Gravel driveways are popular because they offer an attractive, low-cost alternative to an asphalt or concrete driveway.
However, one of the drawbacks of gravel driveways is unwanted grass, which can ruin their neat appearance.
Thankfully, this problem is relatively easy to deal with, and we have compiled a comprehensive list of effective methods to give you a grass-free, clean driveway.
Table of Contents
Use A Propane Weed Torch
Fire is one of the most effective ways to remove unwanted grass from a gravel driveway and is achieved by using a propane weed torch.
They are relatively inexpensive, will not harm your gravel, and you don’t need to be precise when torching the area.
Weed torches have the added advantage of burning so hot they will destroy the grass right down to the root, preventing regrowth and leaving nothing for you to pick up.
To torch the grass, use a sweeping motion that scorches the grass without turning it to ash.
Work backward to avoid stepping on the hot gravel you have just torched.
Safety precautions should be taken when using a weed torch. If you don’t have much experience using them, you may feel more comfortable using another method in our list.
Make sure there are no children or flammable materials anywhere nearby and wear protective gloves.
Fire prevention should always be a concern, so don’t use the weed torch during drought conditions, on hot, windy days, or dry, brown grass instead of fresh grass.
We like the Ausail propane burning weed torch, a self-igniting weed burner made from stainless steel which features a flame control valve and an ergonomic, anti-slip handle.
Its lightweight build and balanced design make it easy to use, so you avoid bending, crouching, and hand fatigue.
We also like the Rokrou Propane Flame Weeder, which has an electronic igniter and an output of 500,000 BTU allowing you to cover a large area easily.
This makes it perfect for torching a long overgrown driveway.
Use Weed Control Sheets
The wind spreads grass seeds, and when they contact the soil under your gravel, they can sprout and grow.
One way to prevent this cycle and stop grass from growing again is to use weed control sheets.
Although this will require a bit of work in the beginning, they are easy to use.
Placing them between the soil and the gravel layer will starve any weeds or grass already present by preventing sunlight and water from reaching them.
This will prevent any new grass and weed seeds that blow in from coming into contact with the soil and germinating.
This will solve your problem long term.
Before purchasing, you will need to determine how many square feet of your driveway is to figure out how many sheets you need.
You will also need a wheelbarrow and shovel.
Remove the gravel from your driveway, place the weed control sheets over the soil then replace the gravel.
Grass and weed problems solved!
Weed control sheets are easy to find and not expensive.
We like Labworkauto Landscape Fabric because of its long-term durability and price.
It is a heavy-duty fabric resistant to corrosion and UV deterioration, sold in 3′ foot and 6′ foot widths, and starts at a low price of 150′ square feet.
Need a wheelbarrow and shovel?
We suggest the Goplus Dual Wheel Wheelbarrow.
It’s a heavy-duty garden cart with a 330 LB capacity and pneumatic tires with a loop handle, making it easy to haul and dump the cargo.
Lay Black Plastic Sheeting
Another good method is black plastic sheeting, a budget-friendly option if you have a long driveway.
Like weed control sheets, the black plastic sheets are laid between the soil and the gravel layer to prevent light and water from reaching the soil.
This will kill any grass already growing and prevent any grass seeds newly blown in by the wind from sprouting.
Good choices are Farm Plastic Supply Black Plastic Sheeting, a heavy, durable 6 mil plastic sheeting that will stand up to rain, wind, cold, and heat to ensure you get excellent use out of it.
This is quite an affordable option.
Spray With Grass And Weed Killer
Using a weed and grass killer is also a very effective method for solving the problem of grass growing in your gravel driveway.
Sprayed as a liquid, these chemicals work by decomposing and completely arresting the growth of the weed and grass right down to the roots.
After you spray, the active chemicals will begin working immediately and usually only require a single application.
Weed and grass killers are sold as liquids that are either ready to use or concentrate you dilute with water first.
Use a garden pressure sprayer to spray the entire driveway.
Take care to ensure you restrict the spray to the driveway and make sure you don’t spray on a windy day, as this could spread the chemicals which could kill the desirable plants in your garden or spoil your lawn.
Once you have finished spraying, ensure the gravel surface is completely dry before walking on it or allowing children and pets to play on it.
One very popular product is Roundup Weed and Grass Killer, which is glyphosate-based, kills even the toughest of grasses and weeds, and is rainproof in 30 minutes.
If you prefer not to use glyphosate, Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer is a good choice.
It shows visible results in 3 hours and won’t wash away after only 15 minutes.
If you prefer a non-chemical product, we like Doctor Natural Weed and Grass Killer, a combination of ocean saltwater, commercial strength food-grade vinegar, and soap.
If you don’t have a garden sprayer, we like the Vivosun 1.35 Gallon Lawn And Garden Pressure Sprayer because it has a large bowl-shaped mouth which makes it easy to fill, and a translucent bottle allowing you to easily check the fluid level.
Spray With Vinegar And Dish Soap
Vinegar is an excellent, all-natural method to remove grass; it works by drying the grass down to the root.
You will need to mix concentrated white vinegar with a small amount of liquid dish detergent before adding it to your sprayer to spray the driveway.
One application is usually sufficient, but a second application will be needed if the grass is still alive after a few days.
Vinegar works best on a sunny day; rain will wash it away, and the sunlight aids its drying action.
We like Green Gobbler Concentrated 20% Natural Vinegar because it is derived naturally from corn and contains no dyes or chemicals.
Spray With Bleach
Household bleach is another effective treatment for removing grass from your gravel driveway.
It can offer a long-term or permanent solution because it will lower soil pH below the gravel long-term, preventing new growth.
Spray undiluted household bleach over your entire driveway.
It will take 3 days to kill the grass down to the root, then just pull it out.
Take care to ensure you restrict the spray to the driveway.
Make sure you don’t accidentally spray it on any nearby garden or lawn areas.
Treat With Salt
Another great way to rid your gravel driveway of grass is salt.
Salt is preferred by many people who don’t want to use chemicals because they have children or pets.
Use rock salt or table salt, whichever you prefer.
Simply add a pound of salt per gallon of water and mix in a watering can until the salt is completely dissolved, then water your driveway.
Be careful if your garden or lawn borders the driveway; you don’t want to get saltwater in the adjacent ground because it will kill your plants and lawn grass.
After 7-10 days, any grass or weeds should have withered and died, and they have easily pulled out roots and all.
Use Boiling Water
The cheapest method for removing grass from gravel driveways is boiling water, which will kill grass down to the root.
All you need is a kettle.
Pour the boiling water directly onto the grass and repeat daily until it turns brown.
Another low-cost, effective method for removing the grass from your gravel driveway is to remove it manually.
Use a rake to move the gravel and a weeding tool to dig out the grass.
Although it’s time-consuming, it’s also very effective.
We like the Bully Tools 12-Gauge 16″-Inch Bow Rake, a commercial-grade rake with a 16 tine head.
We like Edwards Tool Weeding Tool because it has a deep V-nose design and is made of stainless steel, so it will not rust.
Hire A Professional
Don’t want to deal with your overgrown driveway yourself?
Hire a professional.
Although this is the most costly method, you have peace of mind knowing the grass is gone for good after the job is complete.
A gravel professional can lay weed control sheets or plastic sheeting under your gravel to prevent future growth.
I hope you enjoyed this post, check out another one on ideas for hiding a well cover in your yard.