Great Landscaping Ideas Using Pea Gravel

May 8, 2021
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It’s that time of year again — the weather’s getting better and sunnier, and you find yourself itching to get out into the garden and start working on projects to make your yard beautiful.  You find yourself asking questions like: What do I do with this bare patch over here?  How can I create a dynamic and attractive path from my patio to the fire pit I installed in my yard?  How can I really make this flower bed pop?  

One of the best and easiest ways to add visual flair to a landscaping project is by using pea gravel in creative ways.  Pea gravel is a versatile, creative, and attractive solution that adds interest not only around driveways and paths, but in a lot of ways you might not have considered.  Here at JK Enterprise Landscape Supply, we have a great selection of pea gravel in various colors and styles for all of your creative outdoor projects.  Keep reading to learn how pea gravel can help you make your yard really shine.  

Creativity is King

When it comes to using pea gravel in your landscaping project, the only real limit is your own imagination.  Think about how pea gravel can integrate into your existing yard design, or use it to create a whole new space for relaxing or socializing.  You can even use pea gravel to cover up a dead spot around that one tree.  

Let’s say you want a new patio, but you hate thinking about the cost and complexity of hiring a contractor to pour concrete, or you just don’t like the look of a concrete patio.  Pouring a pea gravel patio is much easier, cost-effective, and a properly placed patio made of pea gravel can look fantastic.  

Maybe you have an old stone path from your driveway to your front door, and it’s been looking a little bit raggedy lately – cracked, weeds poking up, just not the kind of look you want in your beautiful front yard.  Try replacing that old stone path with pea gravel.  Or you want to put down a path from your back patio to that new fire pit, pergola, hot tub, or other socializing area in your backyard.  Pea gravel can work very well for that sort of application.  

Pea gravel can be used in your child’s sandbox, or as a creative edging solution around flowerbeds and gardens.  It can even be used as an alternative to mulch.  Really, the sky’s the limit when it comes to using pea gravel in your landscaping project.  

Project Example: Sand and Pea Gravel Walkway

Here’s a great way to incorporate pea gravel into a beautiful and durable walkway that will enhance your landscaping project for years to come: combine pea gravel and sand!

The first thing you want to do is to excavate a 6-inch trench that is evenly dug along your desired pathway. Lay down some landscaping fabric – doing so will help prevent weeds from coming up through your pathway.  Dump about 3 inches of sand and smooth it out along the length of the walkway.  Dampen the sand with a hose, but don’t soak it.  Add three inches of pea gravel, rake the whole thing to smooth, and voila, you’ve got yourself a great new walkway that will look fantastic and last a long time.  

Things to Avoid

As shown above, in our walkway example, it’s never a good idea to pour pea gravel directly on top of your yard soil.  You need to put down landscaping fabric first to prevent those pesky weeds and other plants that can poke through and ruin the aesthetic of your pea gravel project.  Landscaping fabric is a great solution not only for preventing weeds, but by laying it down first, you can get a sense of how your final project will look, and it’ll be easy to switch things up before you start the hard work of putting down and smoothing your gravel.  

You should also make sure to use some kind of edging material, like brick pavers for example, at the edges of your pea gravel project.  If you don’t use enough or the right kind of edging material, your pea gravel can scatter everywhere and make a mess that will ruin all of your hard work.  

It’s crucial that you figure out exactly how much pea gravel you will need for your project.  If you don’t use enough of it, your project may not have the kind of visual pop you want to aim for – and it’ll be less durable over time.  There may also be safety issues with improperly placed pea gravel, so it’s important that you do your research beforehand to be sure you’ve got everything you need and understand how to get your project done correctly, on time, and in budget.  

What Else Can You Do With Pea Gravel?  

The truth is that the sky’s the limit when it comes to using pea gravel in your landscaping projects.  The wide variety of shapes, colors, sizes, and other features available in pea gravel makes this material one of the most versatile on the planet when it comes to beautifying a yard and making it unique.  

Pea gravel is defined as having been smoothed by a body of water, and it generally measures between 3/8 and 3/4 of an inch in diameter.  Even so, you can get pea gravel in either a smooth or jagged texture, depending on your particular landscaping needs.  If you choose a smoother pea gravel, then you’ll be able to walk on it in your bare feet without worrying about getting poked – and it’s cooler in the summer than concrete.  

Here are a few more examples of what you might be able to do with pea gravel.

Tame Those Muddy Driveways

If your driveway is a mud pit, covering it with a layer of pea gravel can help improve the look of it and provide better traction for your car’s tires.  The key is to mound the pea gravel in the center of the driveway so water runs off the sides.  Compact everything down and you’ll have a much better driveway that will also save you money on car washes.  

Plants and Gardens

If you have a potted plant with no drainage, you can add pea gravel to the bottom of the pot before you add the potting soil.  Doing so will help prevent the roots from getting too wet and make for a healthier plant.  You can even put gravel on top of the dirt for a different look.

You can also use pea gravel in your flowerbeds or gardens.  Remember to start with landscaping fabric to keep pesky weeds at bay, and then you can either cover the whole bed with gravel, allowing space for your showcase plants to grow, or create a simple and attractive border.  Remember to use edging material to keep your gravel in place.  

Playgrounds and Beaches

Now, not many of you will have a playground or a beach that you need to work on, but if you’re a commercial landscaper, then these tips might be of use.  For playgrounds, pea gravel is a great substitute to mulch.  It has great drainage to keep those playgrounds dry.  

If you’ve got a lakefront or oceanfront property, you can create a little beach area using pea gravel that will provide great drainage and an attractive look.  

Curious?  Contact Us!

If you’ve read this far and you’re curious about how pea gravel can help you improve your yard or other landscaping projects, contact us today and we’ll help get you started.  At JK Enterprise Landscape Supply, we have a great selection of pea gravel at competitive prices, and we’re confident we can help you achieve your best possible results beautifully and affordably.  Contact us today!