Put Gravel to Work in Your Garden
Use gravel for pathways and patios, as a mulch for garden beds, to reduce rainwater runoff and more.
Gravel is one of the most versatile landscape materials, as it can be used as anything from a pathway material to mulch. It’s an affordable hardscape material for outdoor seating areas, filler around flagstone pavers or a useful drainage tool. Many gardeners do not think of gravel as a landscaping tool, just a “filler” to take up the spaces where grass won’t grow or to help drainage at the bottom of a trench. It can be much more than that - with many colors and sizes available, gravel works to enhance the look of many garden styles.
The most common use of gravel in gardens is as a walkway. It’s an ideal material for this, lending both texture and ease of maintenance. Its greatest attribute, however, is its combination of hard surface and softness. It’s easy to walk upon, giving a slight cushion, but is hard enough that a wheelbarrow, cart, or other machine can be rolled over it in even the most inclement weather.
To install a gravel walkway, first lay down a layer of base rock to act as a firm foundation for the walkway. After compacting the base rock, spread a layer of gravel 2 to 4 inches deep over the top, and compact again. Binding products are also available that can be washed over the top to hold gravel in place.
Gravel can make an attractive, long-lasting and economical material for patios or garden seating areas. It can be filled in thickly at relatively low cost per foot, keeping most weeds at bay and providing a neutral backdrop for planters, furniture and fountains.
Around the patio, it can also make a great border in which flowers and other plants can easily be planted without worrying about weeds. Gravel can also be used to fill in things, like an unused firebox, a shallow well, or to make the soil surface of a flower box look more lively.
Choose a color that complements other hardscaping materials and is in keeping with the style of your garden.
Many gardeners do not think of gravel as a landscaping tool, just a “filler” to take up the spaces where grass won’t grow or to help drainage at the bottom of a trench. It can be much more than that, however, and can even be one of the most decorative parts of your garden’s look.
In garden beds, use gravel as a top-dressing as you would use a bark mulch. After planting, spread a 1-inch layer of gravel over the soil’s surface, keeping small circles around the bases of trees and shrubs gravel-free. Don’t pile on the gravel much thicker, or you can cause soil compaction.
There are many more ways where you can use Gravel as a higly functional design element, such as:
- Between Falgstones
- Incorpurate In Water Feature
- Permeable Driveways
- Use It As Drainage Solution
- Make Your Edible Garden Look More Appealing!
- Use Around Firepits
- Prevent Soil Erosion