Are you planning to be away on a long trip and worried that you would come home to a driveway full of grass? Well, that’s every homeowner’s nightmare. A beautiful and neatly kept gravel driveway boosts the mood of everyone when walking into a home. No homeowner would want to have it any other way.
Therefore, you’ve got to agree that grass can be stubborn when it gets invasive as a weed. Worse still is grass growing in a driveway, making the entire home look untidy and unappealing. Apart from looks, when grass gets to creep, making its way to the driveway, it tends to be even more stubborn. You can think plucking will be the solution, but that only takes away the top growth leaving the root system grounded and re-growing.
But nothing is impossible. As stubborn as it can be, there are effective methods to kill grass in a gravel driveway. Read on.
How to Fix a Gravel Driveway Overgrown With Grass
Apart from killing unwanted grass growing in your driveway, it would be best if you also fixed a gravel driveway overgrown with grass. The pebbles on the driveway quickly shift to cover the grassy area, restricting the effect of grass infestation. Read on.
Regular shifting needs your effort and may cause the pebbles to crush and scratch the ground. Your regular input and workforce can seem tiresome at some point. However, you could apply a layer of concrete on the ground then have the gravel on top of the concrete. This way, you won’t worry too much about the grass and weeds showing up.
Concrete is hard and challenging. It doesn’t wear out quickly, and the tough layer makes the grass and weeds have a hard time breaking through. The pebbles will still shift a lot as concrete does not offer a firm grip for the pebbles to stay in place. You could probably have soil on top of the concrete then pebbles on top of the soil. The pebbles will be more intact and grip on the soil easily. What’s more?
If the weeds seem more persistent and show up above the gravel, remove the pebbles altogether from the driveway. DIY or get help. Then spray an herbicide or use any other method of killing the grass ultimately.
Pluck out the dead grass as the roots, and smaller weeds decompose. Turn the soil to bury the dead grass and weeds. Treat the soil and give it time before replacing the gravel on the driveway.
How to Get Rid Of Grass in Driveway Cracks
The unsightly grass poking through the cracks in your driveway can earn you a horrible notice from the homeowners’ association if you let it get out of hand. Why on the cracks, you may ask? The cracks appear small for starters but can harbor a whole fleet of grass since they store rich organic matter. The cracks hold on to the organic matter a little longer after rains, and the wind sweeps them away.
Also, grass growing between cracks and crevices is hard to remove since it acts as their protection spot. All you are able to do is pull the top part of the grass but won’t reach the roots; hence, regrowth occurs repeatedly. But, they are not as safe as they think since there are ways to kill grass in the roots’ cracks. For example;
Flame: use a propane torch to burn the weeds bulging their way on the gravel. The propane torch produces a flame that burns down the weeds to the roots. This may take repeated applications, but the grass will not come back to the spot once victorious.
However, be an expert on a propane torch to use it. Also, make sure nothing inflammable is lying close to the area of action. Please choose a time when it is not dry, as the flame can spread on dry ground. Always don protective gear to avoid burning yourself.
Boiling water: Pour boiling water on unwanted grass and weeds. This method is ideal for a quick fix as it kills any plant. The grass will die instantly. However, you should repeat the process after a week for better results. Remember, the hot boiled water will not avert the grass from a comeback since it doesn’t burn the roots.
Salt: if you have children and animals in your home and don’t want to risk using chemicals, salt is your best shot. Salt is natural and harmless yet effective in killing grass growing in unwanted areas. You can choose to use diluted salt in water or just as raw. Just sprinkle the salt on your driveway, allowing the salty water to sip through into the soil.
In about a maximum of 10 days, you will begin to notice the grass browning and withering. Pull it out and burn or dump them away. You can replace the salt with vinegar for a faster and more effective outcome.
Roundup: Roundup is a potent non-selective weed killer. For quick and sure results, use Roundup to kill the grass on your driveway. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, kills anything it comes in contact with. But, it is not harmful to pets and children.
Glyphosate will dry the plant from the leaves to the roots. The roots will die and decompose in the soil, leaving you to pull out the above the ground part. Use Roundup when rain is not in the forecast and a less windy day. But in case the rain pours within 2 hours of application, repeat the process. Make sure to target the grass alone to protect Roundup from getting to the desirable plants around the driveway.
Always read and follow the instruction carefully. Put on protective gear while using Roundup.
Seal cracks: sealing cracks should be immediately after killing the grass from the driveway. This way, there will be no more escape root and room for the grass to sprout. Vacuum out the cracks, dry and clean the fill in with caulk (masonry or mortar) to seal them.
How Do You Keep Grass From Growing In A Driveway?
So, you just got back, and your worries are real and alive. A driveway full of grass! Well, as as they say, ‘it’s not over until the fat lady sings’ don’t give up just yet. There are several ways of saving your gravel driveway by killing the intrusive grass on it. For instance;
Plastic: use of plastic sheets is one way of getting rid of grass from the driveway—the plastic acts as a barrier between the gravel and the soil. A black thick plastic sheet will hinder nutrients such as water and light from getting through the gravel to the soil beneath. When starved, the grass will have no option but to die.
Take out the gravel from the surface and lay the plastic sheet on top of the soil. Put back the gravel on top of the plastic sheet. The plastic sheet will stop the weeds from sprouting above the surface.
- Use horticultural vinegar from the stores, which has a stronger concentration of 25% of acetic acid.
- Add a little squeeze of dish soap to the vinegar in the spray bottle.
- Spray any grass insight on the gravel.
Within a couple of days, the grass with brown and die.
This mixture is completely safe and cheaply available as well. It is also strong enough to offer desirable results. You can repeat the process if the grass has not been discolored to brown.
Garden fabric: this can replace the mulch, or you can use both for better results. Put the fabric and mulch between the soil and gravel. This method will prevent the grass from protruding above the gravel. The mulch will heat the soil, making the grass growing conditions unbearable hence end up dying. The grass will decompose in the soil, and the mulch will break it down, making the soil richer. Talk of killing two birds with a stone, right?
Herbicides: you can choose selective or non-selective. Selective will only kill the grass, sparing other desirable plants, unlike non-selective, which will kill everything. Compared to non-selective, selective is much safer to the kids, pets, and environment. Non-selective will damage the soil, making it unbearable to plant any useful plant for a while.
Always be careful when handling chemicals.
How to Remove Dead Grass from a Gravel Driveway
Hurray! You have achieved killing the grass on your gravel driveway. But, there’s one more problem to handle. How do you get the dead grass from the gravel? Well, the hard part is over, so the easy part should be a walk in the park.
First, you can sweep the grass away. Use a thatch broom to sweep off the dead grass on top of the gravel. But, if you are sure there are dead roots underneath the gravel, use a rake to turn over to expose any hidden dead grass. Pile the grass in one heap as this will be easy to collect and burn.
Also, you can choose to get rid of the gravel with the dead grass. Call for professional help in removing the gravel or use a pressure washer to push clean the gravel away. Nevertheless, you can leave the dead grass to decompose and get in the soil on its own. Or better still, leave it to blow away.
Bits of grass in your driveway here and there may seem harmless, but wait till it takes over your driveway, and you will have a whole mess to put up with. You will no longer be able to recognize your driveway.
However, with the above methods, you will be in the know of keeping grass from your driveway thoroughly. You will be able to maintain a driveway as neat as it should be with no worries.