Gravel driveways and paths add the perfect rustic look to your home. But this look can quickly be ruined as weeds show up in the gravel. So, you need to learn how to stop weeds growing through pebbles.
The 4 ways to remove weeds from pebbles and prevent them from growing back are:
- Use Fabric Weed Suppressants to create a barrier between the soil and pebbles. This allows water and light through however blocks weeds from pushing to the surface.
- Use Plastic Sheeting under the pebbles to prevent light from penetrating and allowing weeds to take root
- Use Weed Killers that contain glyphosate that kills the weed and root
- Remove the weeds by hand using tools
If like many homeowners, you choose to have gravel for your driveway or paths, you will be aware of the benefits. Rustic look, cheaper to install and maintain, cleaner than tarmac, and great for drainage.
But, gravel can also be affected by weeds so we want to help you stop weeds from growing through the pebbles, so you can enjoy the benefits of your gravel.
Weeds are unsightly and make take away from the clean look you were trying to present. The last thing you want people to see is blotches of green scattered across your driveway. With our guide you can easily rid your gravel of weeds and so that your driveway will be purely pebbles.
Types of Weeds That Grow Through Pebbles
Before trying to eliminate the weeds that are growing in your gravel, you first need to identify the type of weeds that are growing. There are three basic types of gravel weed plants: Broadleaf Weeds, Grassy Weeds and Woody Weeds.
- Broadleaf Weeds – these have broad leaves with prominent veins and green stems. Examples include: Henbit, Purslane, Chickweed, Dandelion
- Grassy weeds – these resemble overgrown blades of grass. The leaves are long and thin. Examples include: Long-Spine Sandbur, Velvetleaf
- Woody weeds – these often look like small trees or shrubs. Examples include: Black Locust, Mimosa.
How To Stop Weeds From Growing
Gravel adds a nice outlook to your home, but this can be ruined by the growth of weeds through the pebbles. If you like others need to know how to stop weeds growing through pebbles, keep reading.
1. Fabric Weed Suppressants
Landscape fabric is a solid manufactured sheet of woven fibers. It has small holes to allow water through to the ground below.
The holes are too small for weeds to get through. Many use this fabric to prevent weeds from growing through the pebbles of your gravel walk or driveways. Of course, this needs to be placed beneath the gravel, so you may have to remove the gravel to have this laid.
The benefit of using this landscaping fabric is that it stops weed growth by creating a barrier between the soil and the pebbles.
Deep rooted weeds are also prevented from seeding and growing. However, the fabric can eventually become worn by the gravel creating holes that can allow weeds through.
You should be prepared to take off the gravel every few years to replace the fabric for the best protection.
2. Plastic Sheeting
In a similar fashion to landscaping fabric, these sheets of black plastic create a barrier between the soil and the gravel.
Light is not able to get through, preventing weeds from growing. Plastic sheets are cheaper and easy to cut into whichever shape you need.
Again, these need to be placed beneath the gravel, so if you already have gravel in place, you will need to remove it to install the plastic sheeting.
You want to make sure you use black plastic as lighter colors will allow light through. This means the weeds can still grow. The drawback to plastic sheets is that water cannot get through so can form puddles and water-logging problems.
Over time, the gravel can tear the plastic so it will also need to be replaced every few years.
3. Weed Killers
If you do not want to remove the gravel to install sheeting of any kind, you can also try weed killers. The best weed killer will contain glyphosate which kills the entire plant including the roots.
Glyphosate-containing weed killers will prevent annual and deep-rooted weeds from sprouting through the pebbles of your gravel. You only need one application.
There are health hazards associated with the chemicals in these weed killers however, so you need to make sure all children and pets are not going to be near the area.
4. Weeding Gravel By Hand
Another common option is to remove the weeds from the gravel by hand. This is easy to do and ideal for those with only a few small patches of weeds to deal with. You will want to make sure you have a good pair of garden gloves to protect your hands.
You may also need to pull weeds out by hand if you do have a suppressant that has begun to show holes, allowing weeds through.
You want to get as low down the weed as you can and using your fingers pull out the stem. Try not to leave any of the roots left to re-grow.
Some weeds like dandelions are deep-rooted and will require the use of tools to get all the roots out. You have to get all of the roots out as the smallest bit will allow the plant to re-grow.
If you have a fabric or plastic sheet, note that using tools will cause further damage to the suppressant. This does work for removing the weeds until you are able to replace the entire sheet.
To dig out weeds and their roots, you will need to have certain tools on hand. A trowel set is ideal for getting all of those deep-rooted weeds out of the gravel and they are comfortable to hold and easy to use.
You can also use a corkscrew weeder. This is especially helpful for those with back problems as well as removing weeds through suppressant fabrics or sheets.
You simply screw the metal spiral through the pebble and gravel and then pull.
Helpful Tips To Know How To Stop Weeds Growing Through Pebbles
Any of these methods discussed will help prevent weeds from growing through your gravel pathways or drive. In addition to these, there are a few helpful tips to remember that will also keep your gravel weed free.
- Regular Raking: Regularly raking your gravel will pull any weeds out and move the ground, which makes it difficult for weeds to seed and grow.
- Top Up: Every five years you can add a new layer of gravel to cover bare patches as well as weeds. This also disrupts the ability for weeds to seed.
- Use Vinegar: Full strength vinegar, such as white vinegar can be used to kill weeds and is safer than chemical weed killers.
- Use Salt: Salt can also be used to kill weeds as it dissolves into the soil. Just make sure you only use it on driveways as it is very unfriendly to the soil and will prevent future growth for years.
If you are looking to keep your gravel pathways and drives clear of weeds, this is the guide for you. There are simple and effective ways to prevent weeds from growing through the gravel, so you can keep the look you were going for.
With any of these methods, you can learn how to stop weeds growing through pebbles to keep your drives and paths looking sharp.