As spring “Marches” forward into April, the combination of rain and sun has turned our yards from drab to green. However, sometimes you’ll find green where you don’t want to see it—in the cracks of your concrete surfaces.

Don’t Pull Weeds

If you’re like many Oregonians, you’re probably reluctant to use chemical weed killers. So how can you get rid of the weeds invading your sidewalks, porches and outdoor steps? Pulling them is somewhat effective—but it’s a lot of work.

In many cases, when you pull weeds, you’ll leave enough root in the ground for the weed to regrow—sometimes within just a few days. This can be especially true when the invasive plant is growing up through cracks in concrete. What’s more, you’ll end up making a mess, scattering dirt you have to sweep up after you’re finished.

Use Boiling Water to Kill Weeds

The best solution is not only easier, it’s so inexpensive that it’s almost free. Just put a kettle on to boil. No, not for tea—though you can certainly enjoy some tea while you’re at it, if you like. Pour a bit of boiling water directly onto the offending weed. Be sure to soak the plant well, so some of the boiling water seeps into the crack in the concrete and gets to the roots.

You’ll see the weed wilt immediately. Within a day or two, it should be completely dead and shriveled. Once dry, you can easily sweep away the remnants of the weed with a broom. This method will kill any weeds, without chemicals, so it’s best used only in areas where you want no plants growing. Sorry, vegetable gardeners!

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