pimp my driveway
June 17, 2016 6:18 AM   Subscribe

Just had a new driveway put in and there is about a 6-8" gulley on each side it. Help me keep the dirt from flowing away.

My old driveway had concrete sides but the new one does not. I foolishly thought my grass would fill in the galleys on each side -and it will- someday- but with the first rain a crap load of red dirt (Georgia you know) flowed into the street and in front of my neighbors lawn.
I have thought of planting some hearty small plants along the way but not sure I am up for any upkeep- not a gardener for sure. Someone else suggested putting pavers in.

Anyone have good/better/best suggestions? Something I can do myself (66 yr old female but really strong). If you suggest plants please specify- I am plant dumb.
posted by shaarog to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Can you put small rocks on each side that allow the water to filter down slowly (or run down to the street)?

That's the best option I can think of. Georgia soil is challenging.
posted by heathrowga at 6:40 AM on June 17, 2016

Geocomposites are structures made of cloth and other stuff that sort of get woven in with the dirt to keep it in place, which have been developed in the last couple of decades. (I don't know whether there are small ones on the market designed for homeowners to use though, I've just thought they're a cool idea since I heard of this approach.)
posted by XMLicious at 6:41 AM on June 17, 2016

Buy some clover seed. White/dutch clover sprouts slightly more slowly, but is shorter. Red clover sprouts quicker, but gets taller. Rake the seed into the dirt at the edges of your driveway. In my backyard in the middle of Alabama, clover takes less than a week to sprout. If it looks like it's going to rain every day for the next week the clover wont have enough time to stabilize your soil, buy a couple bags of rocks and put the rocks on top of the dirt to keep the seeds from washing away. Try and water the area for a little while each day for the first week (if it's not raining).
posted by gregr at 7:23 AM on June 17, 2016

Be careful planting red clover -- it reseeds year to year and grows tall pretty quicky in my GA yard. Whatever seeds you plant, cover it with a thin layer of straw or pinestraw to soften the impact of raindrops. Or just put down a thick mulch and wait for the grass to do its thing.
posted by gray17 at 8:17 AM on June 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

A bed of 2" gravel works for me--works well if you get it about 3 or 4 inches deep. After a while, silt fills in the spaces in the gravel, which works out fine to control erosion.

Also, various creepers eventually infiltrate the gravel, and that's okay by me. In the meantime, anyother volunteer weeds that try to inhabit the gravel are easily plucked and chucked. I would be careful about planting clovers, which are aggressive.

Out here in Oregon, wild violets volunteer to live in my gravel trims. I let them be in some areas, discourage them in others. If I leave them alone they tend to overtake ice-plants and other ground covers, so I guess it's just a matter of what you want to call a weed and what you want to call an ornamental.
posted by mule98J at 2:43 PM on June 17, 2016

Fill it in with dirt and seed it properly so you can mow or weedwhack right up to the driveway. A tiny un-mowable ditch will not fill in with grass it will become a weed filled maintenance nightmare. Asked me how I know!
posted by fshgrl at 3:22 PM on June 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was recently at a garden center in the Seattle area where they were selling plant tiles -- mats of already-established ground cover plants that you could just lay down to form a border. The guy behind me in the checkout line was buying them to line his driveway. Maybe they have something like that all ready to go at a garden center near you.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:58 PM on June 17, 2016

If you don't need the ditch on either side for drainage then, yes, I would suggest filling it in. If you need something right now, I would suggest a temp fix of a straw or coir wattles staked to coil back and forth to catch dirt as it tries to wash away or some landscaping burlap designed to control erosion. I think you can do grass seed then but the burlap down and the grass will grow through. Both of these erosion control devices can be found at Home Depot.
posted by Foam Pants at 12:06 AM on June 18, 2016

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