Gravel beds round house, alternatives?

This is another part of our "what to do with the gravel" campaign.
Around much of our house there are paved paths with gravel insets. There are, in particular, quite long sections of gravel between the paths and the house wall in some places.
These are an ongoing problem because they're difficult to keep weed free and the gravel gets everywhere (especially now that we have chickens who like nothing more than to scratch in the gravel!).
Are there any sensible alternatives to gravel? We could simply pave over the two or three small 'islands' of gravel but I suspect that the gravel adjacent to the walls provides drainage so whatever replaces it will need to let water drain through. What's chicken proof but not water proof?
--
Chris Green


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     snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk writes:

They are probably there to prevent water splashing back up the wall, and may actually form a drain to carry water away from the foundations. How old is the building? They could be part of an earlier damp treatment if you have solid walls.
You could pull some out and see what's underneath. Weeds might be a sign it's got lots of organic matter in there over the years which needs washing out.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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It's a 1920s house but has very many extensions, most of the house just has lawn or flower beds up to the walls.

I doubt there's anything that sophisticated, our ground is so sandy that drainage is a non-event, water just disappears by magic even in the heaviest downpours.
I do think that concrete or paving right up to the house would be a bad idea though.
--
Chris Green


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Nothing.
Mary
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Thank you for that deeply philosophical answer! :-)
Actually I think the 'paving with holes' suggestion in the other gravel thread might well be the answer for this too. The chickens will be able to peck in the holes etc. but they won't be able to pull (much) soil out.
--
Chris Green


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I speak from deep philosophical experience :-)

My first instinct was to say stone or concrete slabs but you did say not waterproof. If you left half an inch or so between the slabs and either filled the gaps with sand or let them fill up themselves it should be OK.That's what we've done next to the back of our house.
Mary

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snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

Either long-lasting weedkiller (if you don't mind chemicals) or geotextile membrane underneath (if you do).
Or flamegun occasionally.

Remove gravel and replace with pebbles. Bear in mind the chickens will then scratch elsewhere, which might be even less welcome.
Owain
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We moved up to pebbles and the chickens left it alone for a while but now they're scratching the pebbles out too.
I think one of the 'paving with holes in' or 'grass paving' solutions at www.pavingexpert.com may be the answer.
--
Chris Green


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snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

Remove pebbles and replace with stones!
You're feeding those chooks too much spinach :-)
Owain
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"Owain" wrote in message

Sodium Chlorate seems to work a treat, they reckon it lasts 6 months at least.
Dave
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Not on our drive it doesn't, I've used both Sodium Chlorate and "Pathclear", they keep it weed free for a month or two if we're lucky but no longer.
--
Chris Green


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