Weeds are a nuisance in any garden or yard, but they are especially an eyesore when they pop through gravel pathways or gravel gardens. With that being said, removing weeds from gravel may require a bit more attention than those that pop up in your flower beds or lawn.
There’s not much worse than spending hours weeding on your hands and knees, so prevention is essential as well. Fortunately, this guide is here with the details on the three best ways to remove weeds from gravel, followed by the best prevention methods, so you’ll have to deal with as few weeds as possible.
Tools You’ll Need to Remove Weeds from Gravel
If you’re looking to remove weeds from gravel, there are a few essentials you’ll need to get the job done. Some will belong in every gardener’s arsenal, while others are a bit more unique. But you can choose the tools that work best for you and then decide which weed-removal options align with those devices!
- Weed killer
- Gardening gloves
- Hand trowel
- Flame weeder
- Landscape fabric
- Edging materials such as stone or wood
How to Remove Weeds from Gravel
Option 1: Weed Killer
The first option is one of the most obvious and effective: weed killer, also known as an herbicide. Weed killers either block photosynthesis or prevent the plant from forming roots. Plus, they’re easy to DIY. Whether you make it yourself or opt for a store-bought version, instructions are generally the same: apply the herbicide in the spring and fall to stop weeds before they start.
Option 2: Hand-Weeding
Hand-weeding will always be an effective way to remove weeds, though it isn’t always the most efficient. If you’ve only noticed a few weeds popping up here and there, hand-weeding may be the best option. Wearing your gardening gloves, use a hand trowel to move the gravel and dig around the weed. Then, pull the weed and its roots out to stop it from coming back. You can finish the job by covering the area with gravel.
Option 3: Flame Weeding
Flame weeding is a less common option, but it’s just as effective as herbicides and hand-weeding. A flame weeder acts as a lighter and is powered by propane or another heat source. Held above the weeds, the end of the flame weeder heats up and destroys the plant cell barrier, effectively killing the weed.
As a side note, it’s crucial to ensure that flame weeding is legal in your area, and you should never use it during a drought period.
Landscape fabric is a black cloth used underneath different versions of mulch and gravel. The woven material has two functions: to maintain the moisture levels of the soil to help your plants thrive and to block weeds from breaking through to the surface. If you want to stop the weeds before they start, lay landscape fabric before pouring the gravel into your yard.
Install a Border
Weeds tend to find their way into gravel pathways and gardens through nearby grass. To stop weeds from reaching your gravel, install a border or edging. You can opt for anything from wood to brick or stone to suit your yard’s aesthetic. As long as the border is three to five inches tall, it will act as an effective physical barrier between the grassy, potentially weedy area and the gravel.
Add More Gravel
Gravel should effectively stop weeds from germinating since it is a form of mulch. Essentially, it should block photosynthesis, but this is only effective if the layer of gravel is three to five inches deep. That being said, gravel can spread and thin out over time. So, if you notice a few plants poking through, it may be time to add another layer. You can also use a border to prevent the gravel from thinning and spreading.
Time To Prepare
Getting rid of weeds isn’t always an easy task, but this guide offers multiple solutions to help you get the job done quickly and efficiently. Also, you can use all of these methods in conjunction with one another to ensure you deal with as few weeds as possible.
The most important part of laying gravel is to do the job properly to prevent weeds in general, but you should remove weeds by the root or completely kill them to ensure they don’t return.
Will you try any of these methods to remove weeds from your gravel? Let us know below! And if you’re interested in creating your gravel garden, check out these fun ideas!