Gravel driveway
 
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Gravel driveway

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Mars
 Mars
(@editor)
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Our main project for this year is our gravel driveway. As you can see from the attached photos there are two issues:

  • Grass and weeds growing through the gravel
  • Grass encroaching onto the gravel from both sides

It's taken 5 years to get this point, so I wanted to do a hard reset and get it looking new. We don't like to use weedkillers like Round Up, so would like to tackle this project manually. I was thinking of a box scraper of some description. 

If anyone has any creative ideas, please let me know.

driveway 1
driveway 2
driveway 1

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Dunlorn
(@dunlorn)
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Hello @editor. I've a similar situation to you, it's on my list to renovate the driveway after all work on the house is finished later this year.

Our gravel driveway has no geotextile beneath it which doesn't help, and also suffers from grass encroachment. I'm planning to use flexible metal strips to form an edge, excavate the gravel, hire a rotary sieve to clean it up then put it back on a prepared fabric base. I know fabric won't solve the issue of things growing, but it will help make it easier to manage. Not a job I'm looking forward to tbh but if I wasn't doing this I'd be doing something else. 😊

I think the level difference in your pics introduces more of a challenge, there's always going to be a tendency for grass to spill over. You might be better creating a separating border and planting it.

I'll be interested to see the outcome!

Best wishes

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Toodles
(@toodles)
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The approach I adopted for our ground mounted (well resting on an aluminium frame) PV panels was to prepare the area, lay weed repellant matting and then put 7-8 cm. of 20 mm gravel on top. The occasional weed has grown through in the last 18 months but they are easily removed as they can’t ‘take root’ as easily with the matting in place. I can look out the details if you wish but it was a heavy gauge version bought via Amazon. Regards, Toodles.

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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(@mike-patrick)
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We put down a gravel driveway 7 years ago on completion of the building contruction/refurbishment of the house. It was just mud and rubble.

We used MOT as a base layer with Cotswold stone as the top finishing layer. We have very few weeds come through. The base layer also stops the top layer gradually sinking into the ground and having to be "topped up" with new stones every so often, as happened at our previous home where we hadn't used MOT as a base.

 

Mike

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Transparent
(@transparent)
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In West Devon we can readily obtain gravel with arsenic salts in it.
Naff all grows on that stuff!

But you need to careful.
One guy I knew converted a couple of barns to holiday cottages. Between them was a courtyard area with an apple tree, a stunning sweep of lush grass and floral borders.
The advertising photos looked idyllic.

Then he spread arsenic gravel on the car park area, 30m uphill.

Guess what happened when it rained? 😢 

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Toodles
(@toodles)
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@transparent Did he call in Agatha Christie? 😉

  •  

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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Transparent
(@transparent)
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Sad to say, @toodles he couldn't bring himself to admit to his error.
Years earlier he'd taught agriculture at a Devon secondary school, and should therefore have been able to better evaluate the risks.
The area was therefore left barren, with flowers in planters dotted around.

Nature does have some amazing natural ways to keep plants in certain places and not others.
But we have to understand how to live in harmony with the natural environment, rather than 'play God' as my ex-colleague tried to do.

When deploying arsenic gravel, the area has to be bordered to prevent surface run-off.
Rain must only percolate downwards.

 

Returning to Mars' problem, that looks to me like couch grass encroaching from the uphill bank.

Its long white roots run deep, making it extremely difficult to eradicate.

I'd start by providing a better demarcation zone between the upper grass area and the gravel drive.
To make this productive, I'd suggest a raised bed with strawberries planted along it.  🍓 

Dig out part of the crumbling bank, and hold it back by building a solid rear wall of 2nd-hand concrete blocks and bricks (from a demolition site).
You need to make a barrier through which the couch roots can't grow... no gaps between the mortar!
That rear wall won't be visible, so doesn't need to look pretty!

Then make a front wall from natural stone.
All the rubble and washings from the cement mixer get thrown in the bottom of the gap between the walls.
They'll act as drainage and a further disincentive for roots to come up from below.

Cover the rubble strip with geotextile material to prevent rain from washing soil into gaps between the rubble.

Then top up the bed with soil and home-grown compost.

This post was modified 6 months ago by Transparent

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 JEH
(@jeh)
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Hi Mars, Sorry if this is a bit late but I re-did our gravel drive last Novemebr. It was looking a lot like yours so I borrowed a whacker plate and added some sharp sand to the existing gravel to get a fairly flat even surface. Then laid a brick edging and a plastic (recycled) grid with weed membrane moulded onto it. We laid the grid and gravel in one day and it has been brilliant. The gravel is 14mm black basalt, the local cats hate it 👍 , but it feels really solid, doesn't stick to your shoes or get into the house, even absorbs CO2! Really happy with the appearance too. 

IMG 2870
IMG 2868
IMG 2874
IMG 3166

 


   
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Toodles
(@toodles)
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@jeh There, that’s Mars’s early Spring plans made then!😊 Toodles.

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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