17 Oct, 2016 12:03
Using a membrane underneath you gravel driveway or path will prevent weeds whilst allowing natural elements to permeate through to the soil beneath. It also helps to keep your gravel clean by creating a barrier.
At Stone Warehouse we supply two different types of membrane. A weed suppressant fabric and a heavier duty Polypropylene.
The weed suppressant fabric is designed to be used in domestic landscaping projects where there isn’t going to be heavy pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
The fabric is ideal for planting areas with no pedestrian use such as borders. It can be easily cut without fraying and allows nutrients water and air to permeate and keep the soil below healthy and fertile.
The heavier duty polypropylene is a tough woven fabric which is more hardwearing is designed for driveways and areas that will receive heavy foot traffic.
It also allows nutrients to reach the soil below but due to its excellent strength and tear resistance can be harder to cut and may fray.
We’d advise using the Polypropylene beneath sharp or angular aggregates such as slate as they may pierce lighter membrane.
When laying membranes it is important to first prepare the ground properly. Ensure any existing vegetation is trimmed down to ground level and remove any stalks or sharp objects.
Please be aware that the membrane will supress most weeds but particularly invasive weeds and grasses will require a weed killer to be applied first.
In badly affected areas we also recommend laying a double layer of fabric or doubling the depth of the gravel covering.
When laying the membrane make sure any joints or gaps are overlapped by a minimum of 10cm.
You can secure the fabric with pegs or by using large stones or objects. Once you’ve secured the fabric you can trim off any excess material.
We find one of the best ways to secure the edges of the fabric is by pushing it into the ground with a spade which is also known as trenching.
You can then cover the membrane with a layer of gravel, pebbles, bark or mulch. We’d recommend laying decorative aggregates to a depth of 5cm unless they are larger stones such as cobbles, in which case 10cm is recommended for even coverage.
We need to point out that the membrane is designed to suppress weeds but will not necessarily eliminate the need for weeding as birds may drop seeds on the surface.