Exploring nature’s diversity, we stumble upon an array of possibilities that can be used to refine our surroundings. One such natural marvel is gravel, a small piece of rock that has has either drifted from its original location, shaped and smoothed over time by the forces of water, or processed by powerful machinery capable of crushing larger rocks. Utilizing gravel in your landscaping projects can transform your outdoor space into a haven that exudes both character and charm. But like any other material, gravel has its own set of pros and cons. Wicki Wholesale Stone, Inc. offers insights into the many uses of gravel, its advantages, drawbacks, and helpful tips for using it in landscaping.
Where Gravel is Used In The Landscape
Gravel is most often used as a mulch-like cover over bare soil. Where you wood put a wood mulch like wood chips or hardwood mulch – you can instead use gravel. Gravel can be used around the house and the yard as a way to more-or-less permanently mulch a garden bed. Gravel can also be used to make an inexpensive patio or walkway. With some landscape edging to define the borders and weed fabric, a 1 – 2″ layer of gravel can make a great patio or walkway at a fraction the cost of pavers or concrete. Note: We strongly recommend a good weed fabric be placed under any decorative gravel to prevent weed growth.
Benefits of Using Gravel in Landscaping
Without a doubt, gravel reigns supreme when it comes to a low-maintenance garden material. Some of the key benefits include:
- Durability: Gravel is highly resilient to natural elements, making it last for years.
- Drainage: It promotes great drainage, reducing the risks of excessive water.
- Versatility: Gravel comes in numerous sizes and colors, offering a wide variety of design options.
- Cost-effectiveness: Gravel is more affordable over the long run as compared to mulches that decompose, however it is more expensive initially compared to wood mulches.
Drawbacks of Using Gravel in Landscaping
Even though gravel is packed with advantages, it’s essential to understand its limitations before opting for it in landscaping:
- Movement: Gravel can shift over time, requiring replenishment or redistribution.
- Weed growth: Weeds can grow through the gravel, calling for regular upkeep – stop this by using weed fabric underneath.
- It’s Heavy: Much more so than wood mulch, but larger gravel doesn’t blow away or decompose.
- Hard on feet: Walking barefoot on some gravels can be uncomfortable.
Guidance from Wicki Wholesale Stone, Inc.
Wicki Wholesale Stone, Inc. recommends:
- Texture and Size: For pathways, choose small and rounded gravel – it will most often be sold as 3/8″ gravel or pea gravel, while for areas with drainage, opt for angular and larger gravel to create pore space – go for at least a 3/4″ gravel. For mulching – small gravel should be 1-2 inches deep at a minimum while some gravel used for mulching can be 3-6 inches thick. Certain lines of gravel come in multiple sizes – for example Delaware River Gravel at Wicki Stone comes in 3/8″, 3/4″ and 1-3″ with 1-3″ being the best option for a mulching gravel.
- Depth: To prevent weed growth, use gravel as a mulch over a weed control fabric.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can gravel be used in any size garden?
Yes, gravel can be used in gardens of all sizes, from small urban gardens to large rural landscapes.
- Does gravel require a lot of upkeep?
No, gravel typically requires very little maintenance other than occasional redistribution or weed control.
Gravel, a simple yet diverse natural stone, has immense potential in landscaping, making it a popular choice among gardeners and landscapers. While it’s not without its challenges, the benefits offered by gravel—long-term cost-effectiveness, durability, and aesthetic appeal—certainly outweigh its drawbacks. With the right approach and expert guidance from companies like Wicki Wholesale Stone, Inc., you can employ gravel to create enchanting landscapes that offer a unique blend of natural beauty and functionality.