Well, it isn't really gravel. It's limestone, mostly one inch lumps. The
limestone is a couple of inches deep, then there's six to nine inches of
rubble underneath. There's 187 sq metres. In places moss has grown. I've
killed the moss but under it the stone has a lot of soil mixed in,
somehow. I'll have to scrape all this off and put new stone down, but
how can I stop this happening again? I was wondering about waiting until
the dry weather and getting some sort of blow torch thing? Ideas?
You can't really "stop this happening again", gravel (or similar)
drives need maintenance and 'stuff like soil' will always build up
Our gravel drive has become easier to keep weed free as it has become
more compacted (which does need fine material, whether sand or soil)
but, especially around the edges where it is still looser it needs
fairly regular weed killing.
Loose gravel, however clean to start with, will eventually become
clogged with fine sand/dirt/soil/whatever, and provide a fertile
ground for moss and seedlings to grow in. There are (there used to be)
things you could water on at regular intervals that stopped seeds
germinating, but TPTB have decreed that the most effective ones are a
health hazard and we're left with the second rank, which aren't so
good. Early versions of 'Pathclear' were good, recent versions not so
A flame-gun will just burn off weed top growth, and neither will it do
much to stop dormant seeds down in the cracks from germinating the
following day. Fun to use, but not a long-term solution.
Alternative approaches are tarmac and concrete. If you're going to the
expense of having the old gravel removed and replaced, they're worth
considering, especially the first.
If you put down anti weed membrane and then at least 50mm of gravel on top
this will not prevent soil (usually composted Leaves) from filling inbetwee
n the individual gravel but it will prevent weeds from developing deep root
s making them easy to remove either by pulling out or chemical gardening.
The moss is there because of poor drainage. Soil will invariably find
its way into the gravel by being wind borne dust and also breakdown of
leaves that fall on the path and get run over by vehicles.
Around 4" layer of limestone might be deep enough to drain cleanly. It
is much worse if the area is north facing and so stays wet for longer.
You may have to forgo the DIY bit and get a pro in to spray the drive
with a specialist weedkiller and germination preventer. See, for
example, "Paradise" and "Chikara" here:
It /might/ be possible for you to get some and DIY, but they aren't
cheap and the spraying will have to be repeated after 6 months.
If you're as old as me you may be able to go on a 'Grandfather
Rights' training course and become licensed/legal to spray effective
weedkiller yourself. This is what I did and so I can now continue to
spray herbicide on our fields (to keep the ragwort down) and on our
drive to kill everything. The people who sell bulk herbicide do now
actually check if you are qualified/licensed (though I'm not sure how
Limestone is completely wrong for vehicular hardstanding.
It isn't strong enough to withstand being crushed and ends
up looking like numpty diy concrete where the wheels have
then the moss and weeds take hold ....
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