Pros and Cons of Using Gravel in Landscaping

Are your looking for a different look for your landscaping than standard mulch? Gravel can offer some benefits as a landscaping material to place around plants and trees. However, it is important to know how to use this material for the best results and when it may not be appropriate. Here are some of the pros and cons of using gravel for landscaping to get the desired outcome.

Pros of Using Gravel for Landscaping

Unlike organic mulch that deteriorates, gravel can last for many years when placed around trees or plants in your garden areas. Many people use gravel for pathways, but it can be used in place of mulch in some planting areas. Pros of using gravel include:

  • Longevity. Gravel does not breakdown like organic mulch, so once placed it does not need new gravel added as often as mulch.
  • Aesthetics. Gravel comes in many colors and size options, giving you a clean, tailored look to your landscaping.
  • No bugs. While bark or pine mulch may attract bugs or pests, gravel does not.

Cons of Using Gravel Instead of Mulch

There are drawbacks to using gravel instead of mulch for a landscaping material. While it can be a wonderful material for xeriscaping, it is not always a good option for gardens with certain plants. Mulch may breakdown, but it adds nutrients to the soil as it does, which can benefit plants. It also does not deter weeds as well as mulch.

If you want a different look for your landscaping or are creating a Japanese or rock garden, gravel can be a great option. Talk to your local landscape supplier about the benefits of using gravel instead of mulch to determine if it will be the best solution for your landscaping needs.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Using Gravel For Beautiful Walkways

Walkways through yards often are an afterthought, but really they can tie the whole look of the landscape together. Using gravel is an inexpensive and versatile choice for walkways that can add beauty as well as function. Since gravel can be easily shaped into curves or straight lines, you have many different options when designing your walkways. 

There a few choices to be made before you buy your supplies. You will need to decide the width of your walkways, the design of the path and what type of gravel and edging you will be using. 

–          Width. In general, walkways are between 18” and 48,” going from a very narrow path to a 2-person abreast walkway. Depending on how functional you want your walkway to be and how large your yard is will help you determine the width. 

–          Design. For formal gardens or functional walkways, straight lines are usually used. Informal or casual gardens often lean towards curved paths that beckon guests to meander through the yard. 

–          Gravel and edging. Decorative gravel comes in many colors and types. A nice choice for walkways is a pea or deco pebble that is small and light colored. To keep the gravel in place you will need edging. For straight lines, wood or pavers can work well. For curved paths, shaped cobblestones or even cement curbing can be used. 

Adding gravel walkways through your yard is functionality at its best. The paths seem to bring the landscaping together and give it purpose, while keeping feet off your hard earned grass and plants. Also, by using gravel, you can easily change the design of your walkways in the future as your landscaping changes.