How to Control Weeds in a Crushed Stone Pathway

How to Control Weeds in a Crushed Stone Pathway

Crushed stone walkways are easy to install, and will make strolling through the garden a pleasure.

Stone paths are loved by gardeners. They add structure and beauty to a garden. They make a wonderful sound when walked on, and the stone helps to keep your shoes free from mud while doing your garden chores.

Constructing a Crushed Stone Path

Constructing a Crushed Stone Path

When preparing the base you’ll need to excavate at least 4 – 6 inches below grade. Decide what you want for your edging. The choices are many. Belgium blocks, brick or steel edging are beautiful and long lasting.

Choose a good quality commercial grade landscape fabric, which is a porous 3 – 4 ounce woven polypropylene product to allow water to drain from the paths. Landscape fabric is available in many lengths and widths. Never lay down solid black plastic.

After the landscape fabric is rolled out add a 1 inch layer of coarse builders sand. Firmly tamp down the sand and then add your stone. There are so many choices between color and size of gravel for pathways.

Maintaining a Stone Pathway

Cake Pan Stepping Stone Garden Path

The first couple of years they will be weed free, but after a few years there will be an accumulation of organic material that has sunk down into the stones, which makes the paths an ideal area for all types of seed to germinate.

Gardeners are always trying to find ways to ease the amount of labor that goes into keeping their gardens looking their best, and if you’re like most, using herbicides is an absolute last resort, but after spending hours weeding a stone path and knowing that in a few weeks you’ll be doing the same chore over again, using a herbicide might be your only alternative.

See also: how to fix a lawn full of weeds

Many landscapers use a product called “Preen”. Preen is a pre-emergent herbicide, which means it will not kill growing plants or weeds, but will only stop seeds from germinating.

It comes in granular form, which is ideal, because you don’t want anything that is sprayed. Your paths are next to your established gardens and if you spray there is an excellent chance for damage.

Preen should be sprinkled on the paths when you know that it’s going to rain. The rain washes the granules down into the cracks and crevices.

Preen maintains its herbicidal activity for up to 3 months after application, but it’s best to apply every two months starting in March, then May, July, and September. You will get about 80 percent weed control, then you can hand pull those that escape the herbicide. It’s unbelievable how well seeds germinate in gravel.

It also works beautifully in slate paths, but remember to apply before a rain or lightly sprinkle the area with water. You don’t want any particles on your paths, which might not be healthy for your pets to walk on.
How to Control Weeds in a Crushed Stone Pathway

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