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I just bought a house in the mountains and have 3 parking spots "off road" style. There are many pine trees so lots of loose dirt , rocks and dry pine needles. I'm afraid that when it snows and rains, it'll turn into a mud pit. How can I harden my dirt? Or recommendations on what to do that's not too expensive and still attractive but simple. Lol. This is my first house, so learning a lot of DIY techniques. Thanks for your time and help in advance.

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What is the soil type in this area? If the soil is sandy, it will not turn to mud when wet. A layer of the right kind of gravel might be both functional and pleasing to the eye, but don't put just anything down. Look around at what are others doing.

Parking cars on a bed of pine needles sounds to me like it would be a fire risk (catalytic converters get very hot). Ask the fire control authorities about whether the pine needles should be raked away from the car parking area.

  • +1 for getting rid of the organic material (pine needles) both for fire safety and for mud issue. – Lee Sam Jul 29 '18 at 15:58

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