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Thread: Gravel Driveway Advice Needed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia

    Gravel Driveway Advice Needed

    We've got a gravel driveway that's about, I don't know, a few hundred feet. It's a mess, and we're going to get it redone, you know, levelled, packed, new gravel, etc. We looked into getting a concrete curb poured and it's a FORTUNE. Does anyone have any lower cost ideas for separating the driveway from the grass? Forget Railroad ties--we've got them from 15 years ago and they're a wreck, rotten and not in a line anymore....
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Nova Scotia, 45N 64W
    We've had the same sort of discussion here from time to time Cynthia. We put in an engineered gravel driveway a few years ago after a big renovation job. It's a mix of 3/4 inch crushed granite and crusher dust, which locks the material together very well.
    I've thought about a concrete edge and may do that yet, but it's way down the list. The driveway per se is only about 100 feet long though, then opens up into a bigger yard.
    I maintain the edge with an annual application of Round-up, following a mason's line with a hand garden sprayer. Works great and it's very innocuous stuff, non-residual.
    I have been accused (unfairly!) of being anal about keeping mud and organic material (manure) off the gravel driveway, but I think this keeps it from becoming progressively muddy over the long term. I also keep a couple of buckets of crusher dust around for winter grit purposes.
    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    A good part of mine is done using crusher run, a mix of course and fines. Some of the older parts with the loose gravel I have grass issues, but not with the area that has the crusher run.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word boo. Robert Brault

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    North West Indiana
    Mine is crush and run. Little over an 1/8th of a mile. Grass grows up the middle. Have a couple of sink holes that I continually fill. Have been reading about the geo textile stuff that is supposed to work miracles. About six years ago I put $1,000.00 worth of grave on top and built a parking area. Have been doing some research on the ground up black top. Have a student on my bus route his family put up a modular home and with little to no base put their ground up blacktop drive down. I guess it is going on three years and no problems. Mine I have a lot of horse travel, heavy tractor, heavy trucks so a little maintenance is to be expected. It is a constant issue that if handled when the holes start they don't grow. My problem is people wanting to drive fast. Fast starts and stopping really creates washboards and holes.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Santa Claus, In
    We have had good luck digging out the subsoil and then filling with rock. That way the final drive is the same level with the yard/ grass.
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    As other have stated, "constant issue" and regular use of Roundup. I choose to let my place look quite natural. I don't live on a golf course and don't want to. Only real downside to my gravel drive are the large rocks under the crush. They migrate to the surface and can be real ankle twisters if I'm no careful.
    "Folks is funny critters."

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    S E Washington State
    I'm no expert, but I don't think Roundup is the best chemical to use. Roundup is for killing the weeds/grass/whatever has already grown into an area, but it won't keep thing from growing back. You can spray with Roundup and then replant in a couple days. You want to get a weed killer/soil sterilizer for a driveway or anywhere you do not want anything to grow. There several brands available. Your local farm supply store will sell some.
    "We the People ......"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    Roundup only works on growing things and dissipates quite quickly. In order to keep things from growing, you need a 'pre-emergent' weed preventer.

    If anyone has any tips on a good granular pre-emergent, I'd be interested. I've used some spray stuff in the past, it's a bit expensive, but it really seemd to help keep the weeds down last year on our drive.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    cayuga Ontario, Niagara peninsula
    Jonathan, I used the Geotextile as a barrier between the earth and the gravel. I noticed at work whenever the track department replaced a RR crossing they would lay the geotextile fabric a 100 ft either side of the crossing, and then proceed from there to finish the road crossing. I ask the civil engineer for that department why the fabric. He stated it acts as a barrier between the earth and the ballast and keeps the track from pumping the mud up through the stone, hence a smoother crossing and track bed. Next time you go over a crossing look for mud pumped up between the ties, if so no fabric undrneath and a rough crossing.

    Also one benifit is you can get by with a lot less stone/gravel base. Have a great day. Michael

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    As other have stated, "constant issue" and regular use of Roundup. I choose to let my place look quite natural. I don't live on a golf course and don't want to. Only real downside to my gravel drive are the large rocks under the crush. They migrate to the surface and can be real ankle twisters if I'm no careful.
    Another Round-up user here. I usually have to hit it several times a Summer.

    Mine, like yours - and Steve's - had the topsoil removed, and a larger rock (call 'em "goonies" here) underlay, with the gravel on top. Mine is a mix of 3/4 minus and 1/4 minus, so it's compacted pretty well. I can even plow it in Winter with minimal damage.

    The frost heave, after 20 years, is bringing the goonies up to the surface, though, and you're right - they're ankle twisters/busters. One got the wife this July, and she was hurting for pretty much the rest of the Summer as a result.
    Jim D.

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