Home » Home Improvement » Gardening

Create A Low Maintenance Garden Using Gravel

Aug 17, 2007
Using gravel in your garden can create an excellent, in-expensive but practical garden surface. It's attractive, maintenance-free, simple to lay and fits in well with plants. It will work well with irregular outlines, and it can be effective in any area large or small. Whole gardens can be turned over to gravel with some judicious use of complimentary paving and attractive planting. Use of edging is an important addition, otherwise the gravel can be scattered into surrounding borders.

Many garden centres and builders merchants sell a huge range of gravels in many different sizes, colours and textures. The great thing about gravel is that the appearance changes according to the light and whether the stones are wet or dry.

Making a Gravel Bed
You can set a gravel bed in a lawn or within an area of paving. In a large lawn a winding ribbon of gravel, designed to imitate a dry riverbed, can look very effective. If the garden is smaller, a more compact shape, perhaps oval or kidney-shaped, may be more appropriate.

To cut out the shape try using a half moon edger (edging iron) and remove the turf about 10cm (4 inches) deep with a spade. If you would like to grow drought-loving plants, dig in plenty of course grit. For growing more water hungry plants, add well-rotted manure or compost. The gravel needs to be about 5cms (2 inches) deep. Keep the gravel well below the surface of the lawn, otherwise it will spill on to the surface of the lawn and will damage the mower when it's time to cut the grass. Choose a size that will be noticeable if it does stray.

Larger Gravel Areas
For areas larger than a small island bed, consider laying a plastic membrane sheet over the area to stop weed growth coming through later on. If your gravel garden is low-lying or in a hollow you will need to provide a sump for excess water to drain into. Ensure that the surface is quite smooth before laying the sheet, and overlap the joints. Tip the gravel over the plastic sheet and rake it level to make a 5cm (2 inches) layer.

Plants and Gravel
Many plants will grow well in and around a gravel bed, but for a true low-maintenance garden choose drought-resistant plants that wont need watering, even in dry spells. Scoop back the gravel and plant normally, but avoid planting too deeply and keep the gravel away from the immediate area around the stem to stop it rubbing and damaging it in winds etc.

If planting through a plastic sheet, scoop back the gravel then make cross-slits through the plastic. Enrich the soil with garden compost or fertilizer and plant normally. Fold back the sheet and replace the gravel, taking care not to cover the crown of the plant.
About the Author
If you thought that was a great article just wait until you see GardeningYear.com It's jam packed with great gardening guides and ideas. Hey... are you still reading this? why are you not over at gardeningYear yet??? Thanks for reading my article. - http://www.gardeningyear.com
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources