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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines. Stephen Herrod Buhner
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work. Stephen Herrod Buhner