Grass can make your driveway look unappealing if left to grow unchecked. It’s vital to ensure that you deal with grass growing on your driveway as soon as you observe signs of it growing out of control.
People living in suburban or moderately spacious environments away from the city tend to prefer gravel driveways. The small chunks of gravel provide excellent traction to car wheels irrespective of prevailing weather conditions and are easy to set up and maintain.
However, a downside to most gravel driveways is that they are prone to grass and weed growth, which can degrade the quality of your living space.
What causes overgrow grass on the driveway?
Several factors may contribute to your driveway grass overgrowing. The presence of potholes, low-quality gravel, and moisture can significantly promote weed and unwanted grass growth if left unattended.
The main reasons why grass could be overgrowing on your driveway include:
Type of soil
Some soils promote the growth of weeds, grass, and vegetation on your driveway. A gravel driveway is prone to grass germination primarily because of its nutrient value and ability to hold/drain excess water.
You can find gravel in garden beds and other small outdoor spaces as a measure to improve drainage. If the soil underneath is fertile enough (or has constant contact with organic material such as leaves, twigs, etc.), you might occasionally find grass germinating on your gravel driveway.
Gravel driveways can hold moisture for considerable periods that also promotes grass overgrowth.
People living in regions with high humidity, occasional rainfall, and clay soils might need to contend with grass growing on their driveways.
Fertilizer and other organic matter that promotes growth
Fertilizer promotes grass growth. Some gravel driveways might come into contact with organic matter/fertilizer that could accelerate the germination of grass (and other vegetation) on your driveway.
In a suburban environment, homeowners occasionally spread fertilizer on grass growing on their lawns. Sometimes, the fertilizer might wash off during periods of excessive rain and find its way on your driveway.
Such instances provide a conducive environment for the growth of grass and other unintended surfaces.
How To Fix A Gravel Driveway Overgrown With Grass?
Grass can negatively affect the aesthetics of your living space. There are several remedies ideal for fixing a driveway overgrown with grass.
Some of the methods include:
Use Damp Proof PVC sheets
Damp-proof PVC sheets are an excellent way of fixing a gravel driveway overgrown with grass. The products are mainly made using plastic materials and can last for considerable periods.
Damp-proof PVC sheets act as a barrier between the ground and gravel layers preventing any moisture in the ground from reaching the top layers of your driveway.
Use Salt To Control Grass Growth
You can use salt to eradicate grass from your driveway. The salt absorbs water from the ground and plant roots, preventing grass and other vegetation from growing.
Salt provides an economical and effective means for keeping your driveway free from grass for prolonged durations. Mix salt with water in a 3:1 ratio and spray over the target area. Repeat the process for about one week altering the concentration of salt as you see fit.
Pluck Overgrown Grass using Your Hands
Plucking overgrown grass is one of the easiest ways to fix your driveway if overgrown with grass.
The practice can come in handy when dealing with grass growing over a small area. You’ll need to put on a pair of gloves, and grasp the long strands with your hands, tug firmly until the vegetation is clear off the ground.
You can also use tools such as shovels to work faster and with a higher degree of accuracy.
How to Kill Grass in a Gravel Driveway?
There are many methods you can use to kill grass on your driveway. It depends on the size of your driveway and the extent of grass growth.
Some methods are easy, while others are more challenging and might require special equipment and monetary investment.
Here’s how to kill overgrown grass on your driveway
Use Grass Killing Chemicals
Grass-killing chemicals provide a viable solution when dealing with unwanted grass growing on your driveway.
The chemical products are readily available for retail use and can permanently eradicate grass, weeds, and other vegetation growing on your property.
A significant downside of using grass-killing chemicals relates to their impact on the environment. Rainwater might occasionally wash off the chemicals to nearby drainage systems contributing to water pollution.
It’s best to use the chemical products as per manufacturer guidelines.
Use Boiling Water To Kill Grass
You can use boiling water to kill grass and other undesirable plants growing on your driveway.
Boiling water provides a simple, effective, and homemade solution to remove grass and other weeds from your premises. The solution works best when dealing with target plants over a small surface.
Just boil water and pour the same on the grass while still hot. After a while, the grass eventually withers and dries.
Solarization is an excellent long-term solution for dealing with overgrown grass. The concept harnesses the natural power of the sun to generate unfavorable conditions for grass growth.
You can use solarization on a large surface. Cover your target surface with a long transparent polythene sheet and leave it undisturbed for about 8 (eight) weeks.
Solarization works best during the warmer times of the year (summer months) when the sun’s energy is at its peak.
Use Vinegar to Kill Grass
Vinegar provides an organic solution for containing grass growth on your driveway.
The product kills grass quickly (usually within 24-48 hours) is relatively inexpensive and readily available in most homes. Using vinegar to kill weeds works best when dealing with small concentrated grass patches and young budding plants.
Mix one gallon of vinegar 5% concentrates with one tablespoon of salt and one teaspoon of dishwashing fluid. Pour the concoction in a spray bottle, aim and spray your target plants.
Using vinegar does not permanently eliminate the grass. The product only affects the above root parts, which suggests that the grass might grow back over time.
Douce the grass with bleach
You can use bleach effectively to kill grass growing on your driveway. The chemical product raises the ph of the soil, rendering it unfavorable for supporting grass and other forms of vegetation growth.
Bleach is a popular household product. It’s always important to take safety measures when working with corrosive chemicals such as bleach. Make sure you wear safety goggles, gloves and cover sensitive areas of your skin to avoid injuries.
The amount of bleach to use depends on the soil type, prevailing moisture conditions, and the affected surface area. Pour undiluted bleach solution over the grass and wait for the grass to dry before pulling it off the ground.
It’s advisable to flush water (about one gallon in a 6 foot by 6-foot area) after using bleach to kill the unwanted vegetation. The idea is to help dilute the bleach concentrate and keep the soil underneath healthy.
Tips: Care and Maintenance; Keep weeds from growing In gravel driveway
Gravel driveways require regular maintenance to keep weeds from growing on the surface. It’s essential to create a care routine that involves conducting inspections, pluck off growing vegetation in its early stages, etc.
Be on the lookout for potholes and other uneven surfaces that could promote grass growth. You can opt to add gravel on such spots to even out your driveway and prevent small pools of water from accumulating on the ground.
You can also decide to hire a driveway contractor to help you maintain your driveway (and keep it free from grass). Most driveway contractors charge from $4-$15 per square foot, although it depends on location and state laws in the area.