Permeable Driveway Info: Learn About Making A Grass Driveway

Permeable Driveway With Grass Patches
driveway grass
(Image credit: Karimala)

A permeable driveway can be made of many materials, including porous concrete or asphalt, pavers, plastic, and grass. The point of a permeable driveway is to prevent stormwater runoff. Making a grass driveway is relatively simple and cost-effective compared to other options. Read on for ideas on driveway grass pavers and more.

What is a Grass Driveway and Why Would You Want One?

A grass driveway is just as it sounds: a driveway made at least partially of turf grass rather than being constructed entirely of asphalt, concrete, gravel, or pavers. The main reason to have this kind of driveway is to make it permeable to rain and prevent or minimize stormwater runoff.

When it rains on a traditional driveway, the water is not absorbed. It runs off to the street and into storm drains. The problem is that this runoff takes de-icing salt, gasoline and oil residue, fertilizer, and other substances with it and runs into local waterways.

A stormwater friendly driveway helps prevent pollution. A driveway made mostly with grass is fairly inexpensive, it improves curb appeal, and it reduces the amount of salt needed in the winter to prevent ice accumulation.

Driveway Grass Pavers, Plastic Grids, and Ribbon Driveways

An all-grass driveway is really just an extension of the lawn, but there are easy ways to delineate it from the yard while still creating a more environmentally friendly drive.

  • One strategy is to use pavers. These are made of concrete or other materials and interlock to create cells in which grass grows. Typically, they are placed over gravel or a similar substrate to help with drainage.
  • A similar strategy is to use plastic grids. The grid holds crushed gravel to help hold rainwater so that it has time to absorb into the soil below. You can then add soil and grass seed on top or just use gravel.
  • A ribbon driveway is not a new design, but it’s making a comeback as people seek to reduce runoff. This simply means creating two strips of concrete or other driveway material with a ribbon of grass in between. It reduces the driveway footprint.

Making a Grass Driveway – Choosing the Right Grass

If your car will be driving and parking on the grass, as it would if you use pavers or a plastic grid, you need to choose a grass that will stand up to it. The right type will also depend on your climate.

Good options for tough grass that can handle cars include Bermuda, St. Augustine, zoysia and perennial ryegrass.

Also, keep in mind that grass will die if there is a car parked over it for too long. Don’t use grass driveways where you will be keeping a car long-term.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.