A gravel driveway can add a charming, rustic feel to your home. More and more people are turning to gravel driveways as opposed to concrete or asphalt, as gravel driveways are cheaper to install and, in many ways, easier to maintain than these alternatives. However, there are some things that you'll need to do in order to care for your gravel driveway that you wouldn't have to do with other types of driveways. Namely, gravel driveways that are untended are oftentimes subject to overgrowth of weeds and grass. Here are some pointers to keep those weeds at bay.
1. Stop Weeds Before they Start to Grow
Whether you have an existing gravel driveway that already has some weeds and grass growing, or if you're newly installing a gravel driveway and are looking to prevent yourself from having to work on removing these items in the future, there are a few ways that you can stop weed growth before it begins. Consider laying a plastic barrier underneath the gravel if you're installing new gravel or making adjustments to the existing layers. You can also put in blockades on either side of the gravel driveway to stop the natural growth of grass and other materials before they can reach the driveway. These could include plastic barriers, bricks, or stones. A thick application of gravel will also help suppress weed growth so consider adding a layer every few years.
2. Use Weed Control
If you already have weeds in your gravel driveway, it can take a long time to remove them all by hand. You may wish to remove some of the larger weeds in order to prevent damage or inconvenience to your car as you enter or leave the driveway, but it can oftentimes be easier to use a weed control chemical or formula.
When using an herbicidal chemical to control weed growth on your gravel driveway, be very careful that you will not have any human or animal contact with your driveway. These substances can prove injurious or even lethal to you, your family, your pets, and wild animals. For this reason, many people turn to natural weed control substances to help deal with this issue. By using a natural substance like white vinegar, you can coat your driveway and prevent weeds from growing, while not creating a potentially dangerous area for human beings or animals in the vicinity.
Raking your gravel driveway regularly can help to keep the gravel itself moving around. This prevents weeds from being as readily able to find footholds in the ground underneath the gravel, which in turn can make it more difficult for those weeds to grow as they normally would.
Finally, you may also wish to use a weed killer or a more powerful agent to eliminate weeds. Again, this is potentially hazardous to you and the other people and animals around you, so it's important that you exercise caution. If you do decide to go with this option, it's generally a good idea to carefully weed the driveway by hand and then to rake the gravel before you lay on the weed killer.