laurie branson wrote:We recently purchased land to farm organically and are in the process of trying to get a gravel road put in. The county is requiring us to put in the gravel road before we can get any building permits, so unfortunately the type of rural road Paul recently discussed in his podcast won't work for us. The road is about 800 ft long and will be 14 -18 ft wide (depending on how successful we are in convincing with the county that 14 ft is plenty wide for firetrucks because we will have turnouts) and will be going over pasture. Of course our contractor wants to use Roundup to kill the pasture that will be under the road, then laying road fabric down and then the rock. Please be assured we will NOT be using Roundup!
My research into alternatives to Roundup so far is vinegar, torching it, and/or tilling it under. I realize tilling is not a permie thing, but if it is going to be under the road I am thinking it would be ok. Would you torch it and then till it under? How about torch it and then spray it down with vinegar? If you just sprayed it down with vinegar, how much would you need and how long would you need to wait before covering it up? Any other advice/ideas?
Rufus Laggren wrote:I started reading deeper into roads because my inlaws have a small patch that needs about 200 yds of "drive way" to access the back of their property. They're mostly city folk (northwest of Chicago) and walking back through knee high veg in rain or cold isn't going to work for them. This is minimal use, 3-5 cars/day tops on a single lane, on very fertile loamy soil; I don't know where the water table is yet, but it's all pasture or brush with no standing water.
Since it's very light use and no dreadful water issues they may start with a brute simple approach and spread and roll 3 inches of large gravel with an inch or so topping - very low-end; they'll have to herd it back into line every year but it will tell them how much more work is needed and how quick. After locating the water table and finding out what's under the top soil the plan may get changed some. But there is no onsite or nearby road building material that I know of - it's all former farm land, ostensibly level, that nature's had its way with for the last 40 years or so. No matter what they do it'll involve bringing material on site.
I suspect the gravel may vanish downward in short order but I didn't discover any great harm in that. If it heads for China too fast then it looks like they should just put geo-cloth down and do a proper little road build; if it goes away slowly, then maybe just try a redo in three years and see if it lasts longer this time. Nothing really romantic or challenging but it was good learning about roads and it'll be fun trying to find some slope on their property. <g>
Rufus Laggren wrote:Michael
Thanks for the comment. From what I've read, geo-textile under a 4" base rock with a topping should almost certainly work well unless the "sub soil" turns to mud in whole or part. Thinking about it, maybe they should just extend the existing parking lot 50' or so along the proposed drive with 3" of large gravel, rolled; if they drive back and forth on it a few times each day when they are using a vehicle by next spring they will have an idea of what's going to happen. A small test now might save a year or so of experimenting with the whole length. They won't get the drive in until next year anyway.