Archive for the ‘driveway’ Category

Weedy, The Aftermath

Friday, April 8th, 2011


Who knew that $10 worth of wacky weed killing could be controversial? LOOK at that, though. Just look. Weeds? Vanquished. Those are some results.


Remember my burgeoning meadow? This wasn’t even the worst of it, I was a little too embarrassed to show the madness happening behind the garage. Let’s just say there was a forest of weeds (about four feet high).

There are still a few areas that have a dusting of weeds, but these little jerks are checking into the hospice. Death throes and such.

Just to keep reminding folks, my gravel driveway is gigantor. For illustrations sake, our entire house is 1,300 sqft compared to the driveway’s 4,000.

I’m not buying that salt wise what we sprayed over 4,000 sqft of gravel is commensurate with agricultural runoff or road salting in cold climates. Also, it’s totally hard to decipher in my writing sometimes, but when I say “green” in quotes? Total sarcasm. We all can agree that “green” can be overused and inappropriately thrown onto questionable stuff to give everyone the warm fuzzies.

We try to be good around here, but come on, I’m not going to boil water and pour it over our entire driveway. For small areas, yes, but that process would be a nightmare on this large of a scale. We have put plastic coverings down and found it to be less than effective and a total pain to control with the high winds. The Round Up/glyphosate chemical route still freaks me out and is extremely expensive, plus I’m pretty sure Monsanto doesn’t always have my best interests at heart.

The vinegar/salt treatment was super effective and I’m looking forward to finding the super strength vinegar stuff that you guys recommended – I didn’t realize that vinegar could get more vinegary. I am surprised how well the normal household stuff worked, it killed everything in its path, but I’d be wary of spraying the crazy industrial stuff anywhere near plants that want stay alive.

I am terrified of using a blow torch. I just know that I’d light a fence on fire or something.

Of course I don’t recommend salting areas that you actually want to plant in. That’s dumb. Or spreading tons of salt all over the place – because yes – it’s terrible. We were looking for a cheap and effective way to sterilize the dirt that had gathered on top of the weed barrier and between the gravel as well as kill the current weed growth in an area we don’t want anything to grow in. Ever.

We used one of those cheap pump sprayers we had laying around. A good mixture to spray:

• 1 gallon of white vinegar
• 1 cup of table salt
• 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap (we totally forgot to add this)

I don’t mind mixing it up and spraying on any new weeds to keep things under control until the inevitable summer die off. This was a little experiment undertaken as we move into thinking more about fixing up the landscape. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and love the low low cost.


Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

A few years back we installed almost 4,000 sqft gravel driveway with our bare hands. It was misery. Back breaking misery.

Part of the driveway installation entailed that we lay down rolls and rolls of landscaping fabric to help control the inevitable weed problem. Well, no one quite explained that weeds wouldn’t grow through the fabric, but they would totally grow on top of it. Dirt settles between the rocks and then the weeds are like, “hey guys its awesome over here – lets move in.”

Since installing the driveway, which feels like forever ago, we’ve been battling the shameful ghetto weeds about this time of year. Somehow through a mixture of the super moon, super rain storms and supernatural mystical forces bent on driving me nuts, the weeds have been particularly hardy and spiteful.

We hand pulled the bigger ones, which in some twisted irony are way easier to remove than the baby weeds. So, we tend to let these bad boys get big and then yank them. Usually the summer heat kills everything outright and we wait for the scheduled die off, but it’s been so lovely and wet out that the weeds found purchase and made themselves a little too comfortable too early in the season.

Also found some lovely artifacts hiding in the weeds caught from the wind blowing into our wide open backyard – empty cigarette boxes, trash bags, some cans, chip bags, some stuff that looked like blood – you know all the glittering detritus that Hemet bestows on us.

Weeds? I made you my bitch.

To conquer the little baby and broken weeds left over from the great weed massacre (and to deter any other punks that wanna mess with me) I gave the driveway a nice bath of salt and vinegar. Still tastes terrible though.

50 pounds of salt ($8) and a few gallons of vinegar ($3) from the local Smart & Final are my DIY and more “green” solution than grabbing some chemical weed killer from the local hardware store. Who am I kidding – have you seen the prices on that weed killer stuff? It’s OUTRAGEOUS. We need tons to cover this giant driveway, so my broke ass is going to try this salt & vinegar solution and see how it works.

BTW, after a couple days the left over weeds are looking pretty shriveled and brown; take that you bastards! Let’s see how it works out long term – I’m totally salting the earth out of vengeance, but from what I read the next few rainfalls will probably dilute it all within the next few months. Whatever, salt is cheap and weed killer is not.


Thursday, March 18th, 2010

The boy and our neighbor began to fix the ghetto franken-fence with that cheap and ungodly orange hued wood.

It’s better than this raggedy mess of awfulness, but is still is a hot mess of a salmon colored fence…

Why all of a sudden should we start this you ask? Well…

The city finally sent notice to the neighbor that he was required to get the 15 cars off his front lawn in 24 hours or get fined. The solution? Rip down our properties dividing fence and store some of those broken down cars in their backyard. White trash style!

As a compromise we are splitting the cost of redoing the final ghetto run of fence since it was even more janky after hauling cars through it.

Oh, and look at that poor tree! The city shaved it naked. This is a constant battle against ugliness and we are losing horribly.

The boy rebuilt and cemented in some new posts to finish the final run of fence.

Shazaam! Fence.

Maybe now it’s time to consider landscaping that foot and a half of weed grass. Maybe some sort of tall drought resistant plant that camouflages this new fence…