When my husband and I moved into our house almost five years ago, we knew we would be doing extensive landscaping to the one acre or so of our landscaped property. The house was 40 years old and desperately needed help. The front of the house featured lots of overgrown trees, bushes and plantings and tons of weeds.
We removed, pruned and trimmed. Then we designed and added a meandering stone walkway from the driveway to the front door. We had a ton of space left and didn't want grass or mulch, so we decided to add river rocks. Lots and lots of them. Formed patterns with difference sizes. We put river rocks around the foundation and in a few areas in the back, too.
We placed landscaping fabric underneath the rocks. However, weeds still manage to pop up, especially in Spring. They drive me crazy and I feel like I spend half my life pulling them out.
There is no way I would use any poisonous chemicals on the weeds, however. So, I experimented and found that straight white household vinegar will kill small weeds. (The tiny weeds just seem as if they proliferate overnight. A two year old might be able to grasp the suckers, but not me.)
I put the vinegar in one of those spray pumps and on a sunny and hot day, go to town. Within a day or so they have shriveled and burned up! Do not use vinegar near plants, however.
I still do a lot of weeding, but killing the small ones does help keep me from feeling completely overwhelmed.
For more on non-toxic gardening and much more, go to: Harmonious Environment.