The Clever Homeowner is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

How To Prevent Grass and Weeds From Growing in Gravel (Tips and Tricks)

how to prevent weed growing in gravel

When you lay down your gravel, you put in a lot of hard work to make the area look as nice as possible. Which is why it can be really frustrating when there are weeds and grass that start to grow out from the gravel. Even if just a little bit finds its way through the gravel, it is no fun and you may have to spend hours weeding that area to make it look nice again. And if you haven’t tried it already, weeding gravel is not easy.

The good news is there are a few things you can do to prevent weeds and grass from growing in your gravel driveway to begin with. It’s not difficult to do a little up front work now, so you can enjoy the nice clean look you want. Not to mention all the upkeep and maintenance that you’ll not have to do.

So lets take a quick look at how to prevent grass and weeds from growing in gravel.

How to Prevent Grass and Weeds from Growing in Gravel

Grass and weeds can be a problem when it comes to how nice your gravel driveway or gravel landscape areas look. Some of the things you can do to prevent these from popping up between the gravel include:

Uprooting

The first method is known as uprooting. Uprooting the weeds when they are getting close to blooming can help to reduce how well they will grow. Before you try to lay down the gravel drive, you should take some time to remove all of the weeds. If there are any types of weeds still present in that area, they will continue to regrow, even through some of the thickest mulch you can find. 


When there are a lot of weeds in the area, you need to get creative. A hand weed method is going to take some time so you may want to use a weed killer to make it easier. Get the whole area and around to make sure these weeds do not have a chance to get everywhere. 

You have a few methods to use to make this one happen. You can either get down on your hands and knees and start pulling the weeds. If the area is generally small and there are not a lot of weeds, then this method will be kind of a pain, but can be done pretty quickly. You can also get out a few tools to help get the work done. Using a hoe will help you to remove the weeds without as much work as before and it can work better when you have a long driveway or more work to do. 

Use a Solution

There are some home solutions that you can make that are awesome when it comes to taking care of the weeds. It is really simple to use. Just get some iodized salt (which is just table salt, 5 to 20% acetic acid vinegar (the higher the better for this), and a garden sprayer to help you apply the new solution. 

You can start by taking the salt and sprinkle it all over the gravel garden using your hands. you can apply it just to the areas that are causing you the most trouble or to the entire path to make sure the weeds do not grow. The salt is a good thing to use here because it will dry out all of the moisture that is there so the weeds can’t get the hydration they need to do well. 

When you have spread out all of the salt that you would like to use, you can take a gallon of the acetic acid vinegar (do not dilute it or it will not work as well), into a garden sprayer. Then apply it to the same area as well. The vinegar is a good tool to help the plants dry out fast. When it is applied to the soil, the vinegar will be able to lower the pH of the soil, making it hard for any plants to grow back there again. 

You should try to do this before you lay the gravel if possible. About three weeks ahead of time is best and then respray if you find any growth that you missed a few days before the gravel is to be laid down. Keep in mind that these will prevent all plants in the area, not just weeds, so if you plan to have it near a garden or you want to add some plants to the side, you may want to use another method. 

Thick Layer of Gravel

Another method that you are able to work with is to add a thick layer of gravel in the area that you would like it to be. When the gravel is thicker, it is harder for the weeds to grow through. Adding about a three to five inch layer of organic mulch to the bottom of it can make it harder for the weeds as well. 

Even adding a little bit of material on the bottom will help. When you add gravel, there may be spaces where the weeds can grow up This can be frustrating to work with. Instead, you can add in the material on the bottom, the thicker the better, and then add in the gravel to the top of it. This can help to limit the amount of weeds that come through. 

Prevent Irrigation

You need to be careful about the amount of irrigation that is in the area. You do not want the water from the lawn to run right into the walking paths, gravel garden, and gravel driveways. Water is going to be just what the weeds need and they will take over in no time. When you are planning out the area, you need to make sure that the water always drains away from the gravel area, both during lawn watering, garden watering, and during the rain, so the weeds are not tempted to come back. 

This may require a little bit of planning on your part. You may need to do some landscape planning to help make the area look better. You can work with a professional to make sure that you take care of the area well and to figure out ways to prevent the irrigation from going right into your gravel if that is how the lawn is already designed. They will be able to give you some good ideas to keep things on track. 

Sometimes the different types of gravel will make a difference. The larger pieces may look nice, but it is hard to get them to compact together so the weeds are able to pop up between them. The smaller pieces can come together a little closer, which makes it harder for anything underneath to come up. You can find a good balance between the size of the gravel and the look that you would like in your garden. There are many options to help make this easier. 

Keep the Area Clean

It may be difficult to do sometimes, but you need to make sure that your drive way is clean and clear. This means that any of the mud and debris that are there need to be moved away. If too much mud gets in the way, it could allow weeds to put down roots and get in the way of the nice area you have. After a storm or during the summer, keep an eye on the driveway and make sure you get it cleaned well. 

Weed Preventers

There are also a few chemicals known as weed preventers that are a good idea to use here. These are a great idea to make the efforts of removing weeds last a little bit longer. some will also have fertilizer that is perfect for plants so if you plan to put down some plants in the area, this is a good thing to work with. 

You can use any of the options that are available. Preen is a good option to help stop the weeds growing for a temporary amount of time. Some bottles will even have a dispenser that will help you to spread it around the area, even if there are trees, bushes, and plants that you need to watch out for at the same time. 

Keeping the Gravel Looking Nice

Gravel can be a nice way to fill in a driveway when you live out of town, or to surround your garden to add a little bit of curb appeal around any part of the home. But when weeds start to poke their heads up and get in the way, it is hard to enjoy how nice it is supposed to look. 

All of the methods above are great for helping to keep the grass and weeds out of the gravel so it looks nice. While the handpicking may not be fun and you do not want to waste a whole day doing that. But some of the other methods can help speed up the process and even keep the weeds away for longer. Try some of them out and see how much easier it is to manage the weeds and grass in your gravel. 

why lawn mowers have headlights

Why Do Lawn Mowers Have Headlights Anyway (Riding and Push Mowers)?