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Recommendations for a cold hardy driveway cover  RSS feed

 
Rob Arnold
Posts: 10
Location: Ontario
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Hello,

Our driveway is a mix of gravel/sand/mud/clay. It’s functional, but quite dusty when dry, and when there is any moisture the clay ends up getting tracked into the house by us or the dog. The driveway is about 200’ in length total and completely surrounds the house. We need to cross the driveway to access vehicles, sheds, any zone 1 gardens, the pastures, or the forest garden areas, so almost every chore or task around the homestead involves getting some clay or mud on ones footwear. For example the floor around my desk at work looks like I stand around in mud all day, which is fine, except that it is an office environment.

One idea is to order a few loads of gravel to cover the mud/clay, but I’d like to explore the potential to use a perennial cover crop to cover the driveway, keep the dust down, and limit the amount of mud that gets tracked, while maybe also adding an attractive green element to the overall landscaping of the property.

So I’m looking for plant suggestions that feel the following:

- Cold hardy perennial (USDA zone 3a, winters here occasionally get down to -40C)
- Doesn’t grow too high: it’d be nice not to have to mow, or to have high spots where the vehicles don’t drive and hence giving it that ‘unkempt’ look
- can tolerate some foot traffic and light vehicle traffic
- capable of growing in tough marginal soil

Bonus points if it flowers and can provide some polyculture for local bees.

I’m thinking of some sort of tough, broad-leafed, short, flowering weed.

Right now the only thing I can find that seems to fit the requirements is white/red clover. But are there any other suggestions? Or other ideas of ways to green a driveway?

Cheers
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
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any of the veronica/speedwells would probably do pretty nicely. I see dandelions and pineapple weed (and I would think wild camomile as well) growing in driveways all the time. Especially those which are a middle strip of turf with two little graveled wheel tracks. If I understand your situation correctly

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matricaria_chamomilla
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veronica_%28plant%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dandelion
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matricaria_discoidea
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I have seen doormats made from old bristle brushes, screwed into a "U" shape.
A couple of passes with each foot before entering the house keeps 90%+ outside.

 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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