Best weed and grass preventative for area covered with rocks?

I have a rectangular area approximately 7' x 20' between the walkway to my front door and the side of the garage that has bushes against the house and garage and the rest of it is river rock (over dirt of course).
I keep having grass intrustion. A few months ago I stipped it down to the dirt and applied Ortho Basic Solutions Total Vegetation killer, which the local garden shop assured me would last for years, laid down weed cloth and the river rock. A few months later I was getting grass poking back through.
I've gone through the chore of shoveling out the river rock again and am down to bare ground. Any suggestions regarding what can I lay down to keep the area absolutely grass and weed free, essentially forever, or at least several years, without killing the surrounding bushes?
All assistance will be appreciated.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've found the total vegetation killers, eg Triox, to be very effective. Properly applied, they will last for months, up to a whole season, but nothing will last for years. If you applied the product and then put down other material on top of it, ie cloth and rock, you;re doing it in the wrong order. The product should be applied on top, as a final step. When you put cloth and rock on top, after applying the product, there is going to be some amount of dust and other material which is now above the killer, leaving a place for weeds to get established.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That was how the garden shop suggested it be applied. I guess I'm trying to make the dirt as inhospitable to living organisms as possible. Perhaps something in the dirt as well as on top of the cloth and rocks?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"That was how the garden shop suggested it be applied. I guess I'm trying to make the dirt as inhospitable to living organisms as possible. Perhaps something in the dirt as well as on top of the cloth and rocks? "
I think you're making it a lot harder than it has to be. I've used Triox applied on top of a crushed stone driveway, no cloth. One application in spring kept just about all the weeds out until at least fall.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doc wrote:

I think they were wrong. The weed cloth served as a barrier between the vegetation killer and any seed that dropped on top after you did the work.
I don't like weed cloth anyway. It's a real pain a few years down the road when you decide you want to do something else with that space. For example, you decide to plant a few perenials in amoungst all the rocks in that area -- getting that weed cloth out of the way is a real pain. And in a few years the weed cloth is covered with dirt, so it serves no purpose anymore.

snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I agree, you're making it much harder than you need to. Don't bother to remove the rock. Just apply a vegetation killer on top of the rock. You'll need to do it once a season, but 7' x 20' isn't that large.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.