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Grass Driveway?


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#1 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2010 - 11:52 AM

When we bought this place, it had two strips of concrete running through grass for a single lane driveway. About ten years ago I dug the first thirty feet or so...the part we use as a driveway...down six inches and put in 3/4 down lime. I also doubled it's width. I did this mostly because I was tired of juggling cars...the one you wanted to drive was never the one in back. The concrete was also in pretty rough shape, with lots of cracks and spawling.

Lately I've been considering changing it to a grass driveway. No particular reason, I just think it would be a little different from the usual choices and would be pretty much maintenance free, except for a little mowing. That's not necessarily a bad thing, since it would create room to use the little riding mower without having to kill the blades when turning around.

The limestone would remain as a base, so we wouldn't get stuck. I'd just scrape an inch or two off the top and replace with topsoil.

I know there'll be some winter kill of the grass, especially with salt falling off the cars, but reseeding dead patches is easy enough. I also know that some people say that parking on grass promotes rust, but my experience has been that it's no worse that parking on what I have now.

Has anybody tried anything like this before? Are there any advantages/disadvantages I haven't thought of?

#2 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2010 - 12:01 PM

I may not be fully understanding what you are saying,but if you are going to grass over your driveway,eventually you are going to have no grass where your tires travel.Would't that just look like you are driving on your lawn?Maybe I am missing the point,but that is my two cents.

#3 massey driver ONLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2010 - 12:21 PM

My driveway is gravel but over years the grass has actually grown into the gravel.The heavy travelled area is still gravel but where there's less travel its grown in it's like driving on strips of gravel.Around my garage and shop its all gravel as well .The less traveled area its grown in with grass as well.I know around the horse shed and bale storage area {now storage shed} its all grown in with grass as well.So there's a good base for sure.I didn't use 3/4 down as the limestone in itself discourages grass growing.I used just pit striping as it was free for me to take.Its taken quite a few yrs to fill in slowly with grass.I don't disturb the gravel drive by backblading etc so thats probably why it's grown in as well.When it gets a few rough spots I just fill in with a shovel and wheelbarrow.I like it this way as it seems to look pretty neat plus its way cleaner,less gravel in the house from off the shoes.Larry
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#4 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2010 - 12:24 PM

I would look like we were driving on our lawn...part of why I like the idea.

As for the tire travel...yeah that will be an issue in some places, although neither of us parks in exactly the same place every time. I've also talked to a woman from the garden centre who claims to have a mix resilient to being driven on. I expect that the grass would get sparse in a few areas though.

Neither of these things will look much different than the place looked with the two strips of concrete, but the parking area will still be wider.

#5 Gtractor OFFLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2010 - 12:43 PM

If you drive over grass every day it will kill that grass in a very short time. You will be left with two strips of dirt that becomes mud at the first sprinkle. That mud will then stick to the tires, be tracked out on the street, and it will cut groves in the driveway making a real mess. If you live on a gravel road, the mud on your tires will pick up rocks and throw them in a hailstorm fashion and it will cause lotsa rock chips in your paint and could very easily break your windshield! Then you get to haul in dirt to replace what was taken out by it sticking to your tires. You asked for opinions and mine is that you won't like the end result. This could very easily turn into a full time job filling in ruts and resodding. GOOD LUCK with whatever you decide!!
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#6 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2010 - 01:00 PM

My driveway is gravel but over years the grass has actually grown into the gravel.The heavy travelled area is still gravel but where there's less travel its grown in it's like driving on strips of gravel.Around my garage and shop its all gravel as well .The less traveled area its grown in with grass as well.I know around the horse shed and bale storage area {now storage shed} its all grown in with grass as well.So there's a good base for sure.I didn't use 3/4 down as the limestone in itself discourages grass growing.I used just pit striping as it was free for me to take.Its taken quite a few yrs to fill in slowly with grass.I don't disturb the gravel drive by backblading etc so thats probably why it's grown in as well.When it gets a few rough spots I just fill in with a shovel and wheelbarrow.I like it this way as it seems to look pretty neat plus its way cleaner,less gravel in the house from off the shoes.Larry


Yeah, that would be the advantage of gravel over limestone. Part of the reason I chose limestone in the first place was to keep the grass from creeping in. Also, it's cheap to buy around here. Now that I want to change things and it's looking like the wrong choice. Still, grass is beginning to creep in a little at the sides because of dirt/grass clippings. I wonder if maybe I should try throwing some old seed around and see if it catches? At worst it'll cost me a couple dollars worth of seed.

#7 Sam OFFLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2010 - 01:13 PM

There is a product available for this purpose which is a sort of rubber membrane/mesh that you lay down over the ground, the grass will then grow through it and it should handle anything bar very heavy use.
grassmats - compare grass mat suppliers example, im sure you will have similar there.
I have seen gardens with this system , you do notice it but its not too bad, i think it is designed for emergency carparking not every day use, im not sure how it will handle heavy daily use, but that would depend on weather, vehicles etc.

#8 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2010 - 01:35 PM

If you drive over grass every day it will kill that grass in a very short time. You will be left with two strips of dirt that becomes mud at the first sprinkle. That mud will then stick to the tires, be tracked out on the street, and it will cut groves in the driveway making a real mess. If you live on a gravel road, the mud on your tires will pick up rocks and throw them in a hailstorm fashion and it will cause lotsa rock chips in your paint and could very easily break your windshield! Then you get to haul in dirt to replace what was taken out by it sticking to your tires. You asked for opinions and mine is that you won't like the end result. This could very easily turn into a full time job filling in ruts and resodding. GOOD LUCK with whatever you decide!!


That's the kind of thing I've been wondering about. I don't think that ruts and grooves would be a major problem because of the limestone base. We're talking about a fairly thin layer of topsoil, remember. Also, Massey Driver's post has gotten me thinking about trying it with little or no topsoil first. If I can get grass to grow directly on the limestone, it would help.

The driveway also isn't that heavily used. In the summer I'm as likely to park out back as in front. Mrs. Rev parks up closer to the garage, beyond the gravel portion of the driveway, in the summer. We'd still get tracks, especially in the spring, but I'm guessing they wouldn't be that bad.

The other reality is that it's an easy thing to undo if I try it and it turns out to suck. When I originally put the gravel in, I did it all with a shovel. Now I have a tractor, so scraping off a thin layer of topsoil would be fairly easy.

I think maybe I'll use this year for a little experimenting on the driveway and do the landscaping out back. Next year I can landscape the front (the lawn needs to be redone too) and maybe I'll have a better idea of what to do with the driveway.

#9 KBear OFFLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2010 - 01:47 PM

Reverend Blair - I guess it would really depend on what your home's landscape layout looks like. I for one prefer a gravel driveway. Much easier for me to take care of and as for carrying rocks into the house on the bottom of shoes that's not been a concern because it really doesn't happen that often. A gravel drive can handle the abuse from automobiles during winter and spring wet soils I would think. A gravel drive makes the appearance around your home look more manicured. To keep the weeds down on my gravel drive I just spray it with herbicide a couple times, once in the spring and then again during second growth in late summer. To me your description sounds as though your yard (driveway) will look as though your drive (home) is un-kept???? That's just my opinion.

#10 dryrun OFFLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2010 - 03:31 PM

Rev, there used to be a product made for just what you describe. It was just a 3 or 5 hole cinder block but only 4 inches tall. You just remove 4 inches of soil, or sod and laid them the width you wanted up to your house. then fill over and scrape off excess soil. then you could plant grass. you had a good surface to drive over, or park on, and your grass didn't get destroyed. Maybe somebody more familiar with this could chime in here.

Don't know how to do a link, but if you GOOGLE TURF PAVER or GRASS PAVER you will find I think what you are talking about

regards George

Edited by dryrun, December 31, 2010 - 03:51 PM.

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#11 massey driver ONLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2010 - 03:47 PM

Well just to give you a idea of what it would look like I checked back thru some pics and came up with these from 5 yrs ago.The grass has filled in quite a bit more now and to me it looks good Its pretty much all grass now where the Ford LGT125 is /was and the pic looking back at the house/shed showing the hydrant thats all grown in now.Seeing its all a gravel base there's never any ruts etc:Larry

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#12 dryrun OFFLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2010 - 04:00 PM

Larry, that is a lot like my drive, I put #2 stone down first, with some #6 over it. I don't worry about it grassing over, If it ever gets too deep I'll just grade some of it off. Never have any trouble in wet weather, and grasses back over quickly in spring.

George

#13 poncho62 ONLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2010 - 06:03 PM

Indoor/outdoor carpet....problem solved.

Rev....I dont think you are going to be happy with it, unless its a large area and you park in different spots every time

#14 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2011 - 09:52 AM

Reverend Blair - I guess it would really depend on what your home's landscape layout looks like. I for one prefer a gravel driveway. Much easier for me to take care of and as for carrying rocks into the house on the bottom of shoes that's not been a concern because it really doesn't happen that often. A gravel drive can handle the abuse from automobiles during winter and spring wet soils I would think. A gravel drive makes the appearance around your home look more manicured. To keep the weeds down on my gravel drive I just spray it with herbicide a couple times, once in the spring and then again during second growth in late summer. To me your description sounds as though your yard (driveway) will look as though your drive (home) is un-kept???? That's just my opinion.


I don't think it would look unkempt...I'll still keep the grass mowed and try not to store any broken fridges out front. I've never been a fan of the overly manicured look though, and I'm looking for something different than the traditional driveway/lawn with tree thing.

#15 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2011 - 10:14 AM

Well just to give you a idea of what it would look like I checked back thru some pics and came up with these from 5 yrs ago.The grass has filled in quite a bit more now and to me it looks good Its pretty much all grass now where the Ford LGT125 is /was and the pic looking back at the house/shed showing the hydrant thats all grown in now.Seeing its all a gravel base there's never any ruts etc:Larry


Nice yard!

That's pretty much what I'm after. With the grass mix that's resilient to being driven on, it should fill in pretty well too. We don't have as much space as you do...our frontage in pretty much standard suburban, with all of the extra space out back.




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