How To Stop Weeds Growing In Gravel Driveways?

Gravel driveways are becoming more and more popular for plenty of reasons. For example, it’s relatively affordable, and maintenance is a breeze. However, unsightly weeds tend to grow on your gravel driveway. So if you are looking for ways on how to stop weeds growing in gravel driveways, then this article is for you.


Dig The Roots Out

If your gravel driveway isn’t that large, then digging out the weeds may be sufficient. With this method, you’ll be using your hand to pull out the weeds. The most important part to remember is that you need to pull out the roots. If you don’t get the roots, then the weeds grow back faster.

Keep in mind that some species of weed will have long roots. Hence, it would be best if you use a weeding tool to make sure that the roots are uprooted. There are different kinds of weeding tools, but most of them serve roughly the same purpose. It’s up to you to find one that fits your preference and budget.

Another thing you can do is to rake your gravel driveway regularly. By doing so, you are continually uprooting the weeds before they become a real problem.


Lay Mulch

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Gardeners are fond of using mulch as a way of preventing the growth of weeds. The excellent thing is that mulch not only works on gardens but also on your gravel driveway. The key to making it work for your gravel driveway is to lay it first, followed by the gravel. This means that the gravel should be sitting on top of the mulch.

To make it more effective, it’s best that you dig out any weeds from the ground before laying the mulch and gravel. You can use a weeding tool or trowel to help you with the weed removal task. Then, you’d want to use a cultivator or rake to turn the soil. By doing so, you are ensuring that you are removing or killing the roots of the weeds. After that, you can smoothen back the soil and start laying the mulch.

If the gravel is already in place, and you want to lay down the mulch, you need to remove the stones first. You can do it in sections to make it easier.

Pick a good-sized section of the gravel driveway, and start shovelling it to the side. This should expose the ground. You can then remove the weeds and turn the soil. Flatten and smoothen back the soil, lay down the mulch, and finally the gravel. You can then move to a different section and just repeat the process.


Landscape Fabric

A better alternative to using mulch is landscape fabric. The biggest advantage of landscape fabric over mulch is that it won’t biodegrade over time. Hence, you don’t have to re-install it as often compared to re-applying mulch. On the downside, it takes a bit more effort to install compared to mulch. Both mulch and landscape fabric have their own sets of ups and downs, so it’s up to you to decide which one works best for you.

Just like mulch, landscape fabric blocks sunlight. Hence, the weeds have little chance of growing. Another thing to point out is that good landscape fabric is better at blocking light compared to mulch.

The best way to install a landscape fabric is before you lay down the gravel. Hence, if the gravel is already in place, you need to relocate them first. Installing a landscape fabric might require more effort, but it significantly helps in preventing weeds from growing for years to come.


Salt Water

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If you are just looking for something quick and easy to get rid of the weeds in your gravel driveway, then making your own natural anti-weed concoction may be a good solution. Keep in mind that this method doesn’t last very long, and you will need to keep re-applying it.

Your main ingredient in this concoction is salt. The thing with salt is that it draws water and moisture away from the cells of the plants, which will likely lead to death. Be aware that this solution will kill not only the weeds but most houseplants. Hence, be sure to keep your wanted plants safe before applying this method.

If your gravel driveway is smaller, then you can apply your concoction to the entire area. However, if it’s too large, then you can individually spray the weeds as they grow.

What you need:

  • Salt – to draw out moisture and water away from the plant’s cells.
  • Dish Soap – makes the water slide away from the plants, preventing water absorption.
  • Spray bottle – a container for your concoction and easy application.

The formula is simple. You need to mix about 65 ounces of salt per 1 gallon of water. Because dish soap come in varying concentration, it’s challenging to provide an exact measurement. A good rule of thumb to follow is to keep adding dish soap until bubbles start to form when you splash it with your hand.


Weed Killers

Perhaps using the store-bought weed killers is the most common way of dealing with the unwanted weeds in your gravel driveway. It’s readily accessible and effective. But keep in mind that you need to re-apply the weed killer, as its effect is not permanent.

When purchasing a weed killer, make sure that you get one that has the ingredient called glyphosate. Some weed killers will only kill the above-ground growth but won’t take care of the below-ground growth.

The thing with glyphosate is that it’s excellent at killing the weed, both the parts which are above and below the ground. Since you will be taking out the roots of the weeds, that would mean that it won’t be growing any time soon. Ultimately, it will save you money and effort as you don’t need to apply it often.


Wrapping It All Up

There are plenty of ways to remove those pesky weeds from your gravel driveways. In this article, you have learned five ways of doing that, which are:

  • Digging out the roots
  • Laying mulch
  • Laying landscape fabric
  • Spraying saltwater concoction
  • Using store-bought weed killers

While this article is far from being exhaustive for the many different ways of removing weeds, it should help you get started. While you are here why not read more into the many different types of driveways including asphalt, resin and concrete! Not only that, but we also have articles that cover money saving ways such as decorating your home on a budget and how to lay out a small bedroom!