Too much rain can lead to standing water and puddles of mud which, if you’re not careful (and sometimes, even if you are), can lead to stuck trucks and lawn equipment. A great solution to that unfortunate and unsightly problem is creating a gravel parking pad or gravel driveway you can pull onto. This gives you the traction you’re missing in those muddy spots. It also means no more muddy boot prints tracked through the yard and into the house.
In his latest video for Backyard Life, Brian Latimer walks you through the steps required to create a gravel parking pad easily.
- Decide on the area.
This should be the easiest part of the whole endeavor! Figure out where you need to put your gravel parking pad and map out how you’d like to position it.
- Grade out the area.
This is the most crucial step in the entire process. Latimer is sure to emphasize the importance of putting gravel down on only graded dirt. He says, “do not throw gravel onto bare dirt!” That could lead to a bumpy and unstable base which can lead to all sorts of problems going forward.
You want to grade the base so the water flows exactly where you need it to go. The last thing you want is to have to reroute the water after you’ve gotten everything done. You can do this a number of ways, but Latimer recommends using heavy equipment like a tractor or a skidsteer – tackling this task by hand can be quite a challenge.
- Create the base.
For this project, Latimer is using crush ‘n’ run (a gravel that leans toward the chunky side) with stone dust mixed in. The added stone dust helps to gel everything together and allows you to create a hard, compact foundation. Leveling the base is simple, and you can use large equipment or a hand leveler. It’s a quick and easy part of the process, but an important step you don’t want to slack on.
- Compact the pad.
For this step, Latimer uses a hand roller and walks over the entire area carefully and completely. You want to be sure everything is nice and thoroughly compacted so you can guarantee a sturdy and long-lasting gravel pad. Without that compaction, you’re likely to get sinkholes and create a bigger mess and more muddy areas. If you have heavier equipment at your disposal, you can use it! But it isn’t necessary if you don’t.
- Add the top layer.
This is the beauty part of the project.
There’s an abundance of rock and gravel options to choose from, depending on how you want the finished product to look. For his gravel pad, Latimer is using a #57 stone. He says this keeps it clean, keeps the dust down, and keeps you from tracking mud into or out of your vehicle.
Latimer says it best: “This might be a little extra work, but it’s definitely worth it.” Following these steps is sure to yield you the best results and will create an excellent gravel pad that’s going to last you for years to come.