permeable brick for shaded sidewalk - avoiding weed sprouts

sue_bMay 29, 2013

We get alot of weeds in between the bricks on this old walkway that is shaded by poplars and maples. If we get it redone with permeable brick pavers how do you keep weed sprouting and growth down in between the bricks? We let this one go too long this spring and some of weeds got to be 3 and 4 inches tall.

This is our old brick sidewalk in November. We have neatened up the plants and edges but it is still uneven and kind of dangerously so. They are construction bricks and we may reuse them and we are planning now to get this walk redone by a landscape masonry firm. We are considering permeable brick pavers as we are in a stream valley in Fairfax County, Virginia and the runoff flooding needs to be reduced and we want to contribute to that.

We want to plan now on the best solution for avoiding future weeds growth and seek the forum members' advice.

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When you say "... redone by a landscape masonry firm." ... you mean relaid on a granular base? (...not mortared in?) The walk needs to be completely pulled up and reset. I would be willing to bet that there is no proper base. Having a new base will help a lot in keeping the weeds away as they won't prefer it to soil. But some will come and the best/easiest way to dispense with them is a periodic spray of herbicide. When you say "permeable brick pavers," what exactly are you speaking of? Some people might call what you already have as that. If you mean the kind of pavers that grass is supposed to grow in, then you will probably have a time with with weeds there. It is a rare case when those pavers look good. Most of the time they look like a muddy area with bricks embedded. It would be a great improvement if when you do the walk, you widen it. It's too narrow. 4' would be better.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 10:34PM
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My office is in Fairfax County; I've specified a few permeable pavements for clients in FFX so they can build sport courts, etc. If you mean a true permeable paver system like Techo-Bloc's Permea (link below), weeds won't be as big an issue if it's properly installed. The pavers are installed on a bed of 3/4" clean stone, then a layer of filter fabric, and then a bedding layer of 3/8" chip gravel which also goes between the pavers. Nothing's coming up from below. Yes, weed seeds will occasionally blow in and land in the joints, but as long as you keep up with it it shouldn't be too terribly awful.

I 100% agree with Yard that if you're redoing the walk, make it wider. I like to walk next to my wife when we're walking up to a friend's front door. 5' is my personal minimum for a front walk.

Here is a link that might be useful: Techo Permea

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 1:46PM
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