People choose gravel for their driveways because it's a relatively inexpensive material, it doesn't require professional installation, it holds up well to traffic, and it adds charm to the property in an unpretentious way.
Installing gravel on a a slope is always a dicey proposition, though, because vehicle traffic and storm runoff can dislodge the top layer and send it tumbling down the hill, opening ever-deepening potholes that need frequent refilling.
Gravel isn't a great material for a steep slope, even a one, which is the ADA-recommended slope for wheelchair ramps. However, it's still doable, especially if you use a grid to hold the base layer and you use the right kind of gravel. A typical gravel driveway consists of three layers, each layer from 4 to 6 inches thick. You typically use fairly large, angular rock for the base layer, because it's the one that provides the most stability.
In lieu of large rocks, you can lay a gravel grid and fill it with smaller angular rock, such as base gravel 3. The grid, which is like a honeycomb constructed of structural plastic, is recommended on steeper slopes.
Additionally, because it controls weed growth, it's recommended for driveways passing through fertile areas. The second layer is composed of mid-size drain rock, such as a type of machine-formed gravel called 57 stone. The top layer, which is the one you see, is more decorative. It's best to use angular rock, such as crushed stonewhich is a mixture of 57 stone and rock dust; quarry process, which forms a semi-solid layer; or, if you have the budget, use marble chips. Smooth rocks, such as pea gravel or river rocks, aren't ideal because they are easily displaced.
When you're building a gravel road on a hill, you have to remember that water runoff will cut across it and degrade it quickly if you don't give the water another place to go. After observing the runoff pattern, you may decide that the best way to do this is to install culverts under the driveway, and that work must be completed before you start laying gravel.
Another option is to dig drainage ditches on both sides of the road to carry water downhill and keep it off the road. When you lay the gravel, the best practice is to create a crown so that the water that falls on the middle of the driveway drains off to the edges. If you have installed a drainage ditch, the water can flow into the the ditch, but if you installed a curb, you might want to install a French drain underneath it to carry water. Controlling runoff isn't as crucial on a gentle slope as it is on a steep one, but it's always important.
The three layers of the driveway can raise its surface from 8 to 10 inches with respect to the surrounding grade. There are two ways to handle this. One is to excavate a bed that is 10 inches below grade, for which you'll need to hire heavy machinery. The other option, which may be more practical on rocky terrain, is to construct a curb.
To avoid a curb that is very high and creates the impression of a wall lining the driveway, most people split the difference by digging a shallow bed and lining the driveway with bricks or a berm accompanied by a drainage system, such as a ditch or French drain. In well-landscaped areas, a swale, with is a ditch filled with vegetation, might be the most attractive option.
Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at such sites as Hunker.
Skip to main content. Home Guides Garden Landscaping. About the Author Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. Customer Service Newsroom Contacts.These 21 landscaping ideas for slopes will help you turn your sloped yard into the envy of your flat yard friends and family.
Sloped yards naturally help break up the different spots in your yard, and these landscaping ideas for slopes help accentuate that. Image courtesy of Pinterest. Okay, so terrible pun, but the way this person used rocks to create a flat spot in their sloping yard for a small patio deserves recognition. The rocks help hold back the extra soil needed to create the patio and the mulch keeps soil erosion under control. Just because you have a sloping garden doesn't mean you can't do something different with it.
Using paving bricks to created multiple tiered gardens and a nice gently set of steps takes what was probably an unused area of the yard and creates something beautiful and functional out of it. Image courtesy of Pic2Viral. Yes, you can buy large slabs of rock just like these from a local distributor. Finding them is easy, the hard part comes in getting someone to help you lay them perfectly going down the slope in your backyard.
But you will find as you sit by the firepit that the expense and effort are well-worth it. In this particular case, it looks like someone carved out a nice flat space for a small deck and flower gardens.
Lumber was then used to create a retaining wall to hold back the rest of the slope. The tiered slope also provides a windbreak for whoever is sitting in the chair. Dealing with a moderate slope can be easy if you use pavers to create the retaining wall as seen here. Note how the homeowner has built in a set of steps that allow everyone to get up into the rest of the yard. The trees and shrubs also help keep the soil in place.
This yard features several tiers of gardens held in place using natural rock walls and steps. Natural rock like this is available at many DIY home and garden centers or if you are really lucky, you can go out and forage for them yourself.
Rather than focusing on the fact he has a sloping yard, this homeowner not only terraced his yard, he took the time and effort to build stairs to help everyone master the slope.
Plus, he added a handrail that runs all the way to the top. Slope Erosion Control Grids.This eco-friendly system costs less than asphalt, concrete or block pavers. GD Gravel solves the problems associated with loose gravel; sinking, migrating and forming ruts. This is a proven solution for hassle-free gravel paving for all types of vehicle or pedestrian traffic with no compromise in strength and durability. The underside incorporates a durable geotextile which is heat welded to each cell, allowing water to drain easily while preventing weed growth.
All panel edges have an interlocking system that makes for easy installation, even on steep grades. When filled with gravel the product is practically invisible, making for attractive driveways, pathways and patio installations. This porous and eco-friendly surface allows for storm water to permeate into the soil, dramatically reducing runoff problems.
GD Gravel is an excellent gravel stabilizing system. The video right gives you an idea of how strong the product is based on the use of this hexagon, closed cell system. All GD Gravel grids are available in white virgin polypropylene or black recycled polypropylene. Both options are virtually invisible when filled with gravel, even when using a light coloured aggregate.
All of our grids grass or gravel are closed cell systems. Meaning all of the cells are attached to the neighbouring cell with no breaks. This ensures an even weight distribution. Contact us for an estimate on a project or to purchase our materials for your personal or civic project. I just wanted to take a minute and let you know what a pleasure it was to deal with you guys. The product arrived the next day once it had shipped.
The panels came on a pallet and was well protected. When it came to installation, Wow! How simple and fast! Will recommend this product to everyone! Now to just wait for the grass to grow! More Testimonials. GD Gravel Driveways. Applications Products Install Guide. Low Cost - Because the gravel won't move around you can use less, giving you a porous surface that costs less than concrete, asphalt or block pavers. Superior Strength - Enhanced load bearing eliminates rutting, separating or sliding with vehicle traffic.
Weed Reduction - The geotextile backing underneath each panel prevents weed growth. Green Solution - Environmentally friendly porous gravel paving allows the rain to drain over the entire surface.
ADA Compliant - Ideal for pedestrians, bicycles and wheelchair traffic. Invisible - When filled the product is practically invisible, leaving you with a stunning surface that is easy to maintain. All of our grids are made by Injection Mold, the highest quality process available for creating rigid plastic products. Lower quality 2-part extrusion molded products that come in rolls and have non-continuous surfaces are not uniform and the plastic has the potential to separate with tire turning. All GD Gravel grids come with a geotextile fabric heat-welded to the back of every single honeycomb cell.
This saves time and money during installation. Want to touch and feel our product? Click Here! GD Gravel Driveways Image Gallery Testimonial I just wanted to take a minute and let you know what a pleasure it was to deal with you guys.Gravel driveways require more maintenance than your standard pavement types but are also can be a great deal less expensive.
Also, over time, gravel driveways create ruts and by filling the ruts with new gravel will not make the problem go away.
To adiquatly limit the amount of gravel migration occuring on the surface a high quality gravel stabilizer must be incorporated into the gravel dreiveway. The layers beneath the top layer of gravel are what will provide your driveway's stability and support. Therefore, you must properly prepare the bed for the gravel. The best solution for a stable driveway will include digging 8 to 12 inches below the surface of the driveway, the removal of roots and other plants and then compact the soil with a plate compactor or roller to create the sub-base.
Then, put down a 4-inch layer of coarse gravel on top of the compacted sub-grade layer. The top layer of gravel should be placed only after the sub-grade and sub-base are in place and compacted. If your sub-grade was properly prepared but your driveway is deteriorating, you might want to place down a layer of geotextile driveway fabric on top of the sub-grade layer and then place down the gravel. This fabric is an excellent solution for keeping your sub-base and surface gravel layers separated from the sub-grade level that will significantly reduce forming of potholes and ruts.
This permeable fabric lets water drain from the surface to the sub-grade soil. Plastic stabilizer panels offer the same layer separation abilities as driveway fabric but will also keep the surface layer of gravel in place, preventing washout from the driveway. These panels consist of rigid and honeycomb structure. These panels are made from polypropylene and backed with geotextile fabric. The panels sit on top of the sub-base, then the surface layer of gravel is put on top of the panels.
The gravel fills the honeycomb and is locked in place. The honeycombs will also take on some of the vehicle's weight, decreasing the potential of ruts and potholes.
21 Landscaping Ideas for Slopes – Slight, Moderate and Steep
With a compressed strength of 81, psf, these pavers will stabilize gravel in order to support heavy vehicles such as fire trucks. These gravel pavers decrease erosion while maintaining the look and functionality of gravel roads.
Service roads, jogging tracks, golf cart paths, bike paths, truck and car wash areas, boat and RV parking and access and residential driveways.
Other uses include; parking lots, roadway shoulders, fire lanes, emergency vehicle access road, equipment yards, truck maintenance yards, and construction entrance soil stabilizers. Along with the above uses, EZ Roll Gravel Pavers are also an excellent alternative for erosion control on slopes and in swales.
DuPont technology has been leading the industry for many years. DuPont Groundgrid is no exception, it is a geotextile grid that is used for ground stabilization for landscapes and construction projects.
It is a three-dimensional honeycomb design holds mineral infill to create a very solid surface. Just expand the three-dimensional honeycomb structure then place it on your project's surface and fill with gravel, sand, soil, or other materials to produce a strong, stable surface. Using DuPont technology, Groundgrid offers an unusually strong, stable surface for a job site. Like other ground stabilization systems, the three-dimensional honeycomb structure holds mineral infill to form a solid surface.
DuPont Groundgrid is made from high-performance fabric created by the experts at DuPont. It's lightweight but also tough enough to last for decades in any condition. It is also extremely flexible and very easy to use. Performance-wise, it lets water flow in a horizontal direct through the structure to prevent water from building up around the pathway. This is a ground-reinforcing paving grid system that is made from recycled HDPE plastic.
TYPAR Bodpave 85 paving grids interlock with each other to produce a strong, stable surface that can handle heavy vehicle loads.Stabilizing a steep slope minimizes soil erosion and encourages a thriving ecosystem. The best design for your slope considers the amount of time and effort you want to spend getting plants established and the overall atmosphere you want to create. For very steep inclines, hire a landscape architect or engineer to determine whether it is safe to proceed without terracing or otherwise re-contouring your land.
Native plants are the best low-maintenance option for steep slopes. Once established, they require only as much water as your region naturally provides and attract beneficial insects and wildlife that help bolster them against detrimental pests and disease.
If you would like more variety than native plants provide, intermix them with perennial herbs that have deep taproots or grasses with low, spreading habits.
Trees can also work well on slopes, as their extensive root systems interlock with other root systems, developing the integrity of the slope structure. Creating temporary mini-terraces allows trees, shrubs and larger perennials to grow vertically on the slope rather than sideways. Adding a ridge around each plant directs water to the roots, preventing runoff. Groundcovers and low, spreading annuals can be planted directly into a slope, as they will retain soil by primarily growing outward rather than upward.
Using small specimens that fill in slowly over several years can also work, especially if you tack jute netting over the slope before planting to keep the soil in place while the plants grow to full size. Mixing fast-growing annuals with slow-growing perennials is another method of keeping the ground covered and suppressing weeds for the first few seasons.
One or more horizontal pathways gives you access to the plants to check their health while they are establishing their root systems. These can be temporary stepping stones placed on sections of the slope you have leveled or if you intend to traverse the area frequently, permanent paths or stairways made from concrete, brick or rock.
Without paths, walking on the slope between plants can worsen erosion and crush young, developing root systems. Including a drip irrigation system or soaker hoses makes watering a steep slope much easier. Locate your water source above the slope, so that you're working with gravity, not against it.
Native plants rarely require any supplemental water once established, within one to three years from planting. If you are determined to populate your steep slope with fussier specimens, expect to irrigate more frequently and supplement with hand-watering as needed.
This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more, see our about us page: link below. Skip to main content. Home Guides Garden Landscaping. About the Author This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.
It only takes a minute to sign up. I have inherited a feet long driveway along a steep hill. It is in very bad condition. Every winter, rain threatens to wash away parts of it. Driving up and down is very bad for the car, and deepens the damage depending on the skill of the driver.
I guess the final fix for it is to have a professional pour concrete on it. That is not in the cards at the moment, though. Is there a DIY way to make the road more driveable, at least temporarily? I have some gravel about an inch in size, but I fear that the car wheels will simply dig it out again due to the inclination if I put it in with nothing to glue it to the ground.
Might mixing concrete with gravel work? You do need to shape it correctly. Even in arid areas seems likely from the picturewater is the major thing that destroys poorly built roads - when it does rain, the water flows down the road and moves material - unless the road is shaped to divert water off to the side in a short distance, so that there is never so much water collectively running on the road that it moves the gravel. In a first step this might consist of adding water bars every once in a while to divert water to the side, but a complete solution consists of putting crown on the road, so that rather than having two wheel ruts which become water channels, and then become deeper ruts you have a slightly mounded profile and all water runs off to the sides and, if need be, you have adequate ditches to handle the water once it is off the side of the road.
Depending on finances and inclination, you can do this piecemeal over time for little cash with shovels and rakes and implements of destruction, or you can hire a contractor with a road grader.
If the contractor also has a rubber-tired vibratory roller and knows how to use it, so much the better. You may want to remove or break into smaller chunks the random chunks of concrete, unless you are adding sufficient material to bury them. You will occasionally need to re-rake as your tires move material, but it should not be frequent or major if you drive calmly and are not spinning your tires.
If you allow tire ruts to remain, and it rains, you'll have worse ruts after it rains.Time Lapse of a Driveway Peel & Pave
An old bedspring or section of chainlink fence can also be used as a maintenance drag vehicle-pulled rake-equivalent to help keep things where they should be. If your gravel is 1" down to fines, it should work. If it's 1" stones with no fines, it won't pack well - good for drainage, not so good as a road surface. Search on the internet for cement modified soil. It is used to stabilize soil like ground as is, or as a base for other layering of materials. Definitely regrade your road to shed water away from the driveway.
For a lower cost solution, talk to your local conservation district; instructions on how logging roads are built is available.The main three problems that arise when gravel has been laid in the traditional way on a slope ie.
Gravel Migration What tends to happen in a majority of cases, when gravel is laid directly on a slope without using a gravel stabiliser, is that the gravel migrates towards the bottom or lowest part of the slope after a period of use.
This is more of a problem with gravel driveways or slopes which are used by vehicles. The gravel that has migrated to the bottom of the driveway then becomes harder to drive or walk over as the gravel becomes deeper and less stable. This deep section of gravel then migrates again across adjacent surfaces with more pedestrian and vehicular use.
This gravel migration can be made worse by the type and size of gravel used. A larger 20mm rounded river or pea gravel is likely to migrate much further than a smaller 10mm angular gravel or chipping.
The entrance to the gravel driveway or the start of the slope is now beginning to look a mess with the loose gravel having spilled out of the entrance. This loose gravel is then either ground into other surfaces, such as a tarmac road surface or crushed under the weight of a vehicle against the road or pavement. Loss of Surface Gravel Dressing Gravel migration results in loss of gravel from the driveway or slope, which exposes the sub-base material.
Subscribe to RSS
In order to keep the surface looking as it should, more gravel needs to be added and spread over the surface to replace the lost gravel and the cycle of gravel migration and loss of gravel starts again.
This becomes a long-term maintenance issue that will keep repeating itself. Ultimately, gravel slopes and driveways can only be topped up so many times, before the whole section needs to be removed and re-installed properly. Ruts and Potholes The combination of gravel migration, loss of gravel and exposure of the sub-base material can lead to ruts and potholes developing in the sub-base. Rainwater that washes down the slope, especially in heavy downfalls, can start to scour the surface of the sub-base and wash out some of the finer particles and this can also contribute to the formation of ruts and potholes.
With vehicles continuing to pass over the same sections of the sloping driveway, the problem is made worse over time. Simply adding more gravel will not cure the problem, the potholes and ruts need to be filled in with more sub-base material, re-graded and compacted, before re-applying the surface dressing of gravel.
The honeycomb structure of the gravel stabilisation grids holds the gravel in place permanently within the hexagonal cells. This prevents gravel migrating, prevents loss of gravel and prevents ruts and potholes from developing.
The graph above shows an easy to read example of the maximum recommended gradient over a 5m run with rise heights shown in centimeters cm.