The way to Use Gravel in the Garden

The way to Use Gravel in the Garden

Inexpensive, readily available and easy to install, gravel is useful for a variety of uses. If you wish to landscape with a non-degrading natural mulch, or whether you’re looking for a pure material for your desert garden, then you can think gravel. As you decide whether or not gravel is right for you, remember it’s advantages and disadvantages. Gravel is weighty and will not blow away like natural mulches. This also means gravel is difficult and time-consuming to remove if ever you wish to get rid of it.

Rock Garden Mulch

Mulches take an assortment of types, from bark chips and wood chips, to seashells and gravel. You may use gravel as a mulch in backyard stone beds. Installation of gravel mulch must be done correctly so the mulch will remain in the bed, because gravel mulch that works its way into the dirt can be hard to remove. Stray pieces of gravel can also be hazardous when mowing the yard. You can avoid this problem by lining the base of your stone bed with plastic or landscape fabric and lining the perimeter with brick pavers or metal liner.


A gravel pathway, lined with heavy stones, can look especially sharp in a backyard with a desert landscape theme. This inexpensive material appears to be completely natural group among cacti, desert grasses and succulents, and in the event the gravel become kicked about over time, stray gravel bits here and there will only mix in. You can establish your pathway by digging a trench, 3 to 4 inches deep and 3 to 4 feet wide. This trench will hold the stones in place. With the trench dug, set the heavy stones along the trench edges. On sandy soils, a 1-inch layer of tamped-down stone pack must be used to give the path stability. With this done, put in the layer of gravel. Based on the size of this path, this job will probably require at least one day to complete, and perhaps a couple of days.

Paver Base

Along with its other uses, you can use gravel as a base beneath a paver patio or pathway. In this manner, gravel adds strength and construction to the pavers, preventing them from sinking into the soil over time. In addition, gravel aids drainage beneath the pavers. A layer of mud over the gravel will help with drainage too.

Creating Pet-Friendly Areas

Dog owners who also take pride in their own landscape routinely struggle to establish pet-friendly areas unaffected by dog urine. Designating an area of your yard for your dog, paved having an absorbent impurities such as gravel, will prevent your lawn from being marred with dead spots. Your puppy will have to be trained to perform his “duty” within this region. You can make this place more attractive by lining it with smooth river stones. As you decide which gravel to buy, remember that smaller parts of gravel may have tracked through your yard as they become stuck at the base of your dog’s paws. The very best gravel for this function will come in bits 3/4 inch or bigger. Your dog-friendly region is best positioned in the rear of your lawn at a corner, in which it is out of sight.

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