A gravel garden path can provide a more natural look and feel compared to pavement, while also being much more budget-friendly. The issue comes when weeds manage to invade the area. Fortunately, there are some tricks you can use to prevent weed encroachment. The following are a few of the most vital strategies to implement.
Start with a good base
Don't simply lay the gravel out on bare ground; instead, build a simple base first. To do this, remove the top 6 inches of soil. This should strip out all turf, along with the majority of weed roots and seeds. Level this trench and fill it with polymetric sand. This sand is also sometimes sold as paver sand. It's shaped in such a way that the pieces "lock" together, creating an almost cement-like surface that is hard for weeds to penetrate.
Add some landscape fabric
Landscape fabric, also called geotextile, is designed to let water seep through while blocking any weeds from below. Lay this over the top of the sand so you have an extra layer of protection against any weeds that are hardy enough to push through the sand. The gravel layer is then spread over the top of this fabric.
The edges of the path will be the weakest point. You can help prevent encroachment by installing an edging material. You can use rubber strips, lengths of wood, or even brick as an edging material. The landscape fabric should be tucked beneath the edging so there are no gaps, and the bottom of the edging should be buried about 4 inches deep so weeds can't easily send roots beneath it.
Keep it clean
A good base, fabric, and edging should prevent most weeds from below, so now the concern is organic matter sifting through the gravel to form a base that can support weed seed growth from above the weed barriers. This is where a leaf blower comes in handy; simply blow out fallen leaves and other debris before they can decompose into compost on top of the path. A lack of organic debris makes it more difficult for seeds to germinate. If a weed does germinate, pull it out quickly before it can establish. Deep-rooted weeds shouldn't be pulled, though, as they can rip the fabric. Instead, kill them with a herbicide.
For more help, contact a company that specializes in weed control. Visit http://snydersweedcontrol.com/ to learn more.