Having a gravel sidewalk, pathway, or driveway can add a lot of rustic charm to your home and is definitely more economical than other hardscape options such as pavers, asphalt, or concrete. Gravel is not only more budget friendly but is also more environmentally friendly than many hardscape options because it allows for drainage. But the one drawback that gravel has is that it can also become overgrown with weeds.
To avoid weeds in gravel there are a few steps you can take before you put gravel in. It’s a good idea to turn the soil and check for and remove any weeds or plant life that is visible. You can then put down some protective mulch or a fabric weed barrier before you lay the gravel. A weed suppressant material is generally very effective in stopping weeds from growing but over time, especially with heavy use, the fabric can become damaged and small punctures form, allowing weeds to come through. Airborne weeds can also grow on top of the fabric.
Another option before laying your gravel is to “brine” the pathway with salt or a mixture of salt and vinegar. The only downside to this organic method of weed control is that it can negatively impact grass and gardens nearby. There are also preemergent herbicides that can stop weeds from germinating.
The thicker the gravel the less likely weeds will be able to break their way through. It is recommended that you use a 3 to 5 inch layer of gravel to prevent weed growth. Make sure that your gravel areas stay dry and that you are not allowing irrigation water to run on the gravel. Water will facilitate weed growth.
If your gravel area is already in place and weeds are starting to become a problem there are some options. If the area is relatively small you can pull the weeds by hand. If you have a weed barrier in place, you may need to use a special tool such as a corkscrew or long bladed trowel to pull long rooted weeds out with minimal damage to the barrier. Raking your gravel regularly can also help remove surface weeds.
As a full service lawn care and landscaping company, Organic Solutions, Inc., can help you prevent weeds before installing gravel or we can help you tackle the problem grass and weeds that are encroaching on your existing gravel pathways or driveways. To speak to a professional about your particular concerns and to receive a free estimate, contact us today!
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