Kill Weeds Before Laying Gravel Effectively with These Methods

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Do you have a landscaping or renovation project coming up that will require you to replace the soil with gravel?

If you are already thinking of the gravel in your yard, you may also be considering spraying weed killer on any weeds still in the soil.

Before you do that, however, think carefully about which type of weed killer to use! It is always best to remove all weeds before laying down new gravel.

In this article, we will take a look at the top methods to kill weeds before laying gravel for your next project.


What You Will Learn: These methods will help you kill the weeds and their seeds before they have a chance to spread. This will help you avoid unsightly weeds sprouting up in your gravel landscaping project later on.


1. Digging Out Weeds with Their Roots

One of the most effective ways to kill off weeds is by removing them directly at their roots.

It sounds simple, but in most cases, you can just dig them out without using any chemicals at all.

All you need to do is:

  • Lay down a sheet of cardboard in your yard and place the weeds onto it.
  • Then cover the weeds with plastic film and secure the edges to the ground with bricks or rocks. This will help concentrate heat inside so that when you leave the plastic in place for about a week, the weeds will die off.
  • You can then just remove the sheet of cardboard and cover the whole area with newspapers or mulch to prevent any weeds from sprouting back up again.
Kill Weeds Before Laying Gravel infographics
Methods for killing weeds

2. Removing Weeds Using Organic Lawn Weed Killer

If your yard is full of delicate plants that you’re worried about killing off with weed killer, there are other organic options available.

Some of the most effective options include vinegar or boiling water being poured on top of weeds.

This will kill them effectively without leaving any harmful chemical residue behind.

To use either method, simply place a plastic drop sheet over your yard and pour down your solution. This will make it easier to clean up as well.

After about a week, the weeds should be dead and ready for removal before your gravel is laid down.

3. Using Chemical Weed Killer

Chemical weed killers are available in either liquid or spray forms depending on what you prefer and how large an area you want to cover with them.

They are much faster and easier to use than the previous options we discussed, but they come with a few risks that all homeowners must be aware of before deciding if they want to invest in such products.

Chemical weed killers can often leave poisonous residues behind:

  • These residues could prove dangerous for children playing in the yard as well as pets or birds who might eat the gravel and be poisoned by the chemicals.
  • Chemical weed killers can also kill off other plants in your yard besides just weeds.

This means that if you have delicate flowering plants or vegetables growing, these could be destroyed too.

Make sure to read all instructions carefully before using any chemical products on your lawn area.

4. Using a Steam Cleaner

If you are concerned about the environmental effects of weed killers, this method can be one of the best alternatives.

If you use a steam cleaner on your lawn before laying down gravel, any seeds in the soil will be killed off along with all existing weeds too.

Using a steam cleaner works well because it is completely organic and leaves no chemical residue behind.

It’s also good for the environment because it doesn’t strip any nutrients from your soil that may have been helpful to plants growing in it already.

All you need to do is:

  • Attach a steam cleaner nozzle onto the end of your hose, turn on the machine, and wait until all weeds are dry enough to burn off.
  • Once you see the steam coming out of the nozzle, place it onto the weed and hold it there until all that’s left is a pile of ashes.

Tips to Keep the Weeds Away

When you are trying to kill weeds before laying gravel, the removal is only part of the process.

Here are some tips to help you keep the weeds away for good:

  1. Make sure to water your soil regularly while you are away for the gravel installation. This will help keep weeds from sprouting up between laying down the stones.
  1. After laying down your gravel, lay old newspapers over it and secure them in place with rocks or bricks. This will help prevent weed seeds already in the ground before you laid the gravel from sprouting up between the stones.
  1. If you must use chemicals, only use them on spots that are difficult to get at or around areas where plant life might be affected by it. Just keep in mind that these are not safe for animal life either, so if you have pets or children playing in your yard, try to avoid using them.
  1. Keep garbage cans covered when they are empty. This will keep weed seeds from dropping into the trash and helping them grow in your yard along with your grass or other plants.
  1. Be sure to pull any rocks, weeds, or other debris out of the area before laying down gravel, so you have a clean surface to work on while installing.
  1. After you’ve used weed killer or steam to clear your yard of weeds, keep the area weeded frequently. If any new weed seeds drop down into your soil before laying down gravel, they will sprout in no time.

Enjoy Your New Gravel Without Weed Worries

With these methods, you will be able to enjoy a weed-free yard for many years without the worry of weeds popping up all over your gravel.

Remember to keep the area weeded if it’s a large yard. This will keep weeds from overrunning your gravel and make sure that your lawn is as lovely as ever.

Good luck with your future landscaping projects!

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