How to Salt the Earth So Nothing Grows (5 Step Guide)
Having some greenery in your living space is great as it adds visual appeal to your yard and livens it up.
So, people put plenty of effort into growing and caring for various plants in their living environment.
However, there are also some undesirable plants that can grow by themselves and in places you don’t want them to be, such as the driveway or gravel walkway.
This can be rather annoying, especially since regularly maintaining these areas and plucking these weeds can become rather cumbersome and tiring.
So, in these cases, it’s better to look for a more permanent solution that will get rid of weeds in a particular spot once and for all.
Using salt is the easiest and probably the most efficient method to do this.
Below, I’ll explain how to salt the earth so nothing grows and what you should pay attention to while doing it.
So, let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
How to Salt the Earth So Nothing Grows?
Halting plant growth by using salt is a method that has been in use for centuries.
In the old days, farmers would salt their land to prevent their enemies from growing anything there.
So, it’s more than proven and tested. It’s rather cheap and very easy to perform. However, while the process is fairly simple, there are some rules you have to follow.
Just sprinkling the salt around randomly won’t do much good or achieve the desired effect.
A layer of salt should kill all the vegetation it’s in contact with and prevent it from growing again, but you need to make sure that it reaches all those undesired plants.
Therefore, it’s important to learn how to do it properly and go through all the required steps.
Going through each of the steps is the key to making this work. Below is a brief rundown of all you have to do.
1) Gather All the Required Materials
Before you start salting your yard, driveway, or walkway, make sure you have everything you need.
Luckily, it’s not much, and you may even have all the needed supplies already in your house.
If not, you’ll probably be able to find them at the nearest store.
Of course, the key item you’ll need is salt. Make sure you have a generous amount of good-quality salt prepared.
In general, the amount of salt you’ll use will depend on how many weeds there are and how big of an area you plan to cover.
Besides salt, the only other things you may need are a shovel and a spray bottle.
So, you can see why this method is so popular, as it works to remove weeds at almost no cost.
What Type of Salt to Use?
Basically, you can use any type of salt for these purposes. Common salt and table salt will work just fine.
However, depending on how much you’ll need, using fine table salt may prove to be too expensive, so it’s better that you acquire some rock salt which is significantly cheaper.
It’s more coarse than table salt, but this will in no way impact its effectiveness against the weeds.
2) Salt the Root of Weeds First
The entire process of clearing out the designated area starts with salting the roots of the existing weeds.
The amount of salt you will use will depend on how many weeds you need to get rid of.
Salting the roots couldn’t be simpler, as all you have to do is sprinkle some rock salt on the soil surface around the base of the weeds.
Be generous with salt as that will contribute to the effectiveness of the entire process.
How Does Salting the Weed Roots Work?
The salt you sprinkled will work to dehydrate the root system of the weeds and prevent growth and regrowth.
In a matter of days, weeds should perish from dehydration. At that point, you can easily pluck them from the ground and clear out the area.
If you want to make this job easier, you can use a weed puller or a simple gardening hoe.
The salt will not only kill the existing plants but also prevent the new ones and any other plants from growing in the future.
Keep this in mind if you had plans to grow some other plants at the same spot.
3) Salt Between the Bricks
Weed can be especially annoying and unsightly when it grows between the bricks on the walkway.
This can particularly make the whole yard and the area around the house look unkempt.
In addition, weeds at such spots are usually very hard to pluck and get rid of.
So, make sure that you also use salt here. For those purposes, salt is definitely the best solution, as it’s small enough to get between all the cracks.
Apply the salt, a relatively thin layer, between the bricks, stones, or pavers that form your walkway.
By inserting the salt directly into the cracks between the bricks, you will prevent the regrowth of any weeds that have established themselves there.
The weeds will be killed and stopped from further germination, making your stone or brick surface look much nicer and cleaner for years to come.
4) Salt the Pavement
You can also use salt to clear out pavement and driveways and make them look clean and smooth again.
This particularly works well, if there are small cracks and holes in the pavement after years of use.
They’re rarely more than 2 inches deep, so salt is a great solution as it can easily get to the roots of the weeds.
All the gaps and crevices should be filled with a layer of salt and this is easiest to do with a shovel to make sure that the salt is spread evenly across the surface of the pavement.
Make sure that the pavement is fully dry before applying the salt.
Also, once the salt is applied, give it some time to settle and dry before walking or driving over it.
Not doing this may negatively impact the effectiveness of the entire process and have the weeds return pretty soon.
5) Salting the Crabgrass
One of the most stubborn types of weed is crabgrass.
While it rarely does much damage to other plants, it may cover large portions of the lawn and cause some issues if it grows too thick.
Crabgrass is particularly troublesome as it grows very quickly, especially when the weather is hot.
To deal with crabgrass, you can use salt to make your own homemade herbicide.
Making this solution is very easy. Just put one cup of rock salt into one gallon of boiling water and stir until it’s completely dissolved.
Then, fill a spray bottle or container with the solution you’ve just made.
Using the spray bottle, thoroughly spray the herbicide salt solution over the area affected by crabgrass.
This should be done three times, with 5 days between each application.
If done right, this technique should dehydrate crabgrass and prevent it from appearing again.
Will Salting the Earth Ruin the Soil for Good?
One of the common questions people have when learning how to salt the earth so nothing grows is whether this will ruin the particular soil patch forever.
While you want to destroy the weeds, at some point you may want to grow other plants at that portion of the land.
The good news is that, while the salt will help you get rid of weeds and other undesirable plants, the soil you used it on will eventually recover.
It may take some time, but the salt will ultimately dissipate, and new plant life will be able to develop and take root.
So, if you only want to get rid of weeds and keep the area clean, the salting process should be repeated every few months.
What Else Can You Use to Get Rid of Weeds Besides Salt?
If you don’t want to use salt, you also have other options available, but they’re typically more expensive or more complicated to implement.
One of these options is to use certain kinds of herbicide spray.
As different herbicides work in different ways, you will have to find the type that suits the particular kind of weed you have in your yard.
Also, herbicides commonly contain various chemicals, so if you want to go natural and organic, go with salt.
Of course, you can also take the matter into your own hands and dig out the plant roots yourself, but this is very time-consuming and may not solve the problem in the long run.
If you want to keep the area around your house, including driveways and walkways, nice-looking and clean, you will have to get rid of all the stubborn weeds, grasses, and other unwanted plants.
The most efficient way to do this is to salt the earth, so the soil becomes uninhabitable for any plants.
Salting will not only dehydrate and kill the existing plants but also prevent future growth, at least for some time.
However, while using salt has proven to be very efficient for these purposes, to get the best results make sure to follow all the steps described above so your yard will look smooth and tidy again.