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Major weeds through gravel

hi all! I need advice please! I have never been green fingered but think year I feel it’s time to take action! Long story short, moved into house and changed grass to gravel and under gravel a membrane put down! 5 years on and garden like a jungle of weeds! Is it a case that the sheet under gravel needs replacing? Or am I best getting a good weed killer? So many weeds I can’t keep on top of! Any advice please? I’m keen to get it sorted then I can start my gardening experience 


  • MuddyForkMuddyFork Posts: 435
    I just weed them out they are usually just rooted in the gravel.  You shouldn't need to replace the membrane.  I find that a thin layer of soil created by rotting leaves covers the membrane and this is what the weeds root into.
  • Thank you!
  • I reckon the weed membrane is a waste of time, money and energy tbh. As Muddyfork says, the weeds just latch on to the soil that collects on top of it. Not only that, the membrane always seems to show up through the chips/gravel etc. I'm in the 'no membrane' club when it comes to chips/gravel; just lay them nice and thick.

    Little and often with the weeding I'd say. Five minutes every other night/day and that keeps the buggers under control I reckon.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530

    Some of those weeds will have got their roots through the membrane by now, and if you try to pull them out, you'll find they drag up the membrane with them.  You've found out the hard way that gravel over membrane isn't as low maintenance as the people who advertise and sell it would have you believe.  If I were in your place, I'd bung it all in a skip and reinstate the lawn, with some fruit trees and flower borders round it, but that's just me.  A stony desert isn't my idea of a garden, I prefer it full of life.

  • Thank you guys! 
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,476
    The weed membrane works perfectly well as long as regular routine maintenance is done to the gravel.  Pick out any weeds as you spot them and they won't get the opportunity to establish.  Weedkill every couple of months, a little more often in the height of the growing season, and there is no reason the gravel shouldn't stay virtually weed free.  Maybe 15 minutes work a month.
    I don't disagree that a lawn is preferable to gravel in many situations, but if you have a lawn which gets comparatively little sun it can look far worse than the gravel.
  • Ps turns out it’s a bad case of horsetail weeds! I’ve just read about it and they can be really bad, so guess I need to solve that problem ASAP! 
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    The correct weedkiller applied regularly is the way to go. Like everything else in life, a little regular maintenance goes a long way. And ditto in the garden. As it is gravel with assuming no wanted plants in it, you can be fairly brutal with the weedkiller and just spray it over the whole lot. With mares-tail, once a month should be fine. 
    Sorry if we are all coming across very preach-y!
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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