Planting pavement joints instead of cleaning: instructions and suitable joint plants introduced

Who has paved ways or a paved terrace, must clean permanently the joints. Annoying, isn’t it? Put an end to the stress and plant the joints.

Spare yourself the annoying scratching of joints
Spare yourself the annoying scratching of joints

There is probably no more annoying work than cleaning pavement joints. Then you think that you’ve finally finished everything and suddenly weeds are looking through the joints again. Then the whole game starts all over again. Scratch your knees and joints. However, you can also save yourself this annoying work. How’s that? By just planting the joints. All you have to do is remove the annoying weeds from the pavement joints one last time and you can then decorate them with flat, sturdy plants. The practical and optical result is definitely something to be proud of!

Here we present herbs, mosses and low herbaceous perennials which are ideally suited for the greening of pavement joints.

This is how pavement joints are greened

❶ Preparation for joint planting

First of all, the weeds have to come out. This is the most strenuous part of the work, because plants with long, deep roots, which are difficult to remove, often settle between the pavement joints. Simple weed plucking often does not help. But there are tools and methods that make your work easier:

❖ Tools with mandrel, scraper or knife blade:

They are relatively easy to handle. If you work on your knees, you have more strength – but the procedure is stressful for the kneecaps and not very back-friendly. Therefore, put knee pads under your knees and take frequent breaks with stretching exercises.

❖ Electric joint cleaner:

Electric joint cleaners are convenient and efficient. However, the expensive device is only worthwhile for very large areas. Of course, you can also buy the device together with several neighbours. Alternatively, you can also inquire in the professional area whether you can borrow a joint cleaner.

❖ High-pressure cleaners and flame-removing equipment:

They work with water pressure or gas flames. Both reliably remove weeds. For more information, see the pages on high-pressure cleaners and weed burners.

❖ herbicide:

You probably already suspect it – the chemical club should remain the absolute exception.

❷ Filling joints with earth

After thorough cleaning, fill the joints with sandy, well-permeable and loose soil. The earth mixture is also known as roof garden earth. Spread the earth generously over the joints and sweep in.

❸ Green pavement joints

So that the pavement joints can be greened, they must not be too narrow. If the width is less than two centimetres, special seed mixtures containing herbs and resistant green plants that remain small are suitable. You can green wider joints with flat upholstery perennials. To do this, water the root balls well before insertion. If the root ball is too large, shorten it with a smooth, sharp cut. Most small perennials are robust and tolerate the cut well.

➜ Suitable plants for pavement joints:

moss with stars
Starry Moss – © fabianammer –

The starry moss is evergreen and covered with many tiny white flowers in spring/summer. It is conditionally kick resistant. Cat paws, stonecrop and houseleek are just as permanently green. You can grow the plants mixed or stay the same with one variety – both look attractive. Just follow your taste and garden style.

Gold Moss Sedum
Goldmoos Sedum – © kamolladee –

Sedum also feels at home in pavement joints. Most sedum species remain flat and are used to difficult conditions. Occasional walking does not bother the plants. However, they should not be used too much.

Pennywort – © emer –

Also very nice and suitable for joints: Spiny nuts and spiky cabbage. The spiny nut looks spiny, but is completely harmless. The pennywort has small, round leaves in a fresh green.

Wolliger Thymian
Wolliger Thymian – © bildschoenes –

Thyme also does very well in pavement joints. Thyme is not only available as a higher herb perennial, but also as a flat herb. For example, woolly (felty) thyme that grows only 3 – 5 cm tall. With small pink summer flowers, it’s a pretty sight. Roman chamomile and browns are well suited for heavy use, for example in the garden with children.

❹ Care after planting

In the first few weeks after sowing you must water the joints regularly. Later, apart from occasional pruning, no maintenance is required.

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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