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How to Naturally Kill Grass Between Sidewalks

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017

Grass spreads easily to new areas, a good thing if you are reseeding a lawn but a pain if it is spreading into the cracks in sidewalks or between pavers in walkways. While herbicides kill the grass, they also kill any nearby plants they come in contact with and add harmful chemicals to the soil. Pulling the grass is only a stop gap measure, as it quickly grows back. Instead, use common household items to organically kill the grass between sidewalks and prevent it from growing back for the season.

Bring a kettle or pot of water to boiling on the stove top. Bring outside and pour over the grass in the cracks while the water is still boiling. This destroys the roots and the grass will die within two days. Be careful where you pour, since the boiling water will kill any roots it comes in contact with--even those of grass you want or landscape plants.

Remove the dead grass. Pull it up out of the sidewalk cracks, pulling as much of the roots up as you can in case they are still viable.

Sprinkle salt in the cracks , at the rate of approximately 1 teaspoon per foot. Water it in lightly so it doesn't wash away before being absorbed into the soil. Salt stops plant growth, so avoid getting it on nearby plants.

Salt every two months during the growing season. Salt sooner if grass begins growing back into the cracks.


Things You Will Need

  • Kettle
  • Pot
  • Salt


  • Place garden edging on either side of the sidewalk or just on either side of the space between the sidewalk and grass. This prevents the grass from spreading into the cracks.
  • You can also mix the salt in with the boiling water, but it is more likely to soak into neighboring areas and kill plants and grass you don't want to destroy.


  • Salt discolors cements; so take care to only get it in the cracks or wash it off the cement immediately.
  • Do not over salt, as it may leach into surrounding soil that you want to grow plants in. Frequent light salting instead of less frequent heavy salting prevents this.

About the Author


Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.