Whenever there’s a weed problem in a lawn, almost always the use of gravel is mentioned. Gravel is easy to get your hands on, cheap, and efficient in taking care of weed. But what happens when weed is growing through gravel itself?
Well, it’s not unusual. Stubborn weeds and sharp grass blades can often pierce through the gravel, or it can be a problem when your gravel has worn through from years of use. But there’s always a solution to everything.
The best way to stop weeds from growing through gravel is to prepare the soil beforehand or use weed killer liberally on top of the weed overgrowth.
But there are better, more long-lasting ways of dealing with this issue, and in this article, we will talk about all of them. Ready?
How to Prevent Weeds From Growing Through Gravel
Now, there can be two scenarios. One where you are trying to put gravel on your new lawn and want to take the necessary steps to prevent any weeds. Or, two, weeds have shot through the gravel already, and it’s making your life difficult.
Let’s start with the first one. Let’s discuss some ways about how you can be best prepared before the disaster reaches you.
Prepare Your Soil
The best way to ensure your lawn doesn’t get overrun by weed is by preparing the soil, especially before laying down the gravel. Start by weeding out the patch of earth you want to lay the gravel on.
Dig up two-three inches of the soil, and put some mulch and sand. Compress everything tightly. Finally, add in your gravel and put herbicide over the top.
This is a foolproof plan. You are taking care of the weed growth both from the roots and top. This way, your patch of gravel will stay wee-free for years.
Landscape fabric can be beneficial when it comes to weed prevention. A good way to take control of weed growing through the gravel is by preparing the patch of land with landscape fabric.
Find a good quality landscape fabric, and lay it down first before filling it up with mulch. Then lay the gravel on top. This makes sure the grass cannot peer through.
Landscape fabric can easily last up to 5-10 years. It is a one-and-done solution. But you still have the option to take it off after a few years.
Border edging is an excellent solution for stopping weeds in their tracks, literally. How the weed grows through the gravel is quite interesting. The surrounding grass shoots its roots through the soil towards the gravel patch, and then the newer blades pierce through.
By adding a hard edging around your gravel patch, you will be protecting the patch of soil. The weed from around your gravel will not be able to penetrate the gravel at all.
How to Get Rid of Weeds That are Already Grown
Now let us talk about the oft-seen second scenario. Chances are if you are on this page you have faced this problem at least once. Now, there is no other way of taking care of already grown weeds other than killing them off.
Here are some ways of clearing out already grown weeds from your gravel.
The go-to solution for many, and frankly, it is the easiest. So now, once you see a bunch of weed blades growing through your gravel patch, grab that glyphosate-based weed killer.
You can use a regular strength liquid or a sprinkler to get into the more delicate rocks and sand gaps to get to the soil. You can use harder chemical weed killers if the pesky weeds do not relent.
Make sure to spray on a day when it is not forecasted to be rainy. Weed killers usually need some time to settle in. Rain and water will wash it off to other parts of the lawn where you might not want to have weed killer.
It is a tricky process to pinpoint and spray, but you do what you have to do. Weedkiller would generally last for a few months, but perennial grass will eventually reoccur. So, we would suggest seeking a more permanent solution once the weeds die down.
Okay, let’s say you do not want to spray weed killer on your lush lawn. That is entirely understandable. Weed killers can spread to other parts of the yard and kill off your precious plants and flower beds.
So, let’s talk about natural solutions. The most natural homely solution is going with salt. It is very efficient. And it works as an excellent substitute for weed killer powder.
But, you have to be very, very precise and careful in your application. You do not want the salt to spread through your lawn. It will throw off the PH balance of the soil.
So, the ideal solution is mixing it with water. Add a hefty amount of salt with hot water and put it over the weed growth between your gravel patches. Be very careful not to pour excessively.
You can also just put the salt over the weed and immediately soak it with water to avoid spreading. It’s an easier approach to the process.
Hot Boiling Water
If you feel iffy about adding any chemicals to your lawn or even throwing off the PH balance with a bunch of salt, hot boiling water is the best solution for you.
Put water on the stove and when it comes to a boil, immediately put it in a heat-safe container. Carry the container to your lawn and pour it directly over the weeds. This will scorch off the weedlings and leave you with wilted weed that you can easily take out.
How to Maintain Weed-Free Gravel
Now you know how to prevent grass from growing through your gravel and how to retrieve your gravel from a weed attack. But do you know how to keep it that way?
Well, don’t you worry. We have got your back. Here are some helpful maintenance tips for your lawn gravel.
Change the Gravel
Well, that’s pretty straightforward. After years and years of use, the gravel can wear put. So, occasionally change out the gravel. Excavate everything, prepare the soil with sand and organic mulch and add fresh gravel on top.
Doing a little bit of maintenance work would last you a long time.
Top off The Gravel Area
If the gravel patch is in a walkway, or if it is a gravel driveway, it is very common for it to thin out. Over time from passerby foot compressions, the gravel will thin out and be sparse.
Once you start seeing the gravel thinning out, top it off with some new gravel and compress everything. The top off will extend the time till you have to change the gravel again.
And, with that, we have come to the very end of our article. We have tried to cover everything in precise detail as much as we could. We hope you have learned something useful today. Now put this knowledge to work and reclaim your gravel overrun by weedlings. Good Luck!
Can I use vinegar to get rid of weed growing through gravel?
You can add spoonfuls of vinegar to the salt method to make it more explosive. But, it will make the soil sterile, so keep this as your very last resort.
Can I use baking soda to kill off weeds?
You can. The idea is the same as using table salt. But, again, it will make the land less than fertile.
What kind of weed killers should I use?
Anything glyphosate-based should work perfectly.