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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. Don’t 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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #6
I suppose there’s 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. You’re 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?
 

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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. Don’t 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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I suppose there’s 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. You’re 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'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. :bigthumb: Around here it’s common to have grass and weeds growing in the center of driveways do to lack of maintenance.
 

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Poured ribbon concrete driveway around here is about 60 percent of the cost for a full width concrete driveway. I suppose it's because the ribbons use less paving material but require more labor?

The down sides to me for ribbbons (and I really like the appearance of the well-edged ones that I have seen) are:

1. The maintenance of the edges, there being twice as many edges per driveway length as a full surface driveway, and

2. Towing my horse trailer on it and being able to keep both the truck wheels and the trailer wheels on the paved or gravel ribbons.
 

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You're correct about the amount of concrete being less with ribbon driveways; but as you also noted the labor to install them increases as twice the forming is needed to contain the concrete during the pour. Then if there are meandering curves as part of the design; getting the ribbons parallel with increasing and decreasing radii becomes a forming installation headache.
 

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Poured ribbon concrete driveway around here is about 60 percent of the cost for a full width concrete driveway. I suppose it's because the ribbons use less paving material but require more labor?

The down sides to me for ribbbons (and I really like the appearance of the well-edged ones that I have seen) are:

1. The maintenance of the edges, there being twice as many edges per driveway length as a full surface driveway, and

2. Towing my horse trailer on it and being able to keep both the truck wheels and the trailer wheels on the paved or gravel ribbons.




IMO not worth the savings of the cost for less concrete .Ribbon driveway may look good but not for me, or for others in our area.

The first couple of years of having a drive down behind the house I put gravel only in the tracks (ribbon driveway). Over the years became a hassle to keep the gravel out of the middle, or while getting the trailer out or putting it away was driving over the middle and making a mess.
Not worth the hassle, next time I got gravel did the complete drive.
My brothers have done the same thing, it starts only doing the tracks over the years the complete driveway will have gravel.
 

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What you call a "ribbon driveway" we call a "prarie trail" or a "minimum maintenance road" for those city folk. :laugh:

Tough to impossible to maintain and keep it looking good, or if you do it's all by hand.
Center will raise over the years due to the biomass from the vegetation. Wheel tracks will likely compress if it's gravel due to wear, and weight of vehicles.
This means eventually low riding vehicles and trailers could have clearance issues.
 

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What you call a "ribbon driveway" we call a "prarie trail" or a "minimum maintenance road" for those city folk. :laugh:

Tough to impossible to maintain and keep it looking good, or if you do it's all by hand.
Center will raise over the years due to the biomass from the vegetation. Wheel tracks will likely compress if it's gravel due to wear, and weight of vehicles.
This means eventually low riding vehicles and trailers could have clearance issues.
This.

I have a part of my driveway that is now a ribbon as you call it - totally due to lack of maintenance on my part and the lack of funds to keep the #2A limestone on it. The sod in the middle has grown to the point that my wife's car bottoms out on it most of the way. The sod has also crept in from the sides. This part of the driveway is only used about twice a month - now the grass is growing in the gravel tracks also.

I know the solution - taking my loader and removing the sod from the center and sides. But I will have to have a couple loads of #2A handle to cover it right away or else I will have a muddy mess to deal with.

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