One of the questions I frequently get on the radio goes something like this: “How do I get rid of the weeds that are in the cracks of my patio?” The caller wants something non-toxic, effective and easy, of course. Unfortunately, I don’t have much to offer that falls into all three of those categories. I do, however, have my own method that brings other gifts.
Once a season I clean my patio by sitting down on the stones and, with the assistance of my CobraHead tool, I hand pull the weeds. My favorite time to do this is at 6 AM, with a cup of coffee. The key here is to give yourself permission to weed over a series of days so that your back, fingers and patience don’t become overwhelmed. It’s also helpful to view this morning or evening weeding time as a period of meditation.
As with any spiritual practice, when weeding we start where we are. All else drops away as we focus on one thing and stay focused on just one thing: pulling weeds. Occasional distractions do creep in…I stop to watch the woodpeckers eye me suspiciously as they come for their morning sunflower seeds. I laugh as the chipmunks jump in surprise and outrage to find me sitting in what is normally their runway. And I smile at finding the small gifts of an interesting seed pod or feather among the small plants I’m pulling.
Yes, you can pour boiling water over the weeds, but this involves carrying large, heavy pots of hot water and being careful not to splash and burn your legs and feet. And once the weeds are cooked you still have to remove the wilted foliage or it looks just as messy…just in a browned and flattened manner.
I’ll stay with my morning coffee weed pull and meditation. It’s non-toxic, effective, and peaceful.