use plain salt to get rid of weeds between the cracks. Admittedly they do come back. An old neighbour told me to use the water left over after boiling potatoes which I did try and it does work but leaves a rather messy residue.

Dave - it would be interesting to know why this should work?

I'm writing this wondering what it has to do with history but I suppose we are talking historic gardening now Sodium Chlorate weedkiller is no longer allowed! :)

Lyn

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hilldweller

Word of genuine safety advice. If you have used sodium chlorate, - the real, now banned, stuff then DO NOT attempt to use a flamethrower device on the same plants for several weeks and until after it has rained and dissolved it away.

That reminds me of an incident about forty years ago when a pal of mine bought an old cottage with the intention of re-building it.

There was a large tree growing out of the gable. This was cut down, leaving a very large stump with big roots running under the wall.

He drilled a series of holes into the stump using a powered auger and these were filled with Sodium Chlorate. This was left for a few weeks and then the stump was drenched in paraffin and set alight.

Talk about light the blue touch paper !

It went up like a roman candle and burnt for a week. All that was left was a big hole that took a lot of ready-mix to fill.

I suppose if the reaction had got out of hand it would have saved him the job of demolishing the rest of the cottage.

He was supposed to retain the front and back walls but when the building inspector saw the state of them he told my pal he wouldn't be back for a month.

When he came back he complimented my pal on how well he'd managed to renovate the walls which were of course brand new.

HD

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Guest Barbara M

We have a problem with Chick Weed in our borders, my husband clears it every time it appears by the hands & knees method but it is back the next time it rains......does anyone know what he is doing wrong ?

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ukelele lady

We have a problem with Chick Weed in our borders, my husband clears it every time it appears by the hands & knees method but it is back the next time it rains......does anyone know what he is doing wrong ?

Maybe he is on his hands and knees but is he praying hard enough? lol

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We have a cherry tree we want to kill off as it is too large now and shoots are popping up in the borders despite keeping cutting it back but we want to keep the trunk in situ to hang bird feeders on. Any ideas of how to achieve this?

Lyn

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hilldweller

We have a cherry tree we want to kill off as it is too large now and shoots are popping up in the borders despite keeping cutting it back but we want to keep the trunk in situ to hang bird feeders on. Any ideas of how to achieve this?

Lyn

Copper roofing nails hammered in all around the base of the trunk might do the trick.

We had one at a previous home, a Prunus Kanzai, It went from a sapling to a 12" diameter trunk in about 9 years. The roots went everywhere. I just chopped it down.

HD

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Ring bark it.

Cut a circle of bark off about 6inches wide all the way round the trunk. It will take a year or so to die but it works. I don't know if this will stop the new shoots from coming up from underground though.

To stop new shoots from coming out of the trunk below the cut you can drill holes below the cut and put something like creosote into them.

A tree surgeon who cut down a very large sycamore from our garden said that anything which, in large quantities, will kill a person, will do the same to a tree. Sounds likely.

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Ring bark it.

Cut a circle of bark off about 6inches wide all the way round the trunk. It will take a year or so to die but it works. I don't know if this will stop the new shoots from coming up from underground though.

To stop new shoots from coming out of the trunk below the cut you can drill holes below the cut and put something like creosote into them.

A tree surgeon who cut down a very large sycamore from our garden said that anything which, in large quantities, will kill a person, will do the same to a tree. Sounds likely.

Same method but with tree stump killer.

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Ordinary Rocksalt might do it HD, although getting enough of it down the seams in the paving could be a problem.

I keep a bag of it in the back yard for use in winter. No weeds grow in the gravel around it where the salt leaches out during the year.

I use Pathclear on the rest of the gravelled area, and I usually have to do it a couple of times a year. Until you asked the question I'd never thought about just trying salt on the rest of the area.

I'm going to have a go this weekend.

Although not toxic as such ordinary salt will kill plants by cell osmosis. A high concentration of salt outside the cell (higher than its internal concentration) causes water to pass out through the cell membrane (osmosis), causing the cell to dehydrate, shrivel up and die, hence killing the plant. It will work but is non selective and requires quite a lot of it to work (but it is relatively cheap). If it rains after application the salt will be dissolved and washed away and the rainwater could reinstate a small loss of water from the cells.

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I have block paving and use plain salt to get rid of weeds between the cracks. Admittedly they do come back. An old neighbour told me to use the water left over after boiling potatoes which I did try and it does work but leaves a rather messy residue.

Dave - it would be interesting to know why this should work?

I'm writing this wondering what it has to do with history but I suppose we are talking historic gardening now Sodium Chlorate weedkiller is no longer allowed! :)

Lyn

Water from boiled potatoes would be very high in starch, again a harmless, non toxic chemical. Interestingly plant cells, unlike animal cells, have both a cell membrane and a cell wall. The cell wall is actually the outermost part of the cell and is made of cellulose which is chemically very closely related to starch as both are carbohydrates. Plant cells make cellulose and starch by photosynthesis which requires water, carbon dioxide, sunlight and the green pigment in plant leaves, chlorophyll. The process is vital to all life on Earth, it is singularly the most important life process.

However, I am a chemist, not a biologist and it isn't easy to see why spud water would kill weeds, - perhaps there is an interaction between the starch in the water and the cellulose in the cell wall which prevents the normal functioning of this part of the cell but someone with a better knowledge of plant biology than myself may be in a better position to answer this one than me.

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We have a problem with Chick Weed in our borders, my husband clears it every time it appears by the hands & knees method but it is back the next time it rains......does anyone know what he is doing wrong ?

Is it one of those weeds where you need to remove every last bit of root material to get rid of it? Some weeds have extensive root systems and although you can remove the visible plant at the surface and some of the root, which may appear to be all of it but isn't, the remaining root pieces simply just regrow. Many wild grasses are like this and if they get into a cultivated grass area (a nice lawn) it can be one hell of a job to get ride of them.

It is difficult to get all the root material up from many plants but the modern weedkillers like Roudup are systemic, - that means that get into the plant through the leaves and work down the stem into the roots, eventually killing all of it.

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Copper roofing nails hammered in all around the base of the trunk might do the trick.

We had one at a previous home, a Prunus Kanzai, It went from a sapling to a 12" diameter trunk in about 9 years. The roots went everywhere. I just chopped it down.

HD

Ring bark it.

Cut a circle of bark off about 6inches wide all the way round the trunk. It will take a year or so to die but it works. I don't know if this will stop the new shoots from coming up from underground though.

To stop new shoots from coming out of the trunk below the cut you can drill holes below the cut and put something like creosote into them.

A tree surgeon who cut down a very large sycamore from our garden said that anything which, in large quantities, will kill a person, will do the same to a tree. Sounds likely.

Same method but with tree stump killer.

I have heard of all these methods before.

Copper nails I have never tried but I know people who swear by it as their method of choice.

Creosote will certainly work. Since, as Steve points out, it is no longer available I have heard it suggested that Diesel will also do the same job so you could try Diesel, - they can't ban that because it does have other more important uses other than killing trees!

Stump killer will work but I would be careful here. Lynn did say that she wanted to keep the old tree stump as a feature. Depending on how the stump killer works it may not only kill the stump but cause it to rot afterwards, leaving not such an attractive feature in Lynn's garden. I would want to check it out before trying it but it would probably work just as well as the other methods.

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I have heard of all these methods before.

Copper nails I have never tried but I know people who swear by it as their method of choice.

Creosote will certainly work. Since, as Steve points out, it is no longer available I have heard it suggested that Diesel will also do the same job so you could try Diesel, - they can't ban that because it does have other more important uses other than killing trees!

Stump killer will work but I would be careful here. Lynn did say that she wanted to keep the old tree stump as a feature. Depending on how the stump killer works it may not only kill the stump but cause it to rot afterwards, leaving not such an attractive feature in Lynn's garden. I would want to check it out before trying it but it would probably work just as well as the other methods.

I used good old Weedol mix yourself type,( seems better than the ready to use ) on a stump of a large tree that was sending out suckers drilled holes around the perimeter of the bark and poured it in, stump is still there including bark, would imagine it will take years to disappear, so I will take off the top part I drilled and make a table of the stump.

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I used good old Weedol mix yourself type,( seems better than the ready to use ) on a stump of a large tree that was sending out suckers drilled holes around the perimeter of the bark and poured it in, stump is still there including bark, would imagine it will take years to disappear, so I will take off the top part I drilled and make a table of the stump.

Weedol is good stuff as well, - that should do the trick.

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hilldweller

I remember a chap who could remove entire tree stumps with their roots in milliseconds.

His method might not be applicable to you though.

His name ?

Blaster Bates ! :rolleyes:

HD

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Guest Barbara M

Is it one of those weeds where you need to remove every last bit of root material to get rid of it? Some weeds have extensive root systems and although you can remove the visible plant at the surface and some of the root, which may appear to be all of it but isn't, the remaining root pieces simply just regrow. Many wild grasses are like this and if they get into a cultivated grass area (a nice lawn) it can be one hell of a job to get ride of them.

It is difficult to get all the root material up from many plants but the modern weedkillers like Roudup are systemic, - that means that get into the plant through the leaves and work down the stem into the roots, eventually killing all of it.

Thanks Dave H for your reply, we will give Roundup a try .....without touching other plants of course, and see what happens, I will let you know the outcome .

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I remember a chap who could remove entire tree stumps with their roots in milliseconds.

His method might not be applicable to you though.

His name ?

Blaster Bates ! :rolleyes:

HD

But blaster bates would have blown the tree stump up, something would go wrong leaving him with a complete mess and then he would make the most hilarious after dinner speech and gramophone record out of the whole performance. He would make more money from the speeches and records than he would for the tree removing contract.

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