How to Kill Weeds in Gravel (Forever)


How to Kill Weeds Growing in Gravel

Well, well, well, look at you with your fancy new gravel surface or driveway! You spared no expense, laying down weed control fabric and trusting your contractor to keep those pesky weeds at bay.

But lo and behold, those sneaky weeds have managed to sprout up and ruin your perfectly polished gravel surface. Fear not, my friend, for there are ways to prevent and eliminate those unwelcome weeds from your beautiful gravel surface or driveway.

Need a strong weed killer?

What's the best weed killer for gravel?

Best for gravelled areas: Triple Action | Buy now

Best for a small amount of weeds: Doff | Buy now

Sure, the weed control fabric works like a charm, but even the best of the best can't keep those pesky weeds at bay forever. Lucky for you, with just a little bit of effort, you can keep your gravel looking as fresh as the day it was installed.

Gravel add that rustic charm to your home and are a cheap alternative to pricey block paving. Not only that, but they're cleaner than Tarmac, good for drainage, and let's be real, they just look better than that boring old imprinted concrete.

However, if your gravel driveway or surface sees low traffic or is neglected, it can easily become overrun by those pesky little weeds. But don't you worry, we've got you covered.

Let's take a look at some ways to stop those pesky weeds from getting into your gravel, and then let's show those little buggers who's boss and get rid of them for good!

How do you kill weeds growing through gravel?

Ah, weeds in your gravel driveway or surface, what a pain in the grass! But don't worry, you've got two options for dealing with those pesky little buggers.

You can do it the old-fashioned way, with some good old-fashioned elbow grease, or you can take the easy route and use some chemicals to wipe them out in no time!

Now, you might be asking yourself, what kind of magical potion can get rid of all these weeds growing in my precious gravel? The answer is simple: Glyphosate! It's a powerful weed killer that'll wipe out most types of plants with ease.

Using a weed killer is a great option if you've got a serious weed infestation or some particularly stubborn weeds.

But if your weeds are few and far between, you might be better off with a bit of manual labour. It may be hard work, but it'll be worth it to keep your driveway looking clean and pristine!

What kills gravel weeds naturally?

If you're looking for the most organic and hands-on way to deal with those pesky weeds in your gravel driveway, then it's time to grab your trusty gardening gloves and get to work!

Simply pick those suckers out by their stems, ensuring you get the roots while you're at it.

Sure, it may take a bit of manual labor, but it's by far the fastest way to eliminate weeds on your gravel surfaces. While using weed killers, whether natural or not, can take some time, manually pulling them out gets rid of the problem in an instant.

Rinse and repeat, before you know it, your gravel will be weed-free and looking better than ever!

What does salt do to gravel weeds?

Have you heard the rumour on social media that salt is a secret weapon against weeds on gravel?

While it's true that salt can be used as a homemade weed killer, it's not always practical, especially when you consider the amount you'll need to get the job done. Like, we're talking metric ton levels of salt here, people!

If you've only got a few weeds to deal with, then salt might be a viable option. Just sprinkle it over all those pesky plants, sit back, and be prepared to exercise some patience, as it does take its sweet time to work.

However, it's important to note that salt isn't effective against deep-rooted perennial weeds, such as Dandelions, Marestail, Ivy & Brambles. So, if you're dealing with those stubborn suckers, you might need to call in some extra help!

Will vinegar work on my gravel weeds?

Vinegar - the miracle household product that's often hailed as a natural weed killer.

But, can it really kill those weeds that are driving you nuts on your gravel? And is it a cost-effective option to eliminate those pesky plants?

Let me break it down for you. Vinegar can be effective against small, new, or weakened weeds. Simply spray it onto the weeds neat, and it'll burn away the visible parts of the plant.

The active ingredient in vinegar that kills weeds is acetic acid. However, the major downfall of using vinegar is that it simply burns away the part of the weeds it touches, leaving the roots intact, and you stuck in a never-ending cycle of applying vinegar to your weeds.

Now, you may be wondering, "Do I need a special type of vinegar?" Well, many companies now sell "horticultural vinegar," which contains much more acetic acid than regular ole vinegar. But let's be honest, calling it a "natural weed killer" is a bit of a stretch, and it has the same problems as regular vinegar - it doesn't affect the roots. 

So, while vinegar may be good on chips, it might not be the best option for getting rid of those stubborn weeds on your gravel driveway/surface.

Will boiling hot water work on gravel weeds?

Boiling hot water - it's a common household item that can be used to kill small, weak, or newly emerged weeds. While it may seem like a decent option, there are some downsides to consider.

Firstly, using boiling water to kill weeds can be very time-consuming, going back and forth with the kettle, using electricity and boiling water, it's a bit of a hassle.

Secondly, it's only effective on small amounts of weeds, so if you have a lot of weeds to deal with, you'd be quicker pulling them out or using a proper commercial weed killer.

So, while boiling water may work well for a small number of weeds, it may not be the best choice if you're looking for a more efficient and effective way to get rid of those pesky plants on your gravel.

How do I prevent weeds on my gravel surfaces?

If you don't have any landscape fabric, weed control fabric or weed membrane in place or it's worn out, don't worry - there are still ways you can win this battle.

Consider building a weed barrier around your gravel. It's best if you can create a separation between your garden soil and your gravel. If your garden directly touches your gravel or if you have planting beds or a lawn next to your gravel, seeds can easily take root in the gravel.

Building a barrier using pavers, bricks, stones, or tiles will help keep soil from mixing in with the stones and prevent people and animals from carrying too much over onto the gravel. This solution is cost-effective, durable, and a natural way to prevent weeds from growing on your gravel.

It's important to keep organic matter off your gravel too.

Soil, leaves, plant pots, and other debris can make their way onto your gravel even with a barrier.

Removing them quickly can help prevent potential weed growth. You can use a leaf blower or a power washer on a spray setting to clean your gravel driveway & surfaces.

Alternatively you could use a long lasting weed killer, this can prevent new weeds from taking hold on your gravel surfaces for upto 6 months.

Should I use membrane on a gravel driveway?

Using a quality landscape fabric underneath a layer of gravel or pebbles is a great solution for preventing weed seed germination.

However, even the most effective landscape fabric won't entirely eliminate weeds, as some seeds are bound to germinate and sprout and it will degrade over time.

Nonetheless, installing a weed block barrier will make sure the weed roots cannot get a foothold in the soil, and it will significantly reduce weed growth.

Does a gravel driveway require maintenance?

Yes just like your well tended garden your gravel driveway and surfaces require some TLC (tender, loving, care) - it's low maintenance but a little work, often saves a big job later.

As long as you have the correct tools, some time and extra gravel you can do this all by yourself...

How do you rejuvenate a gravel surface?

  • Remove debris regularly: Don't let debris like leaves and sticks accumulate in your gravel driveway. It'll make the job of clearing it away harder later on. Instead, remove debris once a week or so with a quick rake-over.
  • Fill in holes and ruts: Holes and ruts are common in gravel driveways, but don't just even them out from other parts of the driveway. Instead, fill them in with fresh gravel to prevent weak spots that can cause more damage over time.
  • Check your grading: If you're experiencing problems with washouts, regular holes, or excess runoff water, your grading might be the issue. Ideally, the gravel should be highest in the centre of the driveway, feathering down to the edges. For best results, your grade should be between 2-5%.
  • Add fresh gravel: The best-maintained driveways that last the longest have a fresh layer of gravel applied at least every two years. This will ensure that your driveway looks and performs its best throughout its lifetime.

Remember, gravel can be a great material for patios and driveways when maintained properly. By following these simple steps, you'll be able to enjoy your outdoor space to the fullest!

How often does a gravel surface need to be replaced?

Gravel is significantly more affordable when compared with concrete, artificial grass & resin, with an average material cost of £2-£3 per square foot.

This makes it especially useful for covering large areas (such as large country driveways).

In addition to being cost-effective, gravel driveways have the longest lifespan, with an average of 100 years. Asphalt, on the other hand, typically lasts for about 12 to 20 years, while concrete can last for 25 to 50 years before requiring replacement.

Therefore, if you're looking for a driveway material that offers long-lasting durability, gravel is an excellent choice but just be sure to keep up with the maintenance.

How many inches thick should my gravel be?

To ensure your gravel surface remains weed-free, there are two factors that must be taken into consideration. We've already talked about the importance of using weed membranes and regular maintenance, but the other key factor is gravel thickness - and this is a crucial one.

It's understandable that one may be tempted to use only a couple of inches of gravel, but this will not suffice in the long term.

To maximize the lifespan of your driveway, you should aim for a gravel thickness of 4-6 inches across the entire surface, with regular top-ups to maintain this thickness over the years. With proper attention to gravel thickness, your driveway could last for over 100 years.

What's best to permanently kill weeds on my gravel?

Well, folks, it's time for a little dose of reality - the cold, hard truth about weeds on gravel. No matter how much you try, you can never completely get rid of them. Why, you ask? Because Mother Nature has a sneaky way of finding a way to grow things where you least expect it.

Now, I know some companies out there will promise you the world when it comes to weed-killing products, but let me tell you - there is no magic potion or secret formula that will get rid of weeds in gravel forever. Nope, not gonna happen. You can use chemicals to kill the weeds that are there, but new ones will inevitably pop up in their place.

If you're not a fan of using chemicals, your only other option is good old-fashioned weeding by hand. Yup, that means getting down on your hands and knees and pulling those pesky little buggers out of your gravel one by one. And if you're thinking that you'll only have to do it once, think again. You'll have to keep doing it every time a new weed pops up.

So, the bottom line is this - you can either embrace the weeds and let them do their thing, or you can be prepared to put in a little elbow grease to keep them at bay.

Either way, don't let those pesky weeds ruin your beautiful gravel driveway or garden!

Need a strong weed killer?

What's the best weed killer that kills everything?

Best for gravelled areas: Triple Action | Buy now

Best for a small amount of weeds:
Doff | Buy now

About the author 


Hey there, I am founder and editor in chief here at Good Grow. I guess I've always known I was going to be a gardener. I'm on a mission to share my UK based weed control & lawn care tips with you all. If you have any queries please post in the comments below.

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