How to Prevent Weeds from Growing in Your Gravel Patio
Having a gravel patio is one of the most simple and yet welcoming ways of decorating your backyard or outdoor space. Although gravel is one of the most common materials for covering patios, it generally presents one tiny problem. That is weeds. Weeds tend to detract the actual appeal of your patio so it is advised to get rid of them. There are various ways to stop weeds from growing and luckily there are ready solutions to even prevent them from growing in your patio.
Step 1 – Think Ahead
Since weeds are a common problem it is important to create some kind of barrier between the weeds and the gravel to prevent weed growth. It is important to install a landscape fabric, otherwise known as weed matting, before the actual installation of your patio. Weed matting functions by blocking sunlight and therefore it doesn’t allow the actual weeds to grow. The first thing to do is to cut down the weeds as much as possible by using a lawn trimmer. It is very important to properly dispose of all the weeds after you have finished trimming the weeds to avoid any seeds from spreading. At this point you should break down the soil and even it out with a garden hoe. Now lay the landscape fabric flat onto the soil. To avoid shifting of material nail down the weed matting with the weed mat stakes. Make sure not to leave any open seams since that is an actual invitation for weeds to grow.
Step 2 – Secure the Edges
Unfortunately weeds also grow along the edges of the patio. To properly secure the edges of the patio fill any unplanted areas with mulch which is a material that keeps weeds from growing while avoiding soil erosion. Whilst you can buy mulch from your local garden center or landscaper, you can also create your own mulch by recycling organic materials. To apply the mulch, wear thick gardener’s gloves and spread the mulch evenly with your hands or use a garden fork to facilitate the process. Keep in mind that for mulch to be best effective you should apply 3 or 4 inches of this material at the edges of the patio.
Step 3 – Use Herbicides
Pre-emergence herbicides are designed to prevent the actual growth of the weeds. Therefore the seed is killed while it is germinating. These herbicides are most effective when applied just as spring starts because that is the time when the soil starts warming up and when seeds begin to sprout. Mix water and herbicide in the sprayer according to the label instructions on the herbicide. Make sure the lid is closed and build up the pressure by pumping the handle. The next and final step is to spray onto the gravel and the edge of the patio.
Weeds are the most common problem that accompanies the implementation of gravel patios. However, by the use of landscape fabric, mulch and pre-emergence herbicides it is easy to control and prevent their growth. Although landscape fabric is actually a one-time solution that generally needs no retouching it is important to check the state of your mulch and re-apply when necessary while it is also important to apply pre-emergence herbicides every year before the growing season.