Now’s the perfect time to pull out the pea gravel to add some natural beauty and function to your yard. The options are endless with this small round stone. Smoothed by a body of water, pea gravel measures between approximately 3/8”-3/4” in diameter and is a versatile landscaping material for many reasons:
- Attractive and varying colors (ranges from whites, creams, and tans to grays and blacks)
- Different textures available: Smooth or jagged
- The smooth variety’s surface makes it ideal for bare summer feet
- The mix of varying small stones helps it spread and settle well
- It’s very affordable
- Provides effective drainage
- It’s sturdy enough to stand up to heavy foot or vehicle traffic
You can use pea gravel pretty much anywhere, from driveways to rooftops. Here are a few of Don’s favorite places. How about yours?
Driveways: This is your mud mitigator. Since cars and mud do not generally get along, you can tame a muddy driveway with a coating of traction-ready, larger pea gravel. 4-6 inches should do the trick. Crown the center of the driveway so moisture runs down the sides. Compact the soil and add the stones.
Walkways: Like beautiful riverbeds, pea gravel winding along a smooth pathway makes a striking natural statement. In fact, it’s our favorite material for walkways [link to “A Perfect Walkway Calls for Pea Gravel and Sand” blog]. Plus the crunching pea gravel makes as you walk on it is a wonderful sound! Plan for 4-6 inches of coverage.
Potted plants: Spread pea gravel at the bottom of potted plants that have no drainage and cover with potting soil before planting. Or, set pea gravel on top of the dirt too for a more streamlined look.
Flower Beds and Gardens: Add contrast and a natural feel with no upkeep pea gravel. Start with plastic or weed block and then spread the gravel on top to keep weeds at bay. Level with a tamper or block of wood. You’re shooting for about 6” depth.
Playgrounds: As an alternative to mulch, smooth pea gravel provides great drainage to keep playgrounds dry and ready for play. And kids dig it! Use 6” and slope the ground away from the play area.
Beaches: Use pea gravel to edge a small lakefront beach for good drainage and a pretty border.
Decorative fountains: Generally made of cement, the bottom of these soothing waterfalls can be covered with pea gravel to match the natural scenery—and hide settling mud.
Decks/Patios: Especially around pool areas, consider paving with pea gravel since it’s easier on feet than other gravels and provides a neat, charming finish.
Aquariums: For a pretty and natural home for your fish and other aquatic animals, pea gravel does double duty. Just make sure to wash well before pouring into empty tank.
Rooftops: Spread a thin layer on flat asphalt rooftops for an eco-friendly roof that reflects the heat and UV rays in the summer.
Pipe and concrete slab bedding: Pea gravel provides a safe, drainage ready home for pipes and a sturdy drainage-ready base for slabs.
General drainage: Where water accumulates after rainfalls, dig a hole and fill with pea gravel. Downspouts are a perfect spot.
In addition to pea gravel, we offer a large variety of landscaping gravel and stones. In the Northern Virginia and Maryland areas, we can deliver 5 to 100 cubic yards (or even more) direct to your driveway. Delivery is free.
Pour on the pea gravel. It’s going to be a beautiful summer. Use our material calculator at right to see how much pea gravel you’ll need.