krnuttleNovember 9, 2012

I had planned to put in a concrete driveway but now with no prospects for an improving economy, the concrete drive must go down the tubes.

I will be stuck with the gravel driveway I have developed a plan to maintain it. I have spent the last couple of days with a pickaxe and a hoe and have nearly removed all of the grass. At 68, my back can hardly handle this now so in coming years this method is out of the question

My plan is to get all of the weeds out of the driveway and remove the root balls from the gravel. I am on a slope so I have edged the driveway with very shallow trenches so the water from the drive will go down the slope into the creek instead of my yard.

I then plan to use poison to keep the driveway free of grass and weeds. What is the strongest Kill-every-thing poison I can get (Brand,etc)? I am retired so I could poison it daily if needed to keep the driveway looking good.

Like I said a concrete drive is out of the question now, and I want the property too look good.

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Normally I would recommend Round-Up, or any herbicide with glyphosate as the active ingredient, but having all your runoff go into a creek gives me pause. Most herbicides break down overtime in soil, but those that find their way to aquatic systems can cause a lot of harm to the animals that live in the water. In your situation I would probably use an organic herbicide like concentrated acetic acid or some of the commercially available organic herbicides. They also make a torch that you can use to burn off weeds, but that might be too much work if your driveway is very large.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 9:51PM
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I don't understand how acetic acid is good for the environment. It is an acid and does not break down extremely fast. It kills by raising the pH of the soil to a level that the plants can not tolerate. This high pH would kill the driveway weeds, the grass, and fish in those streams.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 7:33AM
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Acetic acid will also dissolve the Carbonate rocks in the driveway.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 7:36AM
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andy10917(NY 6a)

Acetic Acid does not have a high pH, it has a very LOW pH.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 10:38AM
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No, that's not how acetic acid kills the plants. The amount of acetic acid you use will have a neglible effect on the pH of your creek, I can't say the same thing for glyphosate. If you live in the east, your rain is already quiter acidic, a little vinegar won't budge the needle. I highly doubt you are going to see any rocks dissolving on your driveway unless your driveway is composed of limestone. If you are really concerned about it, just lime your driveway to counteract the effects of the vinegar in the soil. You really only need to treat the weeds as needed.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 12:26PM
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"Posted by andy10917 NY 6a (My Page) on Sat, Nov 10, 12 at 10:38 Acetic Acid does not have a high pH, it has a very LOW pH."

I went to a small college so we did not have a lot of fancy equipment. We spent many hours learning that pH was a measure of the Hydrogen Ion concentration, and was the -log to that concentration. Hence it you went from a pH of 6 to a pH of 4, the Hydrogen Ion concentration was increasing ie getting higher. If you went from a pH of 6 to a pH of 10 the Hydrogen Ion concentration was decreasing. getting lower.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 1:43PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Nobody said acetic acid was good for the environment.

I've used 20% vinegar many times to kill weeds and never gotten any on the soil. You mist it on the leaves and they shrivel up. That stuff works toot suite for the most part. In 20 minutes some plants will be nothing but a black smear on the ground. Other plants resist but almost all give in eventually.

Have you thought about using mulch instead of stone? Some stones are a real pain in the rear for decades. Others are only a pain when someone decides to remove them. Mulch is easy to work and easy to get rid of. It will smother the existing weeds and still make it easy to remove new ones with a hoe. My brother in law has a sand yard with mulch made from tree leaves. It works surprisingly well and looks great.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:31PM
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