7 Good Uses for Gravel
Gravel is a common material that you’ll find in a lot of places—in landscapes, along curbs, construction sites, as water filtration and more. It’s not one of those materials that people stop to think about often, but it does have a lot of uses. While gravel generally comes in shades of beige to gray to black, different compositions of gravel can create different looks—and if those aren’t to your liking, you can always order dyed gravel to get the right aesthetic.
Gravel offers more than just pleasing colors and textures. Let us show you how to use this material in gardening and landscaping. You’ll learn how to use it, all about the different types of gravel and crushed stone available, the best uses for each, and more. It’s an essential resource for any landscaper, so stay tuned to learn everything that you’ll need to know about gravel.
7 Good Uses for Gravel
Wondering how to put gravel to work in your landscape? It has a surprising number of uses, from mulch to water control, creating paths and more. Below, you’ll find seven great ways to use gravel for a variety of needs.
1. Replacement for Mulch
Gravel is a great replacement for mulch because while it shares many properties with wood mulch, such as preventing evaporation, it’s far more resistant to the elements. Wind won’t blow it away, moisture won’t cause it to rot, and pests won’t destroy it.
2. Water Control and Aquatic Features
Gravel doesn’t retain water, but it does help to retain soil in aquatic features where water is likely to cause serious erosion. In addition, having some gravel within your pond or other aquatic decorations can provide a nice contrast to help improve your aesthetic.
Different types of gravel will have different textures, sounds and feelings beneath your feet. Some gravel crunches quite loudly when you step on it and other types are quieter and softer beneath your feet. Either way, there are many types of gravel that can help you create attractive pathways at a fraction of the cost of concrete.
4. Temperature Control
Gravel will absorb the heat of the sun and leave the ground directly beneath the layer of rock fragments cooler. If you need to control soil temperature for plants that like cooler roots, this is one way to help keep things cool. Keep in mind that layering gravel too thickly can cause soil compaction, however, so be sure to use a thin layer so as to not obstruct root growth.
5. Landscaping Purposes
From garden borders, pathway fillers, colored and functional driveways to garden zones, gravel can provide a look that you won’t get with any other material. It doesn’t have to be used specifically in gardens, paths or driveways, either. Some types of gravel work well for children’s play areas, campfires, and pet play areas.
Gravel works well with bricks or paving stones to create a patio. Use it as a base to keep your paving material level, or if you are planning gaps between your paving materials, you can also use it to fill those gaps. Unlike mortar or grout, gravel can be removed much more easily should you ever decide to change up the look of the patio.
Xeriscaping is your friend if you wish to have a low maintenance garden. Using native plants and miniscule amounts of water, this type of garden still allows plant to thrive even in dry conditions. This is perfect for places that have drought seasons. Gravel comes into play here as it aids in water conservation and helps maintain soil integrity.