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Can You Mow Grass That’s Growing in Gravel?

Can You Mow Grass That’s Growing in Gravel?

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I was recently talking with an older gentleman about the grass that’s begun to grow in an old gravel driveway to a shop that gets very little traffic. He explained that over the years the grass has grown to point that it is knee-deep in some areas. He wanted my thoughts on just mowing over it. The gravel isn’t well compacted.

You should not mow grass growing in loose gravel using a traditional mower as this could destroy the blades. However, you can get rid of the grass using gardening tools such as string trimmers, scythes, and grass whips. This will help you attain a well-manicured landscape.

This guide will also explain a few topics related to this question, including steps to follow when mowing grass in gravel and the precautions to take when cutting grass. You will also discover alternative ways to get rid of grass growing in gravel.

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Tips When Mowing Grass Growing in Gravel

Mowing the lawn is likened to getting a haircut. It needs to look clean, precise, and maintain the proper land aesthetics. Thus, the key is to focus on the mowing process and consider the appropriate tools for mowing grass.

Here are five tips when mowing grass from your laid gravel lawn.

  • Clear everything from your backyard lawn. The first thing you should do is survey your lawn and remove any obstacles. You should also remove pets and avoid having children running around. Additionally, ensure there is no garbage, clothes, and other clutter so that you can clearly see the specific places to mow (source).
  • Use a grass whip to remove the tall grasses. Consider using the True Temper Grass Whip (link to Amazon). The whip has a wooden handle and serrated steel blade edges that allow you to cut overgrown grass above the gravel line. Ensure you use this tool if your lawn is spacious.
  • Use a scythe for larger and more invasive growing grasses. The scythe is an excellent alternative to a lawn mower on an uneven gravel-filled lawn. Consider using the CAILLIN Weeding Scythe (link to Amazon). The scythe has a sickle-shaped blade with a steel handle favorable for cutting and chopping invasive overgrown grasses. 
  • Use a string trimmer for a more finished look. The string trimmer will allow you to trim neatly up to the gravel base and access nooks where grass can hide. If you are dealing with a large area, a walk-behind string trimmer may be your best solution. 
  • Consider pulling out the grass by hand. Although it can be physically taxing, pulling out grass by hand may be effective as a long-term remedy. You can uproot the grass from its roots and be as thorough as possible. Consider wearing safety gloves should you settle for this option.

Precautions to Take When Mowing Grass Growing in Gravel

When mowing grass on your lawn, you may be at a higher risk of cutting yourself if using gardening equipment with sharpened blades. Thus, there is a need to take precautionary measures to prevent injuries. 

Some of the essential safety measures to take when mowing grass are:

  • Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying grass chips when using grass whips, scythes, and string trimmers.
  • Ensure you are trained on using the power tools and cutting equipment to ensure safe handling and use of the equipment. Otherwise, you risk injuring yourself.
  • Wear leather gloves to shield your hands against cuts and bruises when handling the cutting tools.
  • Wear proper footwear with sturdy ankle support to protect your feet when walking on the gravel. Consider getting the Dunlop Durapro Boots (link to Amazon). These boots have hardened toe caps that protect your toes and feet from cuts and bruises in case of trimming accidents.

Alternative Ways to Get Rid of Grass Growing in Gravel

While the amount of grass growing through gravel is typically minimal, it can make your landscape aesthetics appear untidy. Fortunately, preventative measures such as placing a landscape fabric before laying the gravel can reduce the chances of grass growth. However,  it is still possible to use other alternative methods to remove the grass entirely.

These methods are discussed below:

  • Using salt. Sprinkle table salt over the graveled lawn. Since salt is a desiccant, when generously sprinkled on the gravel area, it will naturally dehydrate the soil and absorb moisture from the grass, drying it out.
  • Hot water. Pouring boiled water over graveled areas with undesirable grass cover is one of the cheapest and fastest ways to get rid of grass growing in gravel. Boiled water will destroy the grass cuticles and vital systems, eventually killing them.
  • Using distilled vinegar. Vinegar encompasses acetic acid that essentially burns. Thus, filling a spray bottle with apple cider vinegar or white vinegar and spraying it on the unwanted grass in the graveled area will instantly burn and damage the grass. Ensure you apply it on a sunny day to increase the vinegar’s effectiveness. Note, however, that natural weed killers like this still pose potential issues to the soil so use sparingly.
  • Using herbicides. To eliminate the grass growing in gravel, you will need to apply pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides. Consider applying the Roundup For Lawns 1 Ready-To-Use post-emergent herbicides (link to Amazon). The herbicide is suitable for killing weeds and grass that poke through the gravel without destroying your lawn. Again, use sparingly.
  • Install an edge border around the graveled lawn. You may need to install a metal edge border about 3-5 inches (7.62-12.7 cm) high around your graveled area. This edge control prevents grass, weeds, and other plants from developing their roots and invading the graveled lawn. It also keeps your gravel compacted and at a close distance preventing any grass spread or sprouts. 

Conclusion

Finding grass sprouting in a graveled lawn may be a nuisance to many. Thus, if you find the grass intrusive, you may follow a few simple steps that encompass the following:

  • Clearing the lawn
  • Using tools such as grass whips, scythes, and string trimmers
  • Uprooting the grass by hand

However, it is essential to follow the appropriate preventive measures when mowing your graveled lawn to reduce the risk of injuries and gardening accidents.

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Willie Moore
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