wood chip driveway

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by nwilder, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. nwilder

    nwilder Active Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Gravel for a drive back to the barn is gonna cost us well over $500. We can get woodchips for free. Will these work for a drive? It will not be drove on every day. Maybe once or twice a week. Was thinking I could line the drive with railroad ties to keep it in the lane. Will I need to dig out the grass or will a good thick layer(12 inches or so) work? Thanks
  2. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2004
    I don't know how well wood chips will hold up, probably do pretty well, I would imagine. You will have to 'top' it every so often because the wood will eventually rot and maybe blow away, if it's not packed down really well. You will get weeds growing in it though, especially dandelions and maple seeds. So you will have to pull weeds occasionally.

  3. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 26, 2003
    New York
    This might be a lot more work, but could you lay down cardboard first, then put the chips down? You could probably get all the cardboard you need from the local grocery store, all broken down already. It would help with the weeds coming through.

    I like this idea very, very much!
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    I think it would work just fine. A biodegradeble driveway!
  5. thequeensblessing

    thequeensblessing Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Buckfield, Maine
    Because DH is a tree surgeon, we end up with a lot of wood chips. We have lined the drive from out home to our barn with them. It is also about a 500 foot drive. We have no problems with them. You have to put them on thick though. They do settle after a while, and because they slowly decompose (over several years) we don't have the trouble with seeds growing in them very often. (The decomposition seems to heat things up too much for the sucessful germination of many seeds.) We add more chips every few years.
    We also take black walnut chips for our drive, which many people won't take because they inhibit the growth of many plants. People don't want to use them around their flower gardens, lawns, etc. Because we're lining a roadway, we don't mind if they inhibit weed growth!
    You also don't want any wood chips too close to your home or barn due to the danger of termites.

    Best of luck!

    GREEN_ALIEN Sunny, Wet, Tornadoey SD!

    Oct 17, 2004
    South Dakota
    Here in the Pacific North Wet no construction would ever get done without wood chip roads. Have used them to haul just about everything including the lowboy with a D8 on it in and out of some pretty muddy sites.
  7. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

    Jul 25, 2004
    Pell City, AL
    What about on a slope? Would they just wash away? Would they sink into the mud never to be useful again? Would I spin out in them?

    I'm having a hard time scraping together enough money to buy the gravel needed for the entire driveway. It's about 200 feet from top to bottom and about a 30 degree slope. I love this idea. I'm afraid though that if I just lay cardboard on the red clay mud and put down a foot of wood chips that my car would just sit there and spin. Do you remember that I've already had to pay $75 to be pulled up the driveway once???

    and that the co-op truck got stuck.... and that the Alabama Power truck got stuck when we weren't looking (don't think we won't get charged extra by them :( )...and that the phone truck almost went too far down Saturday before I could jump in front of him and stop him.... If you go too far down, you just continue sliding until you hit the bottom. We now have saw-horses blocking that driveway.
  8. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

    Feb 24, 2003
    With Red Clay I think I would just get some 2" rock.Just to get something solid.

    I was down there,was just setting on top,spinning,couldn't go nowhere.They wanted $200 to come from town just to get me back on the road :eek: Went found me a Guy with chain and 4 Wheel Drive.

    big rockpile