Ribbon Driveway
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    Stablenickers's Avatar
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    Ribbon Driveway

    Thinking about a ribbon driveway around the barn area. The tracks would be pea gravel with grass or dwarf mondo grass in center. I like nice, clean lines though. Donít really have much experience with driveways. Mr. Nickers built the driveway through the woods to the barn and it is too messy to suit me. Really want the gravel to stay in the lines more or less. So, anyone done one of these? Experience with maintenance? Better in theory than reality?
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    Any growing plants near a driveway adds organic matter to the driveway.

    IMHO, organic matter causes many driveways to fail,,

    Roundup down the center of the driveway is your friend,,,
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    If you're set on pea gravel the best way I know to give you the clean lines and stability you want would be to have the ribbons poured with pea gravel surfaced concrete.

    Another way might be to lay pea gravel pavers as the ribbons, but I'd hate to tackle the prep work and laying the base for them.
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    DON'T use pea gravel for the driveway surface as you'll be driving on ball bearings. You need a size mix of sharp edged aggregate and crusher fines to lock everything together. My choice is recycled concrete since it's easy to get and cheap where I'm at.

    If you're looking for a sharp delineation line between the driveway and yard; you'll need to use some sort of edging to corral the rock. 4" wide x 10' long metal edging is relatively cheap in my area and I've used a lot of it; but it tends to float up from ground movement.
    I have more ideas than ambition.


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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    I agree with Matt, do not use pea gravel. It will not stay put, that's for sure.
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    Stablenickers's Avatar
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    I suppose thereís a reason I asked. Driveway mix gravel contains a mix of sizes so they pack together tightly. That said, I hear and understand everything you all mentioned. Youíre right. It just looks sooo good! So, if I were to use regular driveway gravel mix or concrete or pavers (which sound nice but Im concerned about cost), is there still any objection to the idea of a ribbon drive except from CADplans?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails AB4F2E76-AF93-4F68-8A67-EB1CDA1879A4.jpeg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stablenickers View Post
    Thinking about a ribbon driveway around the barn area. The tracks would be pea gravel with grass or dwarf mondo grass in center. I like nice, clean lines though. Donít really have much experience with driveways. Mr. Nickers built the driveway through the woods to the barn and it is too messy to suit me. Really want the gravel to stay in the lines more or less. So, anyone done one of these? Experience with maintenance? Better in theory than reality?
    Yep!!!!!!

    Seriously, you are letting yourself in for a mountain of work if you go that way, first for the installation(?) and then the maintenance. I have all gravel once I leave the road and I use a pull behind sprayer to keep the weeds at bay, otherwise, I would have a ribbon down the middle and it would also be creeping in from the outside edges. My sprayer sprayers 8-10 feet wide and works very nicely. I built another driveway to form a circle driveway and used what is known around here as AB3 gravel. It contains roughly 3/4 inch gravel with fines that set up like concrete after a rain. You don't want pea gravel or other loose gravel as it moves around on you, such as when you turn.

    Dave
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stablenickers View Post
    I suppose thereís a reason I asked. Driveway mix gravel contains a mix of sizes so they pack together tightly. That said, I hear and understand everything you all mentioned. Youíre right. It just looks sooo good! So, if I were to use regular driveway gravel mix or concrete or pavers (which sound nice but Im concerned about cost), is there still any objection to the idea of a ribbon drive except from CADplans?
    Concrete and/or pavers is going to cost big bucks depending on the length of your driveway; so I'd stick with 'driveway gravel.' As for downsides; to me a ribbon driveway looks like a maintenance headache, especially if you have to level it out or the island grows tall and you need to knock it down or bring more gravel in to match the island height. I'm lazy as hell, so I try to keep the maintenance to a minimum. However; if you have your heart set on a ribbon driveway, go for it and please post pictures.

    I remember concrete ribbon driveways were a popular fad in the 'burbs where I grew up in the 60's. However; it seems that they got ripped out pretty quickly when the hassle of making sure you drove on the concrete and not the grass, especially in winter became apparent.
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    I have more ideas than ambition.


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    I'm going to go with the rest of the guys and advise against it. I will admit though, it looks nice! One of the first properties Sweetie and I looked at 8 years ago had a long, straight driveway with the grass down the middle. Was very inviting, but...

    It's a maintenance nightmare! Gravel driveways (at least around here) create enough maintenance issues with potholes, etc. That ribbon is going to require mowing which means you're going to run a mower over an area with loose gravel - be sure to put on your safety glasses!! If you do get a pothole in the driveway, you're not going to be able to drag your boxblade or LPGS over that area without messing up the ribbon. That means trying to repair those areas by hand - I bought a tractor so I wouldn't have to do that kind of stuff by hand!!

    I think that a well maintained gravel driveway without the ribbon still gives a nice, rustic look.
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    Just put a normal driveway in . Then do little to no maintenance to it other than driving on it and maybe filling in pot holes where the wheels run and in a few years you will have a ribbon driveway. Around here itís common to have grass and weeds growing in the center of driveways do to lack of maintenance.
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