Re(2): planning for next year!! writes:

It hadn't occurred to me to mention this before, but this message brought it to mind.
If you are going to put down gravel, the best way is to put construction fabric underneath it. For the garden, it's perfect because if you change your mind later, you can relatively easily remove the gravel which you cannot if you lay it directly on the soil. (It takes far less gravel for the same thing.)
If you are fortunate, you can talk to an excavation contractor or road-building contractor and get some scraps. There are two kinds, felted and woven. IMO, you definitely want the woven; I'm concerned about the felted sluffing too much chemical. The woven is like a heavy-duty tarp. While nylon tarps would work for the short term, the construction fabric is manufactured for heavy loads. It's used to lay under the gravel on streets/highways/driveways to reduce the mixing of dirt and gravel. It results in less gravel being used and better compaction which results in longer-lasting roads.
Your county or state road department should be able to give you a lead on where to get it. It's called geotextile road fabric. It's very difficult to put a hole in it and impossible to tear, but it cuts easily with a utility knife.
I am fortunate enough to have a large scrap which I use for a tarp when I haul yard debris (and a smaller one to pile it on before loading). I lay it in the back of the pickup with half of it over the cab, load the debris, cover it with the half from the front, toss a couple of ropes across it and head for the recycling center. The load is secure for hauling (no litter left along the way), and it makes the unloading easy. If I have help, one of us grabs each corner at the tailgate and pull the entire load off, pick up the "tarp," fold it, and head for home while others are still shoveling and raking.
With your messages, I think I shall evaluate exactly how much I have and use it for at least one pathway next year, the fabric covered with hay should work well. (I don't want to mess with cleaning up the gravel to rototill.) The fabric will retard weed growing under it and the hay will make it look nicer as well as becoming mulch. Unlike plastic, it's not affected by weather so it won't disintegrate and make a mess like even the heaviest plastic eventually does.
Thank you for mentioning it. :-)

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