• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • jordan barton
  • Carla Burke
  • Leigh Tate
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean
  • Steve Thorn

Re-topping Gravel Lot- Weeds and Mud

 
pollinator
Posts: 297
Location: Northwest Missouri
105
forest garden fungi gear trees plumbing chicken cooking ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My large gravel parking area is in poor shape. Muddy in the winter, weedy in the summer. I need to add gravel but that’s not going to help with the weeds much over time. Which leads me to wonder- kill the weeds ahead of time or cover with geo fabric before adding more gravel?

Kill ahead- Pros: low cost clear plastic to solarize or weed torch. Cons: time/labor/need to re treat in the future.
Covering with geofabric- Pros: long term weed barrier, helps keep new gravel from sinking. Cons: more work, puts plastic in environment.

Leaning towards geofabric. There’s one spot that is fresh ground and will need fabric anyway. Not sure about the older spots because it just feels like putting a lot of plastic into the environment that will break down into microplastic junk on a long timeline.

All flat, 450 square yards. Any thoughts are welcome!
Driveway.JPG
[Thumbnail for Driveway.JPG]
 
pollinator
Posts: 234
Location: Sierra Nevada Foothills, Zone 8b
53
dog forest garden fish fungi trees hunting books food preservation building wood heat homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For my area that is a bit bigger but in the same condition:

I use my favorite Christmas present ever: a 150,000 propane torch! It only takes a few minutes, a few times a year and I feel like it is much healthier than poison and much easier than geofabric. Cheaper than both!
 
pioneer
Posts: 75
Location: Central Virginia, Zone 7.
20
kids trees chicken cooking bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
450 sq yds of parking?  You must be very popular.  "Hey, party at Matt's place!"
 
master steward
Posts: 5064
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1554
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If this lot were mine and I wanted to do it properly so that it might last for years, I would have a load of road base brought in first then top with "washed rock" that is about 2" to 3".

Here in Texas road base is usually caliche that dries almost like concrete.

My driveway never has weeds growing through it.

Though, I like Dan Fish's idea about using the flame thrower on the weeds.
 
Posts: 104
Location: Tip of the Mitt, Michigan
17
monies cooking building
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, up here my driveway and parking had lots of green stuff growing.  I sprayed it with vinegar. Not much green stuff after that. I spray in early spring and after the rains.  I like the idea of torching the remaining weeds.  Then I use a board with nails in it, and on top I put cement blocks to loosen the rocks and spread the drive flat.
 
Matt Todd
pollinator
Posts: 297
Location: Northwest Missouri
105
forest garden fungi gear trees plumbing chicken cooking ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I do have a weed torch. Feels like a lot of area to cover but I'll sure give it a try!  I've used the dang thing on just about everything BUT weeds so far, so I guess it deserves a chance to do it's intended job.
Also thought about clear plastic on the south strip of grass (the right side of the picture) since I don't often drive over there. Cook it for a few weeks and see where that gets me.
Wish I could just leave that side alone and mow it, but when I add gravel in front of the barn on the north (left side of pic), there would be no edge between what is gravel and what is grass anymore. The gravel would just sit taller and spill over into the mowed zone.    
191675472_120921906748580_5000816169621294639_n.jpg
Facing East
Facing East
 
Anne Miller
master steward
Posts: 5064
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1554
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Matt, that is a lovely area you have.  I am envious!

Are the plants with the white flower clover?

If this was my lot I wouldn't do anything except maybe chop and drop the few weed that are tall.  To me, they look like they might be some thistle and dandelion?
 
Matt Todd
pollinator
Posts: 297
Location: Northwest Missouri
105
forest garden fungi gear trees plumbing chicken cooking ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Anne Miller wrote:Matt, that is a lovely area you have.  I am envious!
Are the plants with the white flower clover?
If this was my lot I wouldn't do anything except maybe chop and drop the few weed that are tall.  To me, they look like they might be some thistle and dandelion?



Clover, thistle, and dandelion, correct! The problem is, it's all growing up through old gravel and in the winter it all turns to mush. So it's annoyingly not gravel and not dirt either. I would consider just leaving the strip of greenery on the right, but when I add more gravel to the left, there would be no border. No way to contain the gravel unless I take it all the way to the original railroad tie border that runs along the green strip.
 
Anne Miller
master steward
Posts: 5064
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1554
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What my sister-in-law did when she added gravel to her driveway was to put in something like a raised bed that would contain the gravel and not let it spill into the yard.  This could be done with round poles as I see in your picture, behind the thistle.

Maybe you only need to put gravel in the annoying areas.

Unless you have a rainy summer, it sounds like you will not need to do anything until sometime before the rainy season.
 
pollinator
Posts: 210
Location: Japan, roughly zone 9b - wet and warm climate
72
hugelkultur kids forest garden trees cooking woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just a little food for thought.

It looks like you have zero vegetation in some areas, and I'm assuming that is because of heavy traffic.

Do you need the full area as a gravel lot some of the time? Or would it be more efficient to let traffic dictate the boundaries of the parking lot?

Maybe convert the non-trafficked area into non-parking? Something that will manage the water and mud better than gravel.
gift
 
The Greenhouse of the Future ebook by Francis Gendron
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic