Controlling Weeds in Paths

The curse of gravel (and oyster shell) paths are weeds. I've solved this problem using the pre-emergent herbicide, Surflan. It keeps the weed seeds from germinating so the weeds never grow.*

Purchase Weed Impeed

Help support this site

* This is more environment friendly as it means you won't need to use a herbicide such as Roundup.

Installing an Oyster Shell Patio and Garden Path

I've always loved the look of oyster shell paths so when we were expanding our garden, I decided to build a patio and pathways using crushed oyster shells. It was pretty easy DYI project other than lugging the oyster shell bags.

To start the project, I laid out the patio and leveled the area. Then I installed metal edging around the patio and path areas. The edging was the simple metal lawn edges found at Lowes or Home Depot. Once the edges were in place, I tamped down the dirt and added the crushed oyster shells.

I probably should have added a two inch base of tamped-down stone pack (a mix of ¾-inch stones and stone dust) followed with landscape fabric over the base.

I purchased the oyster shells at Tractor Supply in 50 lb. bags. It is sold as a calcium supplement for chickens. Eight fifty pound bags covered a 6'x7' area one inch deep. I watered this in and then stamp the shells down.

That was it.


Weeds are the bain of gravel or oyster shell paths. However, I found an excellent way to control them. I spray my pathways with a pre-emergent herbicide. While using chemicals isn’t always the best approach, pre-emergent herbicides are much less harmful than herbicides that kill growing weeds. Pre-emergents prevent weed seeds from germinating so the weeds don’t grow and you won’t have the need to spray your pathways with a herbicide like Roundup. See the information in the left column about purchasing the pre-emergent, Surflan; the pre-emergent that I use.

Building a oyster shell path. An easy DYI project

Level the soil, tamp it down, and install the metal edging.

I used 50 lb bags of oyster shells

Amp down the oyster shells

The finished patio