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How to Pick the Best Gravel for Your Landscaping Project

Mulch gets all the attention in filling garden beds, but gravel can make an aesthetically pleasing and practical addition to your landscaping project. Read on to find out the applications of gravel in landscaping and gardening.

Why gravel?

Gravel, crushed stone, or recycled concrete make excellent landscaping ground cover materials.

Controls weeds and pests

While mulch allows weeds to flourish, gravel and other rock materials help prevent weed growth. Likewise, pests are less attracted to gravel than they are to mulch or bark.

Drains well

Mulch captures water and makes your garden soggier. Gravel, on the other hand, allows water to drain into the soil with ease. Say goodbye to muddy patches in your garden!

Prevents soil erosion

Because of gravel’s weight, it holds your landscaping in place and does not erode like bark or mulch would. It also keeps plants in place better than organic materials.

Does not decompose

Since rock is formed over thousands of years, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Organic materials like bark or mulch will degrade over time, but gravel will not decompose and shift.

Helps the environment

This one is multi-faceted. Because gravel and stone don’t erode or decompose, they don’t have to be replaced often. Additionally, gravel doesn’t require pesticides, water, or fertilizer to work well, so no chemicals will leach into the ground.

Skip the annual mulching

Tired of hauling wet, heavy bags of tree bits? With gorgeous gravel as your ground cover, you get to skip the yearly or fall/spring mulching cycle.

The gravel holds your plants in place, lets them shine, and saves you the time and hassle of laying down mulch. Put gravel down once, and with a little weeding and occasional raking into place, you’re set!

Color pops!

Since gravel and stone can come in multiple colors and textures, there are myriad ways to match and contrast with your landscaping. Here are some color combinations to consider when making your garden plans.

Since gravel and stone can come in multiple colors and textures, there are myriad ways to match and contrast with your landscaping. Here are some color combinations to consider when making your garden plans.

Aesthetic/Concern How gravel helps
Pale flowers: white or light pink Offset the light blooms with dark gravel. Can mix black and white, or use a deep brown
Contemporary monochrome Choose solid white or solid black to make landscaping look more dramatic
Full sun Dark rocks absorb heat. Stick with lighter gravel shades to keep plants from overheating on sunny days
Shaping walkways and flower beds Create clean lines with a contrasting shade of gravel

 

Read more: How to Choose the Best Gravel Color for Your Landscaping Project and Why Crushed Concrete is a Great Base Material for Your Landscaping Project

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