Maintaining gravel driveway
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Author:  planosmith [ Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Maintaining gravel driveway

Hope I posted in the correct forum....

I have a fairly long gravel driveway (300'?) which is becoming overgrown with weeds/grass. I have read other forums which suggest some very toxic forms of killing weeds <shudder>. Last year I purchased some organic weed killer thru this website. It was pretty expensive and really not that effective in the concentrations that I used. I do not want to spend so much money on my driveway several times a year. Weeding would take too much time. I also read about covering it up with black plastic but we would not be able to drive over that would we?

We have NOT blown the leaves off it but maybe we should? I am not a fan of leaf blowers but they would be very good on a gravel driveway. We do have trees along part of it.

This will be our third year here in AR and the house was only 2 years old when we bought it. I assume the driveway is slightly older than that to allow for construction. Most of the driveway has very sharp rocks but I am not sure how deep they are. Some spots have sunken slightly but not enough to be a problem.

So... how can I get rid of those weeds - soon I won't be able to see the driveway. Or should we just add another thick layer of rocks?

Thanks, BGS

Author:  northwesterner [ Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maintaining gravel driveway

If you visit grocery stores in the small outlying towns around the metroplex (assuming your moniker indicates your location is Plano) you'll find that they carry pickling vinegar at under $3 a gallon. This is the best sort to use - garden stores carry gardening brands that are way more expensive, and some brands that aren't the same kind of food vinegar that come from petroleum products.

The trick to using this as a weed killer is to spray on a warm sunny day when the sun is going to have a few hours to really cook the weeds once you've sprayed them with full-strength vinegar. Every time you use your sprayer empty it after and rinse it completely. That vinegar is hard on rubber fittings and will eat them up if you leave it standing.

I've shopped in David's supermarkets in Granbury, and I've seen them in Alvarado, Glen Rose, etc. For some reason city grocery stores don't carry the stuff.

Author:  planosmith [ Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maintaining gravel driveway

Thanks for the prompt reply. I USED to live in Plano. I have since moved twice and now live in SW Arkansas..... which is an organic wasteland. The closest supply seems to be about an hour away in Hot Springs. That said, I might still have some from last year. I will try it. It will take a more than a gallon to do my long driveway. Still, it would be cheaper than the organic weed killer I tried last year!

I do plan to be in Plano next month and if I can wait that long I will go to Wells Brother's Farm supply store where I have purchased it before. It should be good and hot by then (LOL).

Thanks again. planosmith (BGS)

Author:  northwesterner [ Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Maintaining gravel driveway

Like I said, the variety of horticultural vinegar you find in feed and garden stores is overpriced ($10/gal) when compared with the 9% grocery store variety ($2.75/gal). Check your grocery stores. The typical strength (5%, found everywhere) isn't quite strong enough to do the trick.

Kaufman, Collin, Van Zandt, and Ellis Counties (surrounding the Dallas County area) each has a David's Supermarket and I think you should buy a few gallons. Meanwhile, see what the more rural grocery stores in your area cover. We're talking about human consumption vinegar that may be available in more communities where there are people with farms who grow food to pickle.

Author:  stonewall gardener [ Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Maintaining gravel driveway

Can the drive be fenced in? Maybe goats could be your natural alternative.
Food grade vinegar? What would the picklers think if everyone turned to vinegar as their herbicide?

Author:  northwesterner [ Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Maintaining gravel driveway

"Food grade" vinegar, 9 or 10% pickling vinegar is the ideal strength for killing weeds. You may go to the feed store and spend $36 for four gallons of "Nature's Guide" high priced (and not food grade) vinegar like you find at Marshall Grain and other feed stores, or you can buy environmentally healthy food vinegar for $10 at [img=http://www.davidsfoods.com/]David's Supermarket[/img] and other grocery stores. Most city grocery stores don't seem to have it, you need to go into the countryside. All of this vinegar is made by a spinoff of Fleischmanns down in Houston.

Don't worry about the poor picklers not getting their vinegar. The grocery stores will order more. And with high volume comes lower prices (I haven't seen a run on any of the ingredients that go into vinegar, it's not like the price of a barrel of oil.)

Author:  stonewall gardener [ Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maintaining gravel driveway

Individuals and institutions buying in large quantities get a break on prices. Total increase in demand on a product will cause price increases or production increases, or both. Increased production of agricultural products usually results in more land converted from native forests, praries, etc to monocultured corn, apples, etc.

The natural way to "control" vegetation is through managed grazing of livestock.

Author:  planosmith [ Sat May 04, 2013 10:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Maintaining gravel driveway

Thanks for all the replies. I am still struggling to find pickling vinegar locally. Guess I will have to go further from home to find it. Thought I had but the "pickling vinegar" they had was only 5% <sigh>.

As for using livestock, that would keep the weeds down but not actually solve the problem of actually killing the weeds/grass and the accumulating soil between the rocks from the breakdown of the plants. Plus we do not have a fenced are to keep them in (or away from the house).

Unfortunately we live in an organic wasteland as well as a radio wasteland..........


Author:  planosmith [ Sat May 04, 2013 11:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Maintaining gravel driveway

Spent some time calling Hot Springs feed stores this AM..... no luck.

Plan B. Maybe our son can get some and bring it over when he visits next weekend. Does anyone know a source in or very near Lewisville where he can pick some up?

Thanks. planosmith

Author:  northwesterner [ Sat May 04, 2013 8:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maintaining gravel driveway

There are quite a few organic merchants in Lewisville.

Products/Find A Store search (see the green bar across the top of the home page under the header photo).

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