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Gravel is a nice surface material that can be used to create a natural and clean look for your gardens, driveways, and pathways. However, weeds can pop up anywhere just to destroy the beautiful aesthetic you have designed. We understand how annoying that can be, that's why we have written this article to help you keep those weeds from growing in your gravel.
To keep weeds away from your gravel, you can either prevent them from growing in the first place or remove them once they have already grown. There are simple ways to keep those weeds from growing in your gravel such as the home method, using a thick gravel layer, and irrigation prevention. On the other hand, once the weeds have already made their way to your gravel, you can just uproot them or get rid of them using certain chemicals.
Weeds are the kind of plants that can grow almost anywhere and everywhere. Therefore it is not surprising if you see them growing even in your gravel pavements. But that's alright because removing them can be done with minimal effort. Read on to keep your gravel grass-free.
Techniques to Prevent Weeds From Growing In The Gravel
It is harder to remove weeds once they have grown into your gravel compared to preventing them from growing there at all. The following techniques practical and helpful techniques will help you in keeping your grave weed-free. Some of which might even surprise you.
Laying Mulch Under The Gravel
Mulch when laid under the gravel can prevent any weeds from growing in your gravel. To ensure this method will work, you need to make sure that you have removed all of the weeds. After which, you can smoothen the area then spread the mulch.
This is ideal when you are laying the gravel for the first time. However if you already have gravel set down, you will have to remove all the gravel first before spreading it back once you have laid the mulch.
Using Weed Control Fabrics
Much like mulch, weed control fabrics are placed under the gravel to prevent weeds from growing under the gravel. They can also be used vertically to prevent weeds from spreading into the gravel from other areas.
Weed control fabrics are easy to install. All you have to do is cut the sheet to the size and shape suited for your project. After that, you can secure them using landscaping pins. If you want additional assurance that no weeds will grow, you can add a mulch layer on top before laying down the gravel.
Using Pre-Emergent Herbicides
Pre-emergent herbicides control weeds before they can germinate, hence, they do not kill existing weeds. Using pre-emergent herbicides will keep the weeds from growing for three months up to a year. This method works well in gravel areas and places where you don't want any kind of vegetation growing.
Once you have prepared the pre-emergent herbicide solution, you can simply use a garden hose attachment to spray it onto your gravel or any other paved surfaces.
Thick Gravel Layer
A 3 to 5 inches thick layer of gravel can aid in preventing weeds from growing in the gravel. Seeds of grass are less likely to germinate since light will not be able to easily penetrate through the thickened gravel. It's also important to note to place smaller stones as you increase the gravel layer.
Preventing any water from reaching your gravel is another way to prevent the weeds from growing in your gravel. So make sure that any water from your lawn's irrigation system will not reach your gravel.
Simple Methods to Remove Weeds That Have Already Grown In The Gravel
Sometimes, all that's left for you to deal with are the weeds that have already made their way into your gravel. Even so, these methods can make it easier for you to get rid of them.
Uprooting Weeds By Hand
Hand weeding is the most common method of weed control. The advantage of this is that you get to completely uproot the weed thereby completely killing it. Not all weeds are easy to pull so they require extra effort. This is also only fun when the weeds that have grown in your gravel are the small ones and easy to uproot. Some helpful tools you can use when uprooting weeds include trowels, corkscrew weeder, and gardening gloves.
Using Practical Methods
Not many people know this, but salt is a good weed killer. When mixed with water, it is highly toxic as it disrupts the internal water balance and causes the dehydration of plants. However, you may want to use this method sparingly or away from your gardening soil as it will also keep any other plants from growing at all.
Pouring boiling water over weeds is also a practical method to get rid of the weeds in your gravel. The heat from the hot water will collapse the plant's cell structure and kill it. Once you have poured the hot water, you can leave the weeds for a few hours to a few days then you can easily remove them.
Spraying Chemical Products
Herbicides containing Glyphosphate are considered the best chemical control for weeds. This is because they are capable of killing the whole plant including the roots. In this regard, you can either dilute pure Glyophosphate or buy ready-to-use solutions. This solution can easily remove weeds in large areas such as driveways.
A flame weeder is a wandlike instrument powered by a heat source such as propane. This is a unique instrument used to kill weeds. In order to use a flame weeder, you must first connect it to the heat source. Then all you have to do is hold the end of the flame weeder wand a few inches over the weeds while keeping away from setting the weeds on fire. The heat will kill the weed quickly by destroying the plant cell barriers.
But you must take note to only a flame weeder on areas with no nearby desirable plants such as driveways. Before using it, also make sure it is not the drought season or you are not using it in areas where the risk of wildfire is high.
Why Do Weeds Grow In Gravel
As mentioned earlier, weeds can grow anywhere and everywhere. They also require minimal nutrients. As long as they have access to sunlight and moist soil, they can thrive. Aside from these, gravel when not compacted enough can give them more flexibility and space for growth. Some common weeds that can grow in the gravel are woody weeds, grassy weeds, and broadleef weeds.
Gravel not only serves as a beautiful aesthetic to your house and yards but is also a cost-effective surface material. But because of the minimal work and effort that you need to spend on it to keep the woods away, it is not as low maintenance as you think it might be. This article has covered simple techniques and methodologies to keep your gravel neat and presentable.
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