how to install gravel landscaping
An afternoon to get it down (as demonstrated here by This Old House technical editor Mark Powers), and you'll soon have a natural-looking, foliage-free way to walk through your perfect landscape. But in most areas, especially where the soil is sandy, you'll need to create a base of tamped-down stone pack, which is a mix of ¾-inch stones and stone dust. Pea gravel is often overlooked as mulch material around containers or garden plants: It suppresses weed growth, retains moisture, and doesn’t decompose like organic mulch. Here's how an inventive redo made an 1830s artifact just right for a 21st-century household. When it comes to using rock in landscaping, gravel is definitely one of the more versatile options. Browse our collection of more than 2,000 plants and seeds, which can be ordered directly from our favorite shops and growers. Once all the edging is installed, backfill along the backside of the edging. Step 4: Compact the Stone Base. Durable enough to cover paths, terraces, and driveways, gravel conveys a softer mood than most other types of paving, says Susan Calhoun, garden designer for the Bainbridge Island, Washington. On top, place traditional pea gravel to finish the driveway. This keeps the covering in place. To add a plant, simply plant it before laying down the landscape fabric and gravel. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Some type of edging is necessary to keep the gravel in place, too; plastic, metal, wood and stone can all edge a gravel path. Also, never hammer directly onto the steel edging, as this may damage its protective zinc-galvanized coating and lead to rusting. Photograph by Nicole Franzen for Gardenista. Even better, it's a more budget-friendly landscaping material than alternatives and lends itself to DIY projects more easily than other types of stone. deep. Compared to other hardscaping materials, installing pea gravel is relatively easy. The definitive guide to stylish outdoor spaces, with garden tours, hardscape help, plant primers, and daily design news. It comes in two forms: Manmade crushed rock has sharp, irregular edges; nature-made river rock (also known as natural pebbles) is rounded. Ask This Old House plumbing and HVAC expert Richard Trethewey explains why standard DWV PVC should not be used to vent gas appliances and what should be used instead. Sure, you could spend several days and many dollars putting in a walkway made of cobbles or bluestone, but a simple gravel trail won't break your back—or your budget. Gravel (as well as crushed brick or crushed shell) is a traditional path material found in formal gardens throughout Europe and Asia, and takes little skill to install. See our obsessively curated catalog of favorite products sourced by the Gardenista editors. Affordability is, of course, another benefit, especially if you use local rather than more expensive imported gravel. Drought resistant Or, With the help of architect and landscape designer, Versatile: can be used for paths, patios, driveways, or as a base for paving stones, Serves as rodent barrier if used around base of house, Easily maintained by raking stones into place, Travels: needs to be contained with edging material, Difficult to remove from soil if you decide to change landscape, Shifts underfoot; base rock must be added underneath to prevent this, Can be uncomfortable on bare feet (compared to flagstones or concrete), Does not provide a solid base for dining furniture, Needs to be replenished every four years or so. Edging, gravel and elbow grease. Bury a metal garden strip around the edges, Landscape around the path with flowerbeds or sod. Inspect the compacted surface for a reasonable degree of levelness; add and compact more dirt as necessary to achieve that reasonable degree of levelness. are perfect for this type of bed. the gravel bed is plant choice and soil preparation. Ornamental grasses, herbaceous perennials, and even Water runs through a pipe hidden beneath the channel’s river rocks to a catchment pond at the far end. Generally, you work the soil about 6 inches deep, remove any weeds, lay down 2 inches of coarsely textured base rock (also called crushed rock), and cover that with a 3-inch-deep layer of pea gravel. There's always a spot in any landscape or property that could use a little gravel for decoration and shaping. When a gravel path and adjacent planting beds are new, the transition from bare soil to gravel can give the garden an unfinished look. The process is more complicated than installing a path or patio because several layers of gravel must be laid to create a firm, stable surface to park vehicles. Above: A pea-gravel path abuts a bed of mulch and bluestone pavers, neatly separated by a strip of metal edging. The gravel path, edged on the right with … Lay a sheet of landscape fabric over the bare ground, to prevent weeds from sprouting up through your gravel.
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