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View Full Version : Hello, my name is Katie, and I'm a gravel addict



Watermark Farm
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:03 AM
It all started innocently 10 years ago. I got 10 yards of baserock delivered when I first bought my farm. That led to having a transfer-load of gravel, and from there dozens of truckloads for a barn, all-weather arena and paddocks.

Over the years I've figured out ways to keep up my gravel-buying habit. I pay transfer drivers in cash for a better discount. I barter with a neighbor who owns an end-dump.

Yesterday, I hit bottom. I ordered two transfers of Drain Rock for my driveway. As I spread it over my mucky parking area with the tractor, I got the biggest rush of pleasure. I told the driver to return for yet another transfer of drain rock, three loads in all! But it still wasn't enough, so I sent him back to the quarry for a fourth and final load of base rock to top off my paddocks. The bill: $1900. The feeling: Priceless.

Tonight, my husband came home, gazed at the thickly-graveled parking area and sighed. He said softly, "Oh, it's so....wonderful...!" I am afraid he has become an enabler.

Everything is now covered in beautiful drain rock and I am no longer slopping around. However, I believe I might have to surrender to a higher power here, because I LOVE BUYING GRAVEL. Anyone else?

Sign me,
Hopelessly Hooked on Large Loads of Gravel in Muddy California

Calvincrowe
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:21 AM
Oh, a fellow addict! I get absolutely giddy when I know the big, shiny dump truck is heading my way...I have been known to squeal and jump up and down...in front of the driver of the shiny truck. Mr. CC finds this terribly embarrassing and often apologizes while I'm writing the check, giggling and doing a little dance of joy.

I, too, gaze out upon my mud free paddock and plot where the next load can fit. I have a tiny pile of 3/4 minus left...biding its time...because the path to the barn is developing a mud puddle and it will be filled this weekend! Oh Mr. Tractor? Get ready to rumble!

pictureonemore
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:27 AM
Haha! This made me chuckle...Last year they were tar and graveling my road (I live in BFE, and they DO NOT believe in asphalt) and my dog started losing her mind, so I went out in my pjs to investigate(I work 3rd shift and keep a vampire schedule). Lo and behold, the excess truck load that they had left over from doing my road was being professionally spread all down my driveway...for FREE! I was so excited I went and hugged the crew. I feel your pain!

UrbanHennery
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:58 AM
I recently rewarded my husband in unspeakable ways for the 60+ yards of 5/8 minus that he spread in the sacrifice paddock to eliminate the muddy section and refresh the rest. I was so excited that I told everyone at work (only farm/horse girl there). I love gravel too, it's my shameful secret.

EquusMagnificus
Dec. 17, 2010, 07:21 AM
My! :winkgrin:

You are not alone!

Except you have the budget to indulge!

Oh how in muddy days of fall and spring, I dream of seeing only gravel... E.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.

BestHorses
Dec. 17, 2010, 09:09 AM
Lol! I love my 3/8 trap rock deliveries. Fresh gravel makes everything look so nice. When I'm spreading it with the front end loader I feel like I missed my calling as a pro operator! Is it wrong that moving big piles of stuff with a bucket can make a girl so happy?

ytr45
Dec. 17, 2010, 09:22 AM
I'd rather have a dump truck full of bluestone than a dumptruck full of diamonds!

pony grandma
Dec. 17, 2010, 10:39 AM
Totally makes me chuckle. I always hold up my ringless hands and say don't buy me any jewelry, just buy me a truck. (I have never worn a wedding ring either, rings bother me, don't need one to say No)

Our driveway gravel had worn down, the surface was wet and muddy. All those paw and footprints into the house. So the big slurge this year was the gravel, so thick and thirsty too!! Dry all the way to the house!

And two loads of sand in the outdoor arena, it's been 15?yrs and it finally went dead.

And gramps just added new stone to the outside wash rack area. Heaven! I stand there and it looks so clean and functional.

Now how do you include this in a Christmas letter to family? The highlights of the year!

myrna
Dec. 17, 2010, 10:45 AM
Watching a new load of gravel being delivered is right up there with a new load of shavings!Both mean work,but great end results.

dawglover
Dec. 17, 2010, 10:55 AM
I'd rather have a dump truck full of bluestone than a dumptruck full of diamonds!


Me too!

And I also like river sand. It's a nice coarse sand that works great in and around the run in sheds. It's easy to clean up the poop piles because the sand easily falls through the fork leaving just poop.
It's got a few stones in it but they are nice and round, don't bother the horses but I do toss them to one side when they work their way up through the sand.

ladybugred
Dec. 17, 2010, 11:10 AM
I love it when you can hear the gravel crunching underfoot!

The thought just sent a shiver up my spine!!! And sent me running to look at gravel websites!

LBR

Bluey
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:01 PM
We too are waiting on some driveway base material, as soon as he can get the belly dump trucks loose from a big job.
Can't hardly wait, as we reworked some cattleguards and need to add to the approaches to them on both sides.
Deer were suprevising a few hundred feet from us, of course::yes:

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a298/Robintoo/Horses2-20-071685.jpg?t=1292604957

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a298/Robintoo/Horses2-20-071686.jpg?t=1292605239

Don't dispair, you never get thru needing a little bit more gravel here and there.;)

ReSomething
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:37 PM
Count me in. Asphalt might be nice on the drveway but gravel and stone dust around the animals - perfect.

2DogsFarm
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:40 PM
Hi
My name is 2Dogs and I am a gravel-aholic

Three years ago I had some gravel laid in my paddocks and the excavator asked if I wanted the excess from the last load.
:eek:
DID I???!!!!!!!!

I still have some of that lovely pile left.
Every time I pass it I plan for using some more.
It makes me smile even if I feel a little like Gollum in LOTR:
My Precious!

If only I had a tractor.
I have to shift the stuff by wheelbarrow or bucketful. :mad:

KrazyTBMare
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:48 PM
I love gravel too but not sure exactly how and where to apply it. Plus that whole $ issue...

Could you all with your lovely gravel post photos for us to lush over?

TheOtherHorse
Dec. 19, 2010, 08:28 AM
Yes! I am a gravel addict too!

We got a large load of crushed limestone dust for a small paddock (http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs960.snc4/75305_469437827350_692222350_5643680_4081831_n.jpg ) for my horse who is on stall rest for a year, and I can't even describe how happy it made me! I've already got plans for several more triple axle deliveries next year for other high traffic areas.... I hate mud! I would love to do a 30' wide gravel track around the perimeter of the whole barn! Plus a walk way out to the barn.... Plus a round pen.... I could go on and on.... :lol:

eponacelt
Dec. 19, 2010, 08:44 AM
My family thought I was nuts when I asked for stone dust for my birthday - and meant it.

And I've never been so happy as when the giant dump trucks came and delivered 50 tons of gravel in my driveway.

I have big plans for graveling other areas near gates. More footing in the arena. More gravel on the drive.

I love you people who understand this mania.

DLee
Dec. 19, 2010, 09:57 AM
One can never have too much rock! I'm in! AND having a tractor to spread it (have spread too much by hand in my lifetime), I am a happy girl!

allpurpose
Dec. 19, 2010, 10:31 AM
One can never have too much rock! I'm in! AND having a tractor to spread it (have spread too much by hand in my lifetime), I am a happy girl!

You need to change your signature to include rock! Cute sig line!

saddleup
Dec. 19, 2010, 10:39 AM
There are gravel Websites??????

Leaving now to go and search the internet........

chai
Dec. 19, 2010, 03:04 PM
Gravel? While I appreciate the excitement of a gravel delivery, you don't know pure joy until you've been blessed with a truckload of stone dust. It will make you a convert.:-)

Bluey
Dec. 19, 2010, 03:57 PM
Gravel? While I appreciate the excitement of a gravel delivery, you don't know pure joy until you've been blessed with a truckload of stone dust. It will make you a convert.:-)

Or even better, but very hard to get, "road base".
That is the product of tearing an older highway, where they scrape and mill the asphalt and the base it was put on is then taken off and stored in huge piles, that everyone and their dog fights over for dirt roads, where it is mixed with some of that loose asphalt, for driveways or around barns and paddocs.

We are getting 12 loads of the last pile they have from the work they did on I-40 in 1995.
Pure gold that, funny how fate works, was taken from our own caliche pits to build said stretch of I-40 in 1956 and they paid handsomely for it then.
That material and aggregates are coming back home.:yes:
Who would have thought that then?:lol:

UrbanHennery
Dec. 19, 2010, 08:10 PM
I love gravel too but not sure exactly how and where to apply it. Plus that whole $ issue...

Could you all with your lovely gravel post photos for us to lush over?

Here you go!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/notsourbanhennery/5275917214/

That paddock is about 35'x 80' (or maybe a bit bigger). 3 horses in it for turnout all winter to save the pastures.

The only drawback is that when it's fresh and not quite settled, it's quite dusty. And if you have a gelding that likes nothing better than a roll and a nap in the sun, he ends up looking like this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/notsourbanhennery/5275926050/in/photostream/

That's not even the worst he's ever been - he was fairly restrained today. His green turnout is a lovely shade of gray most of the time.

KrazyTBMare
Dec. 19, 2010, 10:40 PM
Wow - I really like the looks of that - esp when I think back to how disgusting everything is when it rains and floods here - any time year round.

Is your gravel fairly new? With rain and wear, does the dust go away? Do your horses have shoes? And what size gravel did you get? Did you put down a base or just put it on top of dirt/sand? Thankfully there is a tax return in the near future... I can see the gravel already.. lol

UrbanHennery
Dec. 20, 2010, 01:49 AM
We originally put the gravel in last year and the older section is quite compacted and no longer dusty. We had a muddy corner (no gravel before) that we cleaned up and filled with gravel 2 weeks ago and then Mike topped off the rest just to freshen it up. With the rain we get around here it takes a month or so for the dust to wash out and the gravel to fully settle. We'll probably rake it out and compact it again over the holidays when we're off work.

You have to dig out any soft dirt or mud before you put down gravel. Then, depending on how firm your ground is you may need to put down a layer of geotextile fabric to keep the gravel from mixing into the mud. We didn't do that step as my hubby is an excavation contractor and had access to the equipment to dig it out all the way down to the sub-soil which is quite hard.

Total there's about $1800 of gravel there. We used 5/8 minus, but I've heard of other people using 3/8 minus instead. Pea gravel doesn't compact in the same way, so if you go that route you'd definitely want to put down geotextile first.

Of the 3 gelding, 1 is barefoot (retired) and the other two are shod all the way around. Everyone is quite comfy out there.

Jleegriffith
Dec. 20, 2010, 07:12 AM
We dug out paddocks on both sides of the barn all the way to the base and then built them back up again using asphalt millings. Love!!!!!!
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4018/4308096920_69172ccbdc.jpg

The horses tend to live in there whenever it is muddy to save the fields.

Mayflower Farm
Dec. 20, 2010, 08:24 AM
Oh, count me in as an addict! I hate mud! We have a very high water table, so spring and fall are just soupy. We have done gravel at the gates and around the feeders in the winter paddocks, but over time it seems to get mashed into the mud... so now I have a new addiction, gravel and terra grid. http://www.grassreinforcement.com/equine.html

I bought some this fall and put it at the gates and OMG, it's so cool. We put down a good layer of gravel and the grids on top and so far so good. :)

DLee
Dec. 20, 2010, 08:41 AM
You need to change your signature to include rock! Cute sig line!

Haha, probably true!



I also list stone dust in my love list, Arizona has an equivalant (DG), basically, I love anything that comes in a big truck. :)

Tiki
Dec. 20, 2010, 09:37 AM
I put bags and bags of gravel in the mudholes at the foot of my driveway to try to fill up the holes. Why doesn't the gravel work in the mud? What do you have to do for smallish holes, e.g. 1 1/2 ft x 2 1/2 ft?

I do need to get my driveway redone. It needs to be completely regraded as it now has double, deep ruts in it. It's 225ft long. I'd rather do something more permanent, like tar and chip. Any pros or cons to that? I could use chip to match the brick and/or mortar to make it look nice. I HATE asphalt anywhere in a yard!!!

NoDQhere
Dec. 20, 2010, 10:08 AM
Yes, I am a gravel addict as well, but my story is a bit different. Our farm has hundreds of tons of gravel in a couple of huge piles. A result of the place being mined before we bought it. So all the gravel a body could ever want, FREE, except for the diesel fuel in the tractor and the time to haul it around. :cool:

The best part is that this is beautiful screened gravel, not crushed. So it is smooth small stones about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch in size. Great for paddocks, gateways, parking, base around the x-country jumps, you name it. I can even walk on it barefoot with NO pain :lol::lol::lol::lol:!

So, that is my story. But please don't hate me because I have gravel :winkgrin:.

I'm attaching a picture showing the gravel piles in the background.

Hinderella
Dec. 20, 2010, 11:45 AM
Is there any way to spread gravel over sand? My pony is boarded, and her paddock would get very muddy. I offered to buy gravel. Then the barn handyman decided to fix the problem for me (very sweet of him, of course) and he dug out the paddock down to the hardpack, and filled in with sand. The sand is lovely, when I look at pony & her friend in there, I want to give them beach hats & pina coladas....but now I worry about her eating the sand and colicking...
So, can I have gravel delivered over the sand, or do I need to have the sand dug out?

Calvincrowe
Dec. 20, 2010, 11:58 AM
Hinderella- unless they are eating on the sand, it shouldn't be a big deal. And, yes, you could put gravel over the sand, but it will mix together eventually. I'd leave the sand, but maybe put mats in where they eat?? Would be cheaper than digging out sand and adding gravel.

SmartAlex
Dec. 20, 2010, 12:05 PM
My husband and I are both total gravel junkies. All of our drives are edged with RR ties and full of beautiful gravel or the best stuff... slag. Heck, I even have gravel in my vegetable garden. It is all carefully maintained, often looking fresh as a newly vacuumed plush carpet. We've been known to sit in lawn cahirs, drink in hand and admire it.

My mother, on the other hand :sigh: is a gravel T-Totaler. Grass, or something similar, grows rampant in all her driveways, in between the glorious mud puddles. I can't remember the last time she bought gravel for the barn drive. I keep special muck boots in my car just for wading to and from her house. I've been known to refuse to attend holidays due to footing conditions, or to park my car at the road to keep it clean. I don't know how I could have come from that family! :cool:

FalseImpression
Dec. 20, 2010, 01:26 PM
Oh, count me in as an addict! I hate mud! We have a very high water table, so spring and fall are just soupy. We have done gravel at the gates and around the feeders in the winter paddocks, but over time it seems to get mashed into the mud... so now I have a new addiction, gravel and terra grid. http://www.grassreinforcement.com/equine.html

I bought some this fall and put it at the gates and OMG, it's so cool. We put down a good layer of gravel and the grids on top and so far so good. :)

Where did you get that? This is exactly what I wanted for the side entrance to my house since tree roots and dog path had made it a mud hole. Could not find this kind of stuff (I had seen it in France in parking lots and loved it), so we settled for crushed brick. No muddy dog feet this Fall!

Mayflower Farm
Dec. 20, 2010, 02:06 PM
FalseImpression, I got it through the company, Chris Barcus (chrisbarcus@grassreinforcement.com). I think they would have had it delivered, but I picked it up at a warehouse near the Toronto airport. I can't wait to put some down in the spring and see if the grass will in fact grow through it....

pony grandma
Dec. 20, 2010, 03:34 PM
So, that is my story. But please don't hate me because I have gravel :winkgrin:.

I'm attaching a picture showing the gravel piles in the background.

Somebody always has to be the one-upper! :lol: and I'll raise you the 2 free tri-axle loads of shredded rubber that the local parks district delivered to my outdoor arena and they thanked me! b/c they didn't have to pay a hazardous waste dumping charge. They had cleaned out the playgrounds and had to put solid rubber down for handicap access. It was Christmas in July!

SmartAlex
Dec. 20, 2010, 03:53 PM
My vegetable garden: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_e5DEXJvtb90/TFTGhJnGNCI/AAAAAAAAB0Q/s-AXR69DhmA/s1600/Ariel.JPG

Just look at all that gorgeous gravel!

TrotTrotPumpkn
Dec. 20, 2010, 04:42 PM
My vegetable garden: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_e5DEXJvtb90/TFTGhJnGNCI/AAAAAAAAB0Q/s-AXR69DhmA/s1600/Ariel.JPG

Just look at all that gorgeous gravel!

Looks like something off of Victory Garden. Very nice.

mimiwenk
Dec. 20, 2010, 05:04 PM
That vegetable garden is AMAZING!

NoDQhere
Dec. 20, 2010, 05:21 PM
Somebody always has to be the one-upper! :lol: and I'll raise you the 2 free tri-axle loads of shredded rubber that the local parks district delivered to my outdoor arena and they thanked me! b/c they didn't have to pay a hazardous waste dumping charge. They had cleaned out the playgrounds and had to put solid rubber down for handicap access. It was Christmas in July!

Oh, now I am jealous :winkgrin::winkgrin::winkgrin::winkgrin:

Bluey
Dec. 20, 2010, 05:34 PM
My vegetable garden: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_e5DEXJvtb90/TFTGhJnGNCI/AAAAAAAAB0Q/s-AXR69DhmA/s1600/Ariel.JPG

Just look at all that gorgeous gravel!

That is the most gorgeous garden I have ever seen, bar none.:eek:

Oh, boy, am I getting ideas from that, thank you so much!:cool:

kookicat
Dec. 20, 2010, 06:49 PM
My vegetable garden: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_e5DEXJvtb90/TFTGhJnGNCI/AAAAAAAAB0Q/s-AXR69DhmA/s1600/Ariel.JPG

Just look at all that gorgeous gravel!

That is really nice!

coloredcowhorse
Dec. 20, 2010, 09:00 PM
After twice burying my Jeep yesterday while hauling hay around to feed (flagged down a sheriffs deputy to help the first time, second time my renter was headed into her drive and I caught up with her!) I am on the way to becoming an addict myself. I WILL have gravel on every area of this place that I even think I might drive on at some point in the next 20 years by the end of summer...if I have to go pull it out of the local pit with 5 gallon buckets! We have a truly lovely adobe clay that is rock hard when wet/disturbed/dried and turns into pottery slip when wet and not disturbed and dries into dusty alkali powder when wet and then just dries on its own... weirdest soil I've ever seen. With several days of snow/rain/snow mix and then about an inch of rain yesterday mid day...it was ugly. Got out, stepped in it to the top of my boots, lost a boot, ended up with one foot (socked but not booted) in it to my ankle to keep from falling on my butt into this stuff while trying to pull the OTHER foot (with boot) out of the muck. Gravel, forget buying daughters of world champions, I'm buying/stealing gravel...whatever it takes!!

KrazyTBMare
Dec. 20, 2010, 10:47 PM
Hmm - I would def have to dig down - I have sandy loam and right now with it being as dry as it is, its super deep and loose where the horses spend a lot of time. Just wondering where I would put all the dirt I would have to dig up....?

The water table is really high here - less than 3 feet down and you are in it - so when it rains, esp in the areas where there is clay, it is just a lake. The gravel will help it drain, right?

I think Im going to have to rent one of those front loader bobcat things to dig down.... hmmm... hubby did ask me what I wanted for Xmas that he could get locally.........

BTW that garden is ridiculous!

kookicat
Dec. 21, 2010, 07:29 AM
You could always use a geo-textile layer under the gravel to stop it sinking into the mud. :)

Fred
Dec. 21, 2010, 07:36 AM
One can never have too much rock! I'm in! AND having a tractor to spread it (have spread too much by hand in my lifetime), I am a happy girl!

^^
no truer words were ever spoken.

Fred
Dec. 21, 2010, 07:42 AM
You could always use a geo-textile layer under the gravel to stop it sinking into the mud. :)

This is the best thing I ever did.
We have clay soil. Boot sucking morass in spring and the bane of my life.

I kept dumping gravel in the high traffic areas, around the gates, and saw the Precious disappear into oblivion.
A couple of years ago I got a bobcat in, took up the top layer, put down some landscape fabric and dumped gravel on top.
It has held up well, and as soon as I have more $$ I'll do it in more areas too.

TheOtherHorse
Dec. 21, 2010, 08:01 AM
You could always use a geo-textile layer under the gravel to stop it sinking into the mud. :)

That's what we did too. Fairly inexpensive, and extends the life of the stonedust significantly. We used the plastic woven stuff that comes on 12.5' rolls and kind of looks like a heavy duty black tarp...

Mosey_2003
Dec. 21, 2010, 10:22 AM
Oh my God you people are nuts :lol: I'll have to take some pictures of the piles from my office window, I get to gaze at millions of tons of it every day! :yes:

FalseImpression
Dec. 21, 2010, 01:04 PM
FalseImpression, I got it through the company, Chris Barcus (chrisbarcus@grassreinforcement.com). I think they would have had it delivered, but I picked it up at a warehouse near the Toronto airport. I can't wait to put some down in the spring and see if the grass will in fact grow through it....

My order would probably have been too small and I had tree roots to deal with, but it looks so nice. I saw it at several theme parks in France, in the parking lots, and the grass did grow well. It looked very neat!
They also had it at a rural B and B as paths to the different cabins. Very neat too!

FalseImpression
Dec. 21, 2010, 01:06 PM
Watermark, a bit off topic, but please give Argus a big hug!! And happy anniversary!!
Thank you again for keeping him. I cannot imagine him anywhere else! Jingles for Ridge as well.
http://savingargus.blogspot.com/

DLee
Dec. 21, 2010, 02:27 PM
Had to get some shovels of gravel from my (dwindling) gravel pile this morning to get the McCauley feed truck unstuck on my LEVEL driveway. I am sooo over ice. But once again, gravel saves the day! :yes: