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Grass Driveway Strips

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
A call for advice:

I've got one of those driveways with the grass strip in the middle kind of like the picture below (but not as wide)


Problem is its dead, dead, dead. I've tried planting grass there and it either doesn't grow or doesn't last, especially since last summer when my car leaked a lot of oil. So now its mostly sandy dirt with occassional weeds for color. We don't just drive over it, we park on it making it tough to grow anything. Does anyone know of any good alternatives to grass in a strip like this? BTW - money is a factor.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,889
Points
26
astroturf is durable, low maintenance and gives you that "I'm almost grass" look ;-)

find some tough, high shade grass for the area you park.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
how about those pavers with the holes to letter water perk and grass grow through?
 

plannerkat

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
There are some durable groundcovers out there. I'd suggest checking with your local ag extension office for groundcovers that do well in your area and won't become invasive.
 

Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
Messages
1,037
Points
23
Dark green paint can be very attractive and would need to be touched up just every three or four years or so. ;-)
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
I don't know what the cost would be, but I've seen more than a few driveways where the grass strip was replaced with rounded river rocks and other stones. Looks pretty good, cuts on mowing and allows drainage.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
A Beer Can Driveway!?

A technique I have seen used in and around the rural parts of my dear southern homeland is the Beer Can Diveway. To achieve this decorative design one must sit on the front porch everynight for a few years and drink beers with friends. When you finish a beer, you thow it where the driveway should be. After enough cars and pick-em-up trucks drive across the cans, the cans will flatten and form a semi-permanent driveway surface.

Not only is it a unique landscape architechutal feature, but it is fun to make!! :-D

Enjoy.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
H said:
A technique I have seen used in and around the rural parts of my dear southern homeland is the Beer Can Diveway. To achieve this decorative design one must sit on the front porch everynight for a few years and drink beers with your friends. When you finish a beer, you thow it where the driveway should be. After enough cars and pick-em-up trucks drive across the cans, they will flatten and become a semi-permanent driveway surface.

Not only is it a unique architechutal design, but it is fun to make!! :-D
Let me know when you and Mrs. H buy a new house. I'll be more than happy to come down and help you resurface the driveway if that's the process you plan on using. :-b :b:
 

PlannerByDay

Cyburbian
Messages
1,827
Points
24
Seabishop said:
I've tried planting grass there and it either doesn't grow or doesn't last, especially since last summer when my car leaked a lot of oil. .
Depending on how much oil it leaked maybe you could apply for Brownfield status and get a redevelopment grant, since money is a factor.

Or go the pea/river stone route.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,710
Points
69
Perhaps certain types of jasmine that can grow in the New England climate, if there is such a thing. Asiatic Jasmine was often recommended as a low-maintenance, water-friendly grass replacement in Florida.

Before you give up, I'd kill the remaining weeds (Roundup), and then seed the hell out of the dirt, like maybe 10 times the amount required for a certain coverage as listed on the bag, with a shade-tolerant grass seed.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
One of the issues may be the type of grass you used, especially if it was seed. Be careful of the cheap bags of grass seed you find at Wal-Mart or Home Depot. They are blends of mostly annual grasses. In shady areas, even under very mature maples, I have had excellent results with 100% perennial rye grass. The same might work on your sunny driveway, but I would wonder if 1) the soil there might need some remediation (higher organic content) before any grass is planted, 2) the grass strip gets sufficient water, and 3) if the ground gets overly hot. If these are true you might consider mixing some peat into the soil, watering more often, and gravitating to a dry prairie grass, like Canada Wild Rye. If you go with a ground cover, you should check on sedum and other plants typically used on green roofs.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,813
Points
61
I agree with a pavers, brick or rock/stone approach. :-D
the beer can idea is questionable. ;-)
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,523
Points
23
Not an alternative to grass but we have a non-native ground cover called 'mondo grass' (ophiopogon japonicus). It is a tufting grass with varieties between 10 and 30 cm tall. Colour from dark green, to variegated and black. It is an excellent edging plant and pretty tough. It survives in full sun but thrives in part shade. Will need water occasionally if you get very hot summers. It would look great in your driveway strip. We have plenty at home if you want to pop over and get some.

I googled and found this site with some pictures.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,710
Points
69
Mondo grass was common in Florida, too. Will it survive the colder North American climate, though? (Summer highs 30 C, winter lows -15 C)
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
Points
51
Dig up the grass and dirt that you that there now and put down a combination of 2 parts peat moss to one part top soil. Also, add allot of Garden Lime to it as well. Then talk to someone from your parks department for an athletic turf mix. Then mix in some perennial shady mix. Put seed down, cover with a thin layer of peat moss, then straw or some other protective, decomposing moisture-containing cover.

Oh and get the oil and gas leak in your car fixed, and in the winter, use sand and not salt.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
Thanks!

I think I'll look into the brick/stone route assuming I can handle laying it evenly. I try to be careful but when the driveway is covered in a foot of snow sometimes I accidentally shovel up chunks of the grass.

I have a list of dozens of little home improvement projects which are on hold until I don't have to study for the stupid AICP exam anymore.
 
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