Weedkiller (pathclear equivalent)

I know that this has been discussed before but the regulations have changed a bit (eg no glyphosate) - it is also, perhaps, an emotive issue.

At the front and side of our property we have a gravel drive and path - keeping this clear of weeds when we can only visit every 5-6 weeks is a challenge, it’s roughly 200m2.

Last visit my wife used some of this stuff

Which is a Pelargonic Acid based product - I guess it is the “safer” version of glyphosate acting on contact and not accumulating in the environment (in theory) and it seemed effective but arriving 6 weeks later the gravel is covered even worse than previously (in fact hard pushed to distinguish path from lawn in places).

The catch is that it is expensive - the local Weldom sells 910ml bottles (of which I need two) at 15.30€ each, at least it’s a bit cheaper at Leroy Merlin (20€ for 3l) but the closest store is Vannes.

I also get fairly good results from a heat gun (basically paraffin burner) which uses about a gallon of pétrole for the whole area but needs a re-pass a few days later.

Pathclear™ contains difluenican to prevent germination of new weeds but I can’t find any equivalent product in France.

Does anyone have any suggestions - the whole area is a bit too large to lay weedproof membrane and I’m not sure how much it will help anyway.

The only idea that I have at the moment is to look into a resin bound gravel solution - but that’s probably going to be at least 10k€ (and that buys a lot of weedkiller).

White vinegar.

Yes, that will work - but not prevent re-growth for any length of time which is what I’m after, probably cheaper than the Pelargonic Acid products though :-/

I’m having the same problem finding a decent weedkiller, I use it to keep the undergrowth and weeds clear of the horses electric fencing around their fields, nothing on the market now seems to work

It is a big problem for us, most of our clients won’t accept that glyphosate is now banned here and expect us to continue using it, the alternatives though are expensive and simply don’t do the job.

Don’t try to keep it weed free - do you really want to spend your life fighting nature? Just mow it, on the lowest, tightest cut you can and you’ll soon have a neat sward and get more bees around.
Either that or have at least 4 inches depth of gravel - that suppresses most weeds and the rest you can spray individually or pull up.
Has it ever occured to you that weed killer companies make no money if the weeds don’t grow back (stronger than ever)? Of course they grow back!

If you let weeds grow up near electric fencing they cause a lot of triggering which can drain batteries and it’s not necessarily easy to mow right up to the fence line - especially if the fence is energised (that’s an ouch).

In my case it’s a gravel drive so, yes, I do want to keep it weed free.

The “lawn” gets mown when we are here, weeds are green, grass is green - it’s pretty much the same to me.

It worked well enough - in fact browning the foliage very quickly so it looks impressive but I am wondering if it is taken up into the plant like glyphosate, leaving the roots just means the whole thing is going to re-grow.

An expensive produce which needs reapplying every few weeks is, of course, a goldmine for the manufacturers.

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That’s exactly our experience of using the type of product you mention, and it is very expensive. OH has experimented with a vinegar and salt mix but I’m not convinced.

Out of interest does anyone have concentration/rate of application for acetic acid?

I note that “roundup” is still on sale in France but is now a pelargonic/acetic acid product - frankly I think this is almost a bit dishonest.

I use a gas gun. The first year I struggled as it didn’t seem to stop things germinating or regrowing. But now I’ve got rid of the perennial buggers it seems to hold for about 4 weeks. We have about 120m2 of gravel and a baby elfi bottle lasts me the year, so about 13€ (I think). However you might have a problem getting it under control to start with?

(Oh and in a few areas which were particularly problematic I used the wallpaper stripper to steam them to death…)

Keeping drives weed-clear is a total sod. Vinegar - with a few tsp of washing-up liquid to help it stick to weed leaves - definitely works. But only short-term as weed roots survive. Salt works (and kills roots) - but almost impossible to spray as it doesn’t dissolve finely enough and clogs spray nozzles. So you end up sprinkling great handfuls. Might work for small area - but too much faffing around for anything larger. And as it sooner/later gets washed out by rain, not a longterm solution.

Any glysophate alternative suggestions gratefully received. Otherwise might give gas gun a go…

My best results have been with the heat gun - but as you say it doesn’t last from visit to visit.

Anyway- with the weather as it is I don’t think we’ll be able to do much gardening this week (another big problem with short visits)

I find that a 50/50 mix of white vinegar (purchased cheaply by the gallon from the supermarket food preserving section) and water actually kills the moss that glyphosate doesn’t kill. After a number of applications it seems to inhibit regrowth quite well, probably due to the acetic acid building up in the soil under the gravel.

Just read an interesting article on Germans and gardening. Apparently most of the ‘forbidden’ pesticides and weedkillers are still available to purchase in Poland - so a roaring cross border trade in glysophate etc. is happening. Also some of the potent insecticides are still available online.
Farmers supposedly used 5.6kg of chemicals whilst gardeners used 6.7kg in their little patches…
Go for the gas gun for weeds and nematodes for other beasties. I have quite successfully encouraged natural pest control. Birds and ladybugs eat most aphids, hedgehogs, frogs and thrushes take care of slugs and snails…
Takes longer, but is much better for plants and our health too.

White vinegar and salt mix works for us, but the tip (on this site I think) was to spray the mix during a sunny period.
Safe for the cats and dogs also.

But not for watercourses or fish, so keep well away from ponds and drainage ditches

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A nearby neighbour uses a hoe on his gravel driveway. Hard work but it’s weed free and looks a lot better than mine.

Basically it amounts to there being lots of solutions if you can re-do them every 2-4 weeks.

Now I’d gladly come over one week a month, but I don’t think my employer would be all that keen and I can’t afford 12 ferry crossings a year :confused:


ebay Poland - used the google translate function …
you should be able to order the powders and have them posted to France.
Not sure how legal this is, or if the french postal service will confiscate, but all the
‘good’ stuff is still available