I’ve been in a stand-off with weed since the day I stepped into my property. Even with over-the-top effort, the fight was tough.
I’m not saying weed infestation is a lawn’s apocalypse. However, if you let it slide, thinking to yourself- eh I’ve got it covered, it can turn into the Poison Ivy’s playground. These little earth-pimples pose even a greater threat when they start settling into rocks.
Trust me; weeds always find a way to grow in places you’d never expect.
After I’ve seen my beautiful rock-strewn walkway battered with weed infestation, I had to take action. I’ve used a lot of different methods to give these brats a beating. The task was made easy because I had the best weed killer for rocks by my side (after several trial-and-errors I must add).
Once I secured a nearly-perfect-looking lawn, everyone around me was curious and started asking me questions. That’s why I decided to share the details of the battle between me and weeds, specifically rock-loving weeds.
So, I’ll recount the details of my war against weeds to give you an upper hand.
- Best Weed Killer for Rocks – Comparison Chart
- Top-Rated Weed Killers for Rocks
- How to Get Rid of Weeds in Rocks?
Best Weed Killer for Rocks – Comparison Chart
|Name & Brand||Visible result||Active Ingredient||Weight||Price |
|Compare-N-Save 016869||2-4 Days||Glyphosate||1-Gallon|
|RoundUp 5200210||3 Hours||Glyphosate + Pelargonic||1.33 gallon|
|Green Gobbler Vinegar||6 Hours||Vinegar ||1-Gallon|
|Tenacity Turf Herbicide||2 Weeks||Mesotrione||8 Ounces|
|Roundup 5705010 Extended||6 Hours||Glyphosate + Pelargonic||32-Ounce|
Do I Need to Kill Weeds Growing on Rocks?
Lawn-masters are never hesitant when their beloved soil (garden and lawn) is under siege. However, the same people often don’t bat an eye in case of rocks. The reasoning behind the negligence is- if it’s not an ornamental rock bed, then why bother taking care of it all?
Your lawn or any lawn, as a matter of fact, is not all soil. It’s always a mixture of soil and rocks. I have a huge yard myself. I take special care of it and try to remove as many rocks as possible. However, I know the task is impossible because the one-man-army can’t hold back the incursion of rocks.
So, I have two options left- either ignore the rocks as if they don’t exist or treat them as equals to the soil. I wanted to choose the former, but I realized that isn’t really an option. Why? Let’s say you’ve gone above and beyond to get your lawn weed-free. Somehow a few rocks remained infected.
You can guess what happens next, right? The weeds on the rock will need more food as they begin reproducing. From the cold and hostile territory, weeds will start spreading into the warm land again. All your effort to get a weed-free lawn is now gone with the wind.
So, if you observe weed infestation on the rocks on your lawn, get ready for action. A couple days ignorance can result in a beyond-control explosion. What I’m trying to say is, you need to kill the weeds on rocks- it’s the painstaking duty of a lawn-owner.
Top-Rated Weed Killers for Rocks
As you can see, rocks are a part of any lawn, and negligence will only invite more trouble. I have a rock-strewn walkway and couple ornamental rock-beds around my house. Naturally, I had to be vigilant against a weed-invasion. So, I’ll put the spotlight on 5 weed killers that helped me come out on top. I’ll also talk about how they failed me to give you the whole picture.
I had to nuke my yard for a renovation project. Now, renovation can be tricky because all the weeds must go bye-bye for a seamless project. I picked up the name of Compare-N-Save 016869 from fellow lawn-owners and decided to give it a whirl.
There is a cautionary note tagged to this herbicide. It’s not a selective weed killer, so jumping the gun with this isn’t a wise decision. If you’re not familiar with the selective/non-selective paradigm of herbicides, let me shed some light.
A selective herbicide is only hostile toward a specific weed group. For instance, if you take a sedge-killing herbicide, it’ll blast through crabgrass and the like, leaving the rest of the plants in peace. In contrast, a non-selective herbicide is going to fall down like an atomic bomb over a lawn.
It’ll destroy everything in its wake, plants and weeds alike. That’s why I call it a nuke because it doesn’t leave anyone out.
I described everything with a single purpose in mind. Be careful when applying this herbicide as it can devastate a plant you’ve poured so much care into. However, the weed killer was perfect for a renovation project because I had to get rid of everything.
Although the standard time of application is a sunny day, I goofed up a little the first time around. It started raining 4 hours after I put it down. Still, I got results from the herbicide because it takes only two hours to crawl into the weed-roots.
The glyphosate concentration is plenty in this herbicide. I took 3 tablespoons and mixed it with a gallon of water. After waiting 48-72 hours, I saw the results firsthand, and it was all I could ask for. Everything, even the tiniest leaf it came into contact with was dead.
However, a few stubborn weeds in my backyard weren’t willing to go down without a fight. I read the instructions a little and got to know the water-to-herbicide concentration needs slight modification.
I dosed up the solution by adding 2 more tablespoons to 1 gallon of water, and voila, the weeds were no more.I had to be on my toes while applying this herbicide. It’s toxic, and any contact with skin, or even smelling the odor for too long can be harmful.
Thus, I’d advise you to be on guard. The only problem I’ve faced is the lack of any preventive measure. It’ll only kill, not protect the lawn from another weed resurgence.
At times, the herbicide doesn’t kick as it’s supposed to. The performance can fluctuate, from incredible to abysmal, making it a cost-effect but unreliable purchase.
Still, I’ve got decent results with this herbicide. After the renovation project, I applied in on the walkway. It was riddled with rocks and weeds growing all over. It took a while this time because I made the concentration light, but the job was done nonetheless.
The Compare-N-Save did justice to my lawn; there’s no denying that. However, I went backpacking through Eastern Europe and wasn’t around for months. When I returned, I was greeted with a new, more ferocious battalion of weeds. My whole walkway and rock-beds were a mess. I knew I had to up my game for a fighting chance. That’s where the RoundUp Weed and Grass Killer III stepped in.
I’ve used a bunch of herbicides, tinkering with them became a pastime for me. Sometimes I got more juice out of a solution, and there were experiments I would like to forget altogether. In my long years of using weed killers, I haven’t seen anything jump into action as quickly as the RoundUp III.
I remember the first time I poured this herbicide on some weeds growing near the fences. The results were astonishingly quick. It took around 4-5 hours give-or-take before the effects became visible. So, if anyone’s looking for a quick-and-easy kill, there’s no beating this herbicide.
I’m the person who lives by the safe-than-sorry principle. So, I always doublechecked the weather before putting down the solution. However, I tested the manufacturer’s rainproof claims because it seemed preposterous. I poured water myself 15 minutes after applying the herbicide, although the actual claim is 10.
I checked the weed’s health the next day to confirm the theory. To my surprise, the claim was valid, and the weeds were dead as a doornail. So, even if a surprise rain catches you off-guard, you’ll be A-Okay with this herbicide.
Another noteworthy mention is that his weed killer is non-selective. I’ve already explained the whole selective/non-selective shenanigan before, so I’m going to skip it this time. Just know that anything this herbicide comes into contact with is sentenced to death.
Besides, the flexibility is crazy on this weed killer. My preference is the standard large-wand edition. However, I’ve used the small-wand and trigger variations as well. There’s also the Pump-N-Go, Sure Shot, and Refill, all of which have the same power but with different application methods.
In the large-wand edition, there is a sprayer attached to the bottle. It makes the herbicide a simple plug-and-play tool. All I had to do was put the wand-end into the bottle’s mouth, and it was good to go.
The only issue with RoundUp is the price. I’m afraid it’s not the budget-killer, although people would love it if it were. Anyways, the quality supersedes the cost by such an extent I don’t think it should matter. Also, the wand itself can malfunction. The solution still remains usable. It’s just a bother, that’s all.
Overall, the RoundUp III can round up all the weeds around your house for a death-row. The application method is a child’s play. Flexibility is also off the charts thanks to 6 different packages. The refund policy had my back all the way through. In my books, this herbicide is a top-contender for snatching the title of the best weed killer for rocks.
I’ve had all the success I wanted from the RoundUp III, but the toxicity was starting to bug me. Still, I always kept a stash of RoundUp as a last-ditch killing machine. So, for general maintenance and easy-to-kill weeds, I decided to get an organic herbicide. The Green Gobbler did the job with somewhat flying colors.
The issue with a chemical-intense herbicide is the presence of glyphosate. Although glyphosate is the no-remorse weed-assassin, overexposure to the ingredient isn’t recommended. That’s why, an organic solution such as the Green Gobbler is optimal for day-to-day maintenance.
This herbicide is simply an intensified vinegar concentrate. For people who are none the wiser, vinegar is the DIY lawn owner’s best bud. Pouring vinegar-heavy solution is an organic way to remove weeds. I think the manufacturer did an excellent job by spiking the vinegar’s efficacy by 20%.
I tried the mixture out on some crabgrass housed near the patio. I must say, I’m pleased with the results. I poured it over some dandelions growing on the walkway as well to see whether it would put up a fight, and it did. This herbicide can surely hold its ground against the average not-so-hostile weed.
The rainproof properties on this weed killer is a little vague to me. I gave it around 24 hours to reach the roots. So, I’d suggest you play your cards close to the chest with this herbicide and apply it on a sunny day. While the instruction told me to go for 65F, a bit here and there does no harm.
Don’t take the organic appearance of this weed killer as a green signal for pouring it all over the lawn. Similar to the other two herbicides I’ve mentioned, the Green Gobbler is also non-selective. It may be organic, but it doesn’t mean it’ll spare the other greenery.
I didn’t have to crunch any numbers to get the solution right by pouring a specified amount of water. The weed killer is ready to fire in all cylinders the moment it arrives. I loved the hose attachment because I didn’t have to get a separate sprayer to disperse the solution.
However, the Green Gobbler falls short when dealing with stubborn weeds. Although the intensified vinegar is potent, it doesn’t hold a candle to the likes of RoundUp’s glyphosate.
I think anyone living around the lake can get the most out of this weed killer. It’ll do the job without harming the delicate ecosystem of the lake. I’ve come across a few instances where the 20%- intense vinegar chewed up more than I’d expect. It’s organic but not 100%, so don’t treat it as one.
All the three herbicides on this list are ruthless vegetation murderers. I don’t hold it against any of them because I knew what I was signing up for.
However, in the rockery, I had some Pasque flowers I wanted to keep. My predicament was to keep the Pasque while eliminating the crabgrass. The unique condition led me to the Tenacity Turf Herbicide.
I was torn between killing the stubborn crabgrass and saving the beautiful Pasque. As you can see, I was in a pickle. None of the weed killers on this list could come to my rescue because they’ll kill everything in their path. So, the only option left to me was to find out a potent, selective herbicide.
Furthermore, this weed killer is both a pre- and post-emergent solution. All the herbicides mentioned till now are post-emergent. Their only job is to eliminate vegetation when they’re in their prime, period. However, a post-emergent herbicide can shield the soil or rock from a weed-revolt.
The protective layer doesn’t last forever. For instance, the Tenacity Turf can hold the fort till the soil is cultivated four times. So, with this herbicide, I got the best of both worlds. I could use it to get rid of pesky weeds and have some protection to boot.
I was on the backfoot after I saw the price-tag. It took me a while to realize, but this herbicide is pretty economical. I could dilute 2 gallons of water with only 1 teaspoon of Tenacity Turf. If you ask me, that’s a green-saver.
Let me crunch the numbers for you. The whole package is 8 ounces. Interchanging the ounce-metric with teaspoons, I would get 48 teaspoons from this weed killer. If I got 2 gallons of weed killer for 1 teaspoon, that’d round it up to 96 gallons of herbicide- a lot of concentrate, I must say.
Besides, it came with a syringe with specific measurements all drawn out. So, even if you wanted to, you wouldn’t make a mistake.
I hate to say it, but the cost adds up a bit because it doesn’t go all-out without a surfactant. A surfactant is somewhat of a performance-booster. It helps the weed killer wrap itself properly around the plantation. Don’t get me wrong. The Tenacity Turf can work without any boost, but the surfactant brings out its true potential.
I would also like to point out the importance of watering-in the herbicide. When I was using it as a post-emergent kill-only herbicide, I didn’t need to bother about watering. However, once I wanted to enable the pre-emergent-protection, I needed quarter-inch irrigation for full immersion.
In short, the Tenacity Turf is a bang for the buck. The application procedure is simple, provides both control and kill options, and it doesn’t ravage everything in sight. So, I’d say this herbicide deserves a shot in the contention of being the best weed killer for rocks.
I’ve been a RoundUp fanboy for years. The first weed killer I got from this brand was the RoundUp III, and the results were off the charts. I wanted to try the Extended Control because the task at hand demanded a twofold approach.
By twofold approach, I mean, I needed a concentrate that’d not only eliminate but also hold the fort against weeds. As the name implies, the RoundUp Extended Control helped me kill and keep weed at bay for nearly 4 months.
The Tenacity Turf also had similar features. It was both a pre-emergent and post-emergent solution. However, the Tenacity Herbicide was selective, and would only direct their aggression toward a specific plantation. The Extended Control, on the other hand, is a non-selective nuke. It’d raze any vegetation in its path, and establish a firm defense against resurfacing.
Usually, RoundUp herbicides are pretty quick to get in gear. I’ve never seen any weed killer act so quickly. However, the Extended Control is a tad bit slower than the RoundUp III, as it takes around 7-8 hours. Still, it didn’t faze me at all because let’s be honest, that’s also super-quick!
I was also amazed by the flexibility I had over the purchase. While the other edition I’ve mentioned on this list had 6 options, the manufacturers upped their game this time. I got to choose from an 8-product fiesta, and it’s not common to have so many options at your disposal.
If you’re wondering which herbicide I selected, it was the “Large Concentrate”. The 32 fl. Oz. pack had the oomph to treat more than 1500 square feet. However, be warned that the “Large Concentrate” version isn’t a diluted, ready-to-use herbicide. The equation is to mix 1 gallon of water with 12 tablespoons of concentrate.
I didn’t need any surfactant to enable the herbicide further. It was a mean killing machine all on its own, destroying all the weeds once applied. Still, there are a few precautionary measures I had to keep in mind before applying.
As the concentration is glyphosate-intensive, it’ll kill any vegetation it touches. So, I had to walk on eggshells when applying it on the rock-beds, because I didn’t want my flowers to die.
Another pointer- once applied, you can’t plant anything in the treated area for four months. If you’re undertaking a lawn rejuvenation project, I’d say hold your horses till the herbicide wears off.
So, RoundUp Extended Control does what it’s meant to do. It gets the weed out of your sight and acts as a guardian against any regrowth for months- that’s pretty much it.
How’d I Choose These Weed Killers in the First Place?
As the discussion about all the mention-worthy herbicides has come to a close, it’s time I show you my reasoning behind the selection. It’s not like I got out of the bed and grabbed the first weed killers on the shelf. So, I’m going to tell the secret behind my screening process, what goes in my mind when I look at an herbicide.
I Choose a Herbicide That’s Quick to Act
It’s natural to lean toward a weed killer that has a lower rest period. I want the herbicide to start firing on all cylinders the moment it touches the ground. However, it’s not that simple.
After you pour the solution, the herbicide would require some time to soak into the weed-roots. Visible results take a short 24-48 hours’ spell, depending on the herbicide’s power (at times only 4-8 hours).
If your target is to blast the weeds in the fastest time possible, there’s no beating the RoundUp. Their herbicides have the best response time among the lot. However, it’s a mistake to equate response time with performance. I’m not saying RoundUp is quick but bad- I’m simply stating a fact here.
You’ll find some herbicides out there with incredible results in the beginning. They may fall flat on their face after that initial fleeting moment of glory. So, a quick solution is inarguably better than a drawn-out alternative, but I don’t think any other herbicide can hold a candle to the RoundUp in this case.
Getting the Best of Both Worlds (Protection and Elimination)
Everyone wants the most out of their purchase, and I’m no different. A weed killer can either act as the hired gun to kill weeds or a guardian angel to protect your soil. However, there are herbicide packs that can fulfill both duties without any hiccup. They can dual-wield per se.
So, if you’re looking to hit two birds with one stone, the smartest decision is to go for a post- and -pre-emergent solution. Don’t overdo it, though. Sometimes we fall for the get-everything-you-can trap without even realizing it. If you don’t need a control-herbicide to protect your soil from weed, why spend the extra buck?
Don’t be the simpleton who gets a pack just because it has everything included. Ask yourself whether you need both the features before you jump the gun. Just remember that the extra oomph you demand of the herbicide won’t come for free.
Choose Between A Nuke or Systematic Killing
I’ve discussed the selective/non-selective conundrum earlier while reviewing the herbicides. Still, if you’re not up to speed by now, pay close attention. Herbicides like the RoundUp or Compare-N-Save are non-selective, they’ll kill any vegetation that comes into contact with the solution. These non-selective variants are nukes. They have the potential to wipe out entire yards in a single day.
In contrast, selective herbicides only target a specific weed group. Let’s say the Tenacity Turf will ravage broadleaf weeds while sparing sedge weeds. So, one variant doesn’t lord over the other because being selective or non-selective has no bearing on quality.
So, what you want for your lawn, walkway, or rock-bed is the only thing of import. If you don’t want anything to survive, get a nuke or opt for a systematic killer when you’re trying to save some vegetation.
However, I’ve administered nuke-herbicides carefully without spilling a drop on the desired plantation. I did it because nukes are stupendously faster than their siblings. You can do the same if you’re willing to gamble a bit.
Price Vs. Coverage Vs. Performance
Nobody wants the herbicide bottle to run out in the middle of a weed-killing session. So, it’s imperative to check the ground you can cover with one pack and purchase accordingly. Herbicides aren’t too big of a threat to your wallet. However, the scene can change quickly if the weeds are tough, and the yards are massive.
So, it’s difficult but not impossible to juggle between the three key factors. What you’re paying for- how much ground you can cover- the efficacy of the herbicide- you should always look for answers to these questions before you get on board with a weed killer.
Attachments Make Life Easier
It’s not essential to get any accessories with a weed killer, but it doesn’t hurt if it comes at a meager cost. Having an accessory can make the weed-war more comfortable for you, especially if you’re a beginner. You can’t simply get a liquid concentrate and pour it right out of the box. That’s not how it works.
Without a sprayer, you’ll be going nowhere with weed killing. So, if you don’t want to spare the change for a decent spreader, attachments are your only savior. For instance, with the RoundUp’s large wand, I was able to spray out the solution when I had no spreader at my disposal.
Number-crunchers or Instant-Ready
I like my herbicides geared and ready. So, most of the time I selected an instant-ready weed killer over the dilution-dependent. Not all herbicides are instantly prepared for war. Some need a bit of coaxing and cajoling before you push them into the fray.
Take the Tenacity Turf Herbicide as an example. You need 2 gallons of water, 1 tablespoon of concentrate, and some surfactant to boot. You can only proceed further when all these three separate entities come together.
If you were an eyesore to your math teacher, I’d recommend going for instant-ready herbicides. With a gentle push, they’ll be all over the weeds, and you can go about your business as usual.
Be Prepared (Safety Comes First)
This isn’t much of a pre-purchase consideration. It’s something you must do post-purchase. Always put your best foot forward when dealing with weed killers. Herbicides aren’t your friendly neighborhood watchdogs. The chemicals are mostly corrosive.
So, once you set out on a weed-killing mission, always doublecheck. Make sure you’re geared up because if your skin comes into contact with the herbicide, it’ll lead you to a doctor’s office. Be on your toes and don’t let your guard down.
How to Get Rid of Weeds in Rocks?
You can have all the weed killers in your arsenal, but use it in the wrong way and poof. Nada. You already know my herbicide taste and the considerations I keep at hand before purchase. Now, I’m going to give out a few pointers on how to get rid of weed in rocks. I’ll be briefly touching on both chemical-killer method and manual removal, so sit tight.
The Weed-Killer Method
The name is a blatant giveaway. I’ll still say it- you can use a chemical herbicide to eliminate weeds. I’ve already presented my top 5 weed killers. If you’re skeptical, feel free to choose from the recommendation above.
Principle 1- Liquid Triumphs Over Granular
Weed killers come in two forms- liquid and granular. While granule particles are potent, their strongest suit is dealing with large areas. So, you run the risk of ruining your lawn if you get a non-selective granular weed killer. If you’re trying to eliminate rock-weeds, chances are the granule particles will roll over the rock. As a result, the plantation you’re trying to save is a goner.
On the other hand, liquid weed killers fare better with rocks because you need to treat a specific area. The simplicity of applying chemical herbicide over a restricted space makes it the perfect choice.
Principle 2- Examine the Weed Before Going In
You don’t just go guns blazing when you see a handful of weeds- no. The approach has to be more calculative. The first course of action is to identify the weeds growing on your rocks. Once identified, you have two options available. You can either get a selective herbicide to kill the identified weed, or get a non-selective herbicide to blast anything and everything. I’d recommend the former.
Principle 3- Don’t Gamble with Weather
I’ve seen many people pouring down weed killers on a sunny day without checking the weather forecast. Although most people get by, some get hit by the unlucky-train, and the whole pack of ingredients goes to waste. Make sure all hell’s not going to break loose when you’re treating the weed-infested area.
Principle 4- It’s Okay to Come Back
It’s fine to have confidence in the weed killer you purchase, but why play toss when you’re the boss? Take some time out to check the progress once in a while. Not all weeds are of the same cloth. Some may die quickly, while others cling on to life.
So, if you see that the weed killer took care of a portion, re-spray after a week, there’s no shame in treating the weed-infested area a second time.
Keep these tips close to your heart when waging war against weed. It’ll help you get the upper-hand.
Manual Removal Method
If you have the time and energy to handle weeds all by yourself, you honestly don’t need a chemical herbicide. I’ve seen many people go in solo against a weed-army without the backup of weed killers. If you’re a similar one-man-army, keep the following tips in mind.
I’ve already talked about the importance of wearing protective equipment. Getting dressed for the occasion applies to both manual removal and treating with chemical herbicide. So, keep a pair of gloves and kneepads handy before you try to remove weeds by yourself. Trust me, don’t go all-in without gear; injuries will catch up quickly.
Use the Power of Water
You may have Herculean upper-body strength, but pulling stubborn weeds one after the other can get exhausting. Some weed-roots go deep into a rock’s center and spread around the soil as well. If you don’t want to waste your energy with obstinate weeds, use water to your advantage.
Pouring water can soften up the whole root-system of a weed, making it easier for you to pull them out. However, don’t pull the trigger right after pouring water because it can hurt the other plants on the same soil.
You can use a soil knife for the same purpose as well. If you want to remove the weed immediately, I’d suggest using a soil knife to weaken the roots instead of pouring water.
One at a Time
If you want to get rid of weeds for good, uprooting it is the only way. So, you can’t just hack and slash your way through the leaves. Leaving the roots behind is nothing more than a waste of breath. The weeds will resurface if the roots exist.
So, instead of attacking all the weeds at once, be selective and direct your aggression systematically. Take one weed and pull it out with its roots using an upward-twist. Remember, patience is key.
Household Items Can Go a Long Way
It’s natural to lose enthusiasm after a long day of tugging and pulling. Trying to remove a ton of weed by your hands isn’t a cakewalk. However, everyday items such as vinegar, salt, and hot water can come to your rescue.
Refined vinegar with a 5% acidity rating works as a non-selective herbicide. It’s not as powerful, but it can do the job. Pour the vinegar concentrate in a plastic sprayer, and you have yourself a DIY chemical herbicide. Be on your guard while putting vinegar down. It’s not your selective-buddy, so it’ll chew up any other plantation in the vicinity as well.
At times, small patches of weed can grow in the nook and crannies of your walkway. You can sprinkle a handful of salt to eliminate those hidden-from-sight weeds. Similar to vinegar, salt doesn’t bode well with other plants. When treating the walkway, make sure there you don’t drop salt-bombs over your plants.
If vinegar and salt aren’t available, you can always fall back on hot water. Boiling water works as a non-selective herbicide. The risks are aplenty with this solution. That’s why I prefer using a hose or a tea kettle for precision-treatment.
It’s Time to Wave Goodbye
I’ve waged war against weeds my whole life. I understand the frustration a lawn-owner feels after a weed-patch resurfaces despite the back-breaking effort. Most homeowners take special care of their lawn but ignore the rock-strewn walkways. If you want a weed-free property, ignoring one while tending to the other isn’t the solution.
So, chemical herbicides are a no-brainer if you’re not willing to put in a ton of effort. I don’t think any herbicide is the panacea to a weed problem. However, speaking from experience, I’d say the RoundUp III and Tenacity Turf Herbicide are the frontrunners for being the best weed killer for rocks.
Going mono-a-mono with weeds is a drawn-out battle. I hope you don’t go through the same frustration I did (or most lawn-owners do). When facing weeds, remember the plan of attack- identify the problem- get proper herbicide- and action.