I would like to put a picnic table in my front yard and I like the look of wood chips, but I don't like landscaping fabric.

Would gravel, laid beneath the wood chips, prevent weed growth in this low-traffic area? Would the two mostly stay separate (the gravel staying beneath the wood chips, even over many years)? If so, how thick a layer of each would be needed (my guess would be 6 inches gravel and between 1 and 2 inches wood chips)?

2 Answers 2


It's not a viable idea - the wood chips will gradually degrade and decompose over time, creating a layer of soil like material on top of the gravel just right for seeds to germinate and grow in. Not only that, assuming the gravel is not compacted into place with a machine or bound with resin, the two layers will not stay separate if there's a table and chairs that's used sitting on top with people walking over it frequently - pressure will push the chips down into the gravel, so the two layers will mix together. Add to that the eventual soil like layer mixing in, and you've got a big mess to sort out in a couple of years.


@Bamboo is right. The easiest solution is to use just wood chips, a nice thick layer, and spot treat any weeds that emerge with Roundup every few weeks.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.