How to Keep Weeds Away from Your Gravel

Having a gravel sidewalk, pathway, or driveway with your home has many appealing qualities. For example, you can have a gravel pathway using any number of beautiful kinds of gravel pebbles, including contrasting or complementary colors to your home. You can also have a gorgeous curving pathway with the gravel, something that can be more difficult to do with other roadway materials. And you can even use materials like crushed granite or lava, among other hard materials, to create the “gravel” sidewalk or driveway. Also, the materials are much more yielding in cold weather than asphalt is.

All that sounds great, except for one thing – weeds. Because there is more flexibility and movement with a gravel path, it can potentially see some unwanted growth, as weed seeds sprout from the ground into the gravel surface. In addition, grass can also potentially sprout from the gravel areas.

So what can be done to keep weeds and even grass from growing in your gravel? Here are some weed control tips:

Weed the area thoroughly yourself

Before you put the gravel down:

  1. Make sure to thoroughly go through the soil in search of weeds and any other signs of plant life. Or if you already have the gravel in the pathway or driveway, temporarily remove it with a shovel.
  2. Turn the soil and check for any weeds, and pull them out. It is much easier to remove the weeds this way, than with gravel blocking getting the entire weed out.
  3. Rake the area, and some protective mulch, and then put the gravel on the top layer.

Use garden fabric to keep weeds away

Some people take this a step further and use garden or landscape fabric instead of, or in addition to, the mulch. This step will indeed add time and effort to the job, but it also offers very good results as far as keeping the weeds away. You also have to make sure to have a method to have the material held down into the ground, so that it does not blow away. Then simply put the gravel on top of this level.

Use salt for your weed control

Some people “brine” their gravel pathways with salt water. This avoids the use of herbicides completely. However, this can have some side effects. While the salt can indeed kill weeds, it can also kill anything else in its path, including grass and gardens. So you do not want to use this on a surface where the salt water will roll down into areas you do want to thrive.

Talk to your Lawn Doctor lawn care professional

Lawn Doctor has a variety of ways to establish pre-emergent weed control, as well as broadleaf weed and crabgrass control, so that any such weeds are dealt with immediately before your gravel driveway or gravel sidewalk looks out of control. Of course, these weed control and prevention services are also available for the rest of your lawn as well to keep the weeds at bay. Good luck with your gravel, and let us know if we can help.

2 thoughts on “How to Keep Weeds Away from Your Gravel

    1. Dot,

      You can use rock salt or table salt in a 3 to 1 ratio of salt to water. As the article mentions, this eliminates the use of herbicides but can also kill other plants. Avoid using this method on surfaces where the salt will travel to areas you want to thrive.

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