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

Pros And Cons Of Mulch And Gravel For Ground Cover

Both mulch and gravel are commonly used as ground cover in landscaping. Although one is not necessarily better than the other, there are distinct differences between the two. While mulch decomposes and must be constantly replaced, gravel will last for centuries without changing, making it seem like the best choice. However, there are pros to using mulch, just as there are cons to using gravel. 

Mulch Pros And Cons

Mulch is organic material, like bark, which is used to protect the soil as a ground cover. It’s readily available at almost any landscape supply store, and can be purchased in bags or in bulk. Many people prefer to use mulch for ground cover for a variety of reasons. Some of the pros and cons of mulch include: 

  • Pros. Mulch adds nutrients to the soil as it decomposes, making it excellent for ground cover around trees and in garden areas. It also comes in a variety of colors and types, which can create a beautiful landscaping when it is first applied.
  • Cons. Because mulch decomposes, it must constantly be replenished. Also, mulch will lose its bright color and become dull after a few months in the elements. 

Gravel Pros And Cons

Gravel used as ground cover is usually the small, pea gravel variety. Often you will notice many commercial properties will use gravel in their landscaping for the longevity of the product. Some of the other pros and cons of gravel for ground cover: 

  • Pros. Gravel can last a lifetime with a little upkeep and maintenance. Also, landscape suppliers have a wide variety of colors and sizes that are excellent for aesthetic purposes.
  • Cons. While gravel lasts, it also will not enhance the nutrients of your soil, like mulch does as it decomposes. It is also more expensive for the initial application, although it may save money over mulch in the long run. 

Both mulch and gravel can protect your soil, add beauty to your landscape and deter weed growth. Talk to the experts at your local supply store to determine which material is best for your next landscape project.

Posted on behalf of Find Local Landscape Supply