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Joint sand against weeds: you have to pay attention to this

If you use weed-inhibiting joint sand to fill the pavement joints, your pavement will remain weed-free for many years. Because: Removing weeds from pavement joints and garden paths is a recurring and annoying amount of work that every gardener would like to do without. In the following we will deal with the most important questions about jointing sand, how to apply it and what to look out for.

Joint sand: the most important things at a glance
  • Prepare the paving area well before re-grouting, because this is the only way to ensure that the weed-inhibiting effect of the jointing sand is fully developed.
  • Fill in all paving joints up to the top and leave no gaps. In depressions, the wind can put dust and earth back into the joints, which form a breeding ground for plant seeds. In addition, the individual paving stones can shift slightly if the joints are not completely filled.
  • If the fresh grouting settles after a few months due to the natural pressure load and has thus lowered, fill the joints up to the top again as soon as possible.
  • Sand is not a solid bond and can be blown by wind and washed out by water. Therefore, make sure that fresh sand is poured into the joints at regular intervals of a few years.

What are the benefits of joint sand?

Joint sand is the most proven of all means when it comes to closing the gaps between paving stones. A high-quality joint sand consists of hard material such as quartz or granite, which is particularly pressure-resistant and also broken or squeezed in order to achieve optimal compression. Due to the fine grain size, the joint sand penetrates deep into the cracks in the pavement and fills any cavities. Even if the joint sand thickens over time, it remains permeable to water and thus ensures that rainwater can run off properly. And it is also very easy to work with. Even the ancient Romans grouted their famous cobblestone streets with sand and some of them are still intact today - a good argument for grouting sand.

Which joint sand is particularly suitable for the garden?

The use of a special weed-inhibiting joint sand or dansand is recommended for the garden. This is very rich in minerals, low in nutrients and has a low pH value, so that plant seeds do not find good growth conditions in the pavement joints and therefore do not even settle. The round-grain structure of this special sand mixture does not give plant roots a hold. Firmly setting concrete-based joint compounds, on the other hand, are only suitable for paved surfaces with a correspondingly load-bearing, stable and watertight substructure. In the interests of reducing surface sealing, such impermeably connected paved areas in private areas should only be reserved for areas subject to high pressure, such as courtyard entrances.

The gaps between the paving stones are necessary so that the path or terrace surface can "work". This is important because outdoor areas are exposed to the weather all year round. The pavement joints make the terrace or garden path actively seepage. Without joints between the stones, rainwater would not be able to run off and would accumulate on the paved surface. In winter, the moisture around the stones freezes. If there were no joints through which the water could run off and which would allow a certain expansion of the material, the frost would burst the stones. And walking on or driving on a pavement laid on "crunch" (pavement without joints) is only possible to a very limited extent, since the stones rub against each other and the edges would quickly split. In addition, the pavement joints serve creativity and aesthetics, as they also allow the use of uneven stones (for example cobblestones) that cannot be flush with one another.

Which joint sand do I need?

Weed-inhibiting joint sand is available in every well-stocked gardening specialist or hardware store in different color nuances. Depending on the height of the paving stones and the size of the joints, a 20-kilogram sack is sufficient to re-grout an area of ​​five to ten square meters. Of course, you need significantly less material for simple filling. The narrower the pavement joints, the finer-grained the joint sand should be.

The Danish company Dansand has developed a product that is supposed to keep joints on terraces, sidewalks and driveways weed-free in an ecological way: Dansand joint sand (for example "No Grow Dansand") or Dansand stone flour. The principle is copied from nature. Geologists found bare spots on Greenland. The reason for this was the natural occurrence of certain silicates in the soil. The quartz joint sand and stone dust from Dansand are modeled on this type of soil and - due to their high pH value - keep joints weed-free.

Joint sand and stone dust can be used for both new paving and paving renovations. They are filled into the joints to the brim and swept with a broom. The surface is not sealed and rainwater can run off over the pavement and be absorbed by the ground. According to the manufacturer, weeding is no longer necessary for years. The light joint sand is suitable for light stones, the stone powder for dark joints (up to 20 millimeters wide). Dansand Fugensand and Steinmehl are available in leading DIY and specialist stores as well as online.

Soil preparation tips

Before applying the jointing sand, you should completely clear your pavement of weeds and dirt. If weed-contaminated grouting material is simply filled in without prior cleaning, dandelions and co. Can break through the new grouting sand again and the work was in vain.

Use a grout scraper to remove any weeds and then sweep the area thoroughly. Attention: The use of herbicides on paved and sealed surfaces is prohibited according to the Plant Protection Act (PflSchG), Section 4, Section 12! The stones are then carefully cleaned with a high-pressure cleaner and the old pavement joints are rinsed out individually. Tip: Choose a sunny day for work, then the patch dries off faster after the treatment and you can continue working quickly.

After the rinse water has drained away and the pavement has dried, empty the joint sand into a heap in the middle of the terrace and mix the entire contents well with a shovel. Then the weed-inhibiting joint sand is swept thoroughly into the pavement cracks with a soft broom across and diagonally to the joints. Make sure that all joints are filled with sand up to the top. A vibrator with a protective mat helps to compact the joint sand. If you don't have a vibrator available, you can carefully sludge the sand into the joints with a light jet of water. Then repeat sweeping until all joints are filled with sand. You have achieved optimum strength when a spatula can only be pressed a few millimeters into the joint. At the end, brush the excess joint sand off the pavement surface. This sand can be reused for other purposes in the garden. The last remnants of the new grouting will be removed automatically with the next rain shower. If you don't want to wait that long, you can clean the plaster the next day with a soft jet of water. Be careful not to wash the fresh grout out again!

Practical video: removing weeds from pavement joints

Weeds like to settle in pavement joints. So that they don't "grow over the pavement", we have listed various solutions in this video to remove weeds from pavement joints.

In this video we introduce you to different solutions for removing weeds from pavement joints.
Credit: Camera and Editing: Fabian Surber