DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Landscaping & Lawn Care (
-   -   Landscape fabric under gravel driveway? (

jpsmith 03-11-2009 08:08 AM

Landscape fabric under gravel driveway?
I have a gravel driveway - 2B limestone, about 2" deep. The gravel stays in place pretty well, I don't have problems with it pushing out to the sides or ending up where I don't want it. When the ground is particularly soft after a thaw, I get some spots where the gravel works its way into the ground and I need to reapply it in patches, but it's no big deal. The one problem I do have, however, is weeds. I'm tired of weeding my driveway and this year I want to do something about it.

I don't like using herbicides. Instead, I'd like to put a weed barrier under the gravel. Has anyone used landscape fabric under a gravel driveway? My concern is that it will disintegrate over time due to the jagged limestone being pressed down on it when cars roll over it. Will this happen, or will the fabric hold up for some time?

rjordan392 03-11-2009 08:55 AM

Landscape fabric will not last. Even if you did not use the driveway, the fabric will break down from summer and winter temperatures. You might get two years from just walking on it, but don't count on it.
Either use the strongest herbicide, or have a contractor come in and pour concrete or blacktop.

Bob Mariani 03-11-2009 10:43 AM

The weeds are spread from wind and birds and germinated at the top of the driveway. So anything below the gravel will no you no good. Since you not want to use any chemicals you need to learn to love the weeds.

jpsmith 03-11-2009 10:47 AM

Thanks for the replies. If the weeds were germinating in the gravel but could not set root in the soil below, they'd either die off from lack of nutriends, or at least be easy to pull if they're not set in soil. Some sort of barrier would stop weeds from below coming up, and would stop newly-germinated seeds from setting root in the soil. Since posting, I've read that geotextile fabric would work. Same idea as I was thinking of using landscape fabric for, but stronger.

Bob Mariani 03-11-2009 10:57 AM

geotextile fabrics are used for soil stabilization. Such as a Mirafi fabric. And others. I built my driveway with this stuff under the gravel. Cost about $500 a roll. BUT... weeds still grow. Wind blows dirt and sand with the weed seeds and both settle on and into your gravel. This is one reason gravel driveways need yearly maintenance. I have my own equipment and use a power plow to turn up and fix the gravel. But for weeds I use a heavy coat of preen and also found round-out (industrial one) to work fairly well. The few weeds I do get by end of summer I burn out with a roofing torch. But I assure you these fabrics will not prevent weeds and the the weeds do not come from under your driveway. If you think they do, then use 6 mil black plastic under the gravel. which will hold up fine.

Kap 03-11-2009 11:48 AM

Check with your local nursery and see if they have herbicidal vinegar. It's vinegar with a higher concentration of acetic acid. 20-30% as opposed to 5% in kitchen vinegar. It's organic, so no chemicals. Google hebicidal vinegar or vinegar as herbicide for more info.

You will ALWAYS have weeds unless you do regular applications of pre-emergent herbicides. It doesn't matter what you put under the gravel. If you do put anything under the gravel, it will collect dust and soil over the years, and the weeds will root in that. Best to kill them. The leave them to die on their own method will not work.

You can also look into corn gluten meal as a pre-emergent herbicide.

jpsmith 03-11-2009 11:54 AM

Horticultral Vinegar is a good option; it's an herbicide that I'd be willing to use. I've read studies on its effectiveness and feel it would be worth the time it takes to apply it... if only I could find it. I tried all of my nurseries a few years back. Even Agway couldn't help me. I didn't try buying it online, though. That's probably an option.

pjczech 03-26-2009 10:17 AM

JP, what did you decide to do? I am doing the same project now. I have an area in my yard with weeds, grass and old gravel. I want to level, put down fabric, and cover with gravel for a parking area. Let me know!

jpsmith 03-26-2009 10:22 AM

I haven't done anything yet as the weeds haven't really started to grow. I am pretty sure that landscape fabric will disintegrate quickly under the gravel. That stuff isn't very tough, so the act of driving on the gravel will tear it up. My plan is to order some 20% vinegar and use it to spot-treat the weeds as they come up.

If you're planning on putting gravel down where there is currently a lot of weeds & grass, I recommend doing all you can to remove the green stuff and its roots before you put the gravel down. If it's a big area, maybe renting a sod cutter is a good idea. If it's not too big, you can probably do it with a stirrup hoe. As an added benefit to using a stirrup hoe, you'll get a great shoulder workout! I use one to clear grass/weeds when starting a new garden bed. It works well for getting the bulk. Then, later, as weeds start to come back you can get them one-by-one with a puller or with an herbicide such as the vinegar mentioned.

pjczech 03-26-2009 10:24 AM

That is a big job! The area is probably 20*20 - its big enough to get 1 car in easy or two with some maneuvering. Because there is already gravel, its hard to move. I'd need heavy equipment to dislodge it all. SO i'm thinking I'll cover it with something and go over.. them maybe apply some herbicide. its 90% grass, which will die quickly when its covered... The rest of the weeds are from old tree roots which are now cut down anyway. Going to be a big job!

jpsmith 03-26-2009 10:27 AM

The grass will die if you cover it with something it can't get through. I learned that you can't choke out grass with a heavy layer of gravel. :) Fabric does the trick, but if you drive on the fabric, it will fall apart. Heavy plastic would work, but then water would run off similar to having a paved driveway; you'd have to account for that.

white29 03-26-2009 01:05 PM

Do yourselves a favor and learn to love a little Round UP. Better yet there's a brand called Enforcer (I think) that comes in a red bottle. Stronger and cheaper than RU,it comes in concentrate form. I get it at Home Depot. You are going to cause yourself a lot of work,money and frustration if you try this fabric idea. That stuff doesn't even work well in the areas it's intended for,as mentioned soil gets on top of the gravel and walla!-weeds. I also am environmentally minded,but a little herbicide used correctly will do no harm and save you alot of headaches.Buy a good sprayer and follow directions.Take it from someone who knows!

RippySkippy 03-26-2009 03:35 PM

My wife's uncle put the geo-textile fabric under his drive...about 3 years ago. Now it looks like crap...after gradings, and snow's almost unavoidable to snag and rip up a piece. Where its installed deep I'm sure it's working fine...but near the edges it looks like a well worn T-shirt....all the time. Not for me. I like the could look for a chemical with a bit more residual hand I can't give you a product name.

Scuba_Dave 03-26-2009 06:08 PM

My 2nd driveway has gravel
I sput down somne stone dust to fill it in
This stuff packs down like concrete
Very few weeds now

concretemasonry 03-26-2009 06:23 PM

Weed seeds come from above after you made the initial "kill" with Roundup. - A weed barrier will do little to help under the conditions and exposure you have.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:40 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1