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Gravel Drive Weeds

Having a perfect-looking gravel driveway is a desire of every homeowner, and usually, people spend a big part of their incomes on putting a new gravel drive. The contractor makes you completely satisfied that weeds will not grow in between the tiny gaps, but you become upset when you see weeds growing and making your driveway or pathway look ugly.

Sometimes, the gravel corridors or driveways are neglected by the homeowners due to any reason, resulting in the appearance of overgrown weeds in that area. 

We will recommend worthwhile ways to prevent and solve this problem if you are also a victim.

Note: If you are here for just a solution to get rid of gravel weed skip to the next section of the article.

Common Gravel Weeds Plants:

Mr. Weed Graval Plant is a very interesting plant, found practically everywhere, growing in the gravel. Before we get rid of it, let’s take a look at common gravel weed plants.

Broadleaf weeds:

Broadleaf weed plants can be difficult to remove because they have strong roots that go deep into the ground. Not only that, they grow back quickly after you weed them out. There are several ways to get rid of weeds, one of which is by using glyphosate-based herbicides which are available commercially or can be made at home.

  • Dandelion

Dandelion weed, also known as Taraxacum. This is one of the most common weeds you’ll find in your gravel yard or garden. It has a long root that goes deep into the ground which makes it hard to remove. You can pull dandelions by hand like any other weed but it takes time and effort.

  • Purslane:

Purslane is also known as Portulaca and looks like a succulent. The leaves look almost fleshy and the weed is often bright red or green in colour. It grows close to the ground and sprouts flower buds which open up to bright yellow flowers.

  • Chickweed:

This is also called Stellaria and looks like a tiny green star-shaped flower on top of long thin stems. Once it matures, it develops small white seeds which are the case with all weeds. Chickweed is often found close to dandelions.

Grass weeds:

If you have a lawn in your garden, there’s a good chance that grassy weeds will spring up in the gravel. Grass does not normally grow in gravel so it may be an indicator of compaction or drainage problems arising from having too much gravel and no turf to hold it down.

  • Sandbur: 

Sandbur is also known as sandspur and looks like a small thorn sticking out of the gravel. The weed grows about an inch high and has tough skin which can penetrate just about anything.

Woody weeds:

Although not common in gravel gardens, you may find these weeds if you’ve got trees in your garden. It can be very difficult to remove woody weeds because they have strong roots that go deep into the ground just like broadleaf weed plants.

  • Black locust:

Black locust is one of the most common woody weed plants and grow in full sun. The weed produces yellowish flowers which grow into long thin seed pods. It has an extremely tough root system which can be very difficult to remove.

  • Redstem filaree:

This weed plant is also known as Erodium or storksbill and you will find it close to the ground. The weed spreads out in a fan-like pattern so you’ll know if you have one because it will cover a large area of your gravel garden very quickly.

Gravel Drive Weeds Prevention:

Prevention is the first thing that you need to do before you start placing gravel drives if you want the area free of weeds in the future, and make it look nice and clean.

  • Weed Preventer herbicides:

One of the most effective ways to avoid gravel weeds is by using weed preventer herbicides. These are available commercially or you can make your own at home. The weed preventer goes deep into the ground and prevents weeds from sprouting.

The concentrate comes in a plastic bottle with a top that contains a spray nozzle attached to it. You’ll need to purchase an applicator pump which you can attach to the bottle so you can spray everything evenly. A good quality prevents weed for 6 months from sprouting.

The following are great products if you want to try them out.

  1. RM43 43-Percent
  2. Preen 2464083
  • Weed Barrier:

Before placing the gravel in your driveway or pathway, be sure to lay a barrier that can effectively stop the weeds from reaching the surface of the gravel. There are two options regarding barriers.

The first is the weeds controller fabric. This type of fabric does not allow the weeds to come out of the gravel and appear to be seen on the gravel surface. It acts as an obstacle for the weeds in between the soil and gravel.

The second option is to use weeds controller plastic sheets. These sheets act as a shield between the soil and the gravel layer to keep away the weeds from coming up to the soil and reaching the surface of the gravel. They also have the property to kill the existing weeds from the roots because of their black colour. Black colour does not allow enough light to pass and does not nourish weeds to make them grow freely. It is very convenient to assemble, cut and lay down on any type of ground.

Eliminate Weeds from the Gravel Drive:

  • Manual trial:

Start pulling out weeds by using your hands if you have a smaller area to clear out. But remember to keep your safety gloves on while performing the task.

If you have a little wider space to clear out, then you can also use a digging tool like a spade to dig out the weeds down from the roots. If you want deeper digging with less damage to the gravel, it is recommended to use a corkscrew trowel or any long-bladed trowel. They can be helpful in the removal of weeds even through the protective fabric or plastic sheet.

  • Make a salt solution:

Using a salt solution is also effective to stop weeds growth. You can make a salt solution by using only three ingredients that are easily available at every home.

Take 4 litres of water, and mix about 2 kg salt, and a little amount of dish soap to make a solution. Now put it in a spray bottle and spray the whole area where you have performed digging already, or spray this solution before placing the gravel. Salt is a proven substance to stop the weeds from growing because it is a non-selective kind of weed killer.

Keep in mind that this method will be less effective if you spray it on the already positioned gravel.

  • Get gravel weeds killer:

If you have a larger property that will take up more energy and time then, go get the gravel weeds killer from the market. Experts always recommend using a liquid form weed killer or herbicide, as it is convenient to use with a larger sprayer and lasts longer by absorbing into the soil till the roots of the weeds.

Usually, they stay activated for several months and help to discontinue the growth of weeds and grass. Re-application will be required so don’t throw away the gallon after a single use.

Additional suggestions

Moreover, you can get rid of gravel driveway weeds by:-

  • Clearing out any dirt, debris, and mud from the area where gravel needs to be laid, as the dirty soil is favourable for weeds growth.
  • Raking the gravel driveways or pathways regularly. It will not only take out the appeared weeds but also discourage the germination of seeds.
  • Coating up the new gravel on the older one every four to five years. New topping will help wrap up the bare spots.
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