Gravel Patio Pros And Cons
Here are some of the benefits of having a gravel patio:
Loose gravel surrounds this paving stone sitting area with a portable fire pit, creating an excellent spot for relaxation and socializing.
Here are some of the cons of having a gravel patio:
- Relocating. If you plan on changing the location of your gravel patio, it is a task which is hard to manage. Since it is made up of loose stones, everything needs to be collected and transported carefully from one place to another.
- Hazard to children or pets. Small pieces of stones in a gravel patio may be a potential choking hazard for pets or toddlers. Be extra careful if you have young kids or pets at home.
- Cannot be used for high traffic areas.Loose stones in a gravel patio can become easily lodge into shoe soles. Small stones such as pea gravel is not advisable to be used in walkways.
- Gravel can be easily transferred or scattered to other areas of the yard or home. Be sure to use an edging or border for your patio to prevent it from spreading.
- Requires repeated raking to smoothen the path. Heavy footmarks causes dips in the gravel and can sometimes shift the small stones form its intended place. Prevent this by putting a base layer of rocks in your patio before laying out gravel.
- If putting furniture in your gravel patio, it requires an added base.
- In some cases, gravel need to be replenished in 3 to 4 years as it starts to soak into the soil.
How To Make A Gravel Patio
Are you here to make a gravel patio? You’re in the right place!! A gravel patio is an affordable way to finish your yard and make a pad for entertaining. Our backyard has been a tough place to rehab since we got this house eight years ago. We’ve been trying to find a solution to our side yard, an area where we wanted to put our firepit and pots of flowers so we can relax while barbecuing. The backyard has been an eyesore and we want to have a space we can enjoy and be proud of. Let’s get started:
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Lay Out The Frame Timbers
Arrange the eight landscape timbers to form a 16-foot square. Overlap the timbers at the corners so that the end of one timber butts up against the side of the neighboring timber. When you’re done, each side of the frame should have one butted end and one overlapping end, resulting in a perfect square.
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Pea Gravel Is Relatively Cheap Ground Cover
To cover a large area, you can beat the price per square foot of pea gravel. It’s recommended that you make the pea gravel 2 thick. A ton of gravel will cover about 100 square feet, 2 deep. Typically gravel is sold by the ton or scoop, and a scoop is usually equivalent to a ton.
We used pea gravel in our raised bed garden for drainage in the pathways because it was much cheaper than using bark or mulch.
Checkered Board Gravel Design
From combining pea gravel with larger pavers, you will get a checkerboard effect on the flooring. These natural patterns would be a nice addition to make your patio become more interesting than before.
You can achieve this look by treating the pea gravel like grout with the same distance with the pavers.
The checkered effect matches with the rustic coffee table.
The pea gravel can be messy all over the floor.
Read Also: How To Lay Patio Slabs In Garden
Creating A Pea Gravel Patio For Under $200
- pea gravel
How to Get it Done:
1. Decide your location , measure, and mark with spray paint.
- Initially, we planned for a 12 foot circle for the patio with 2 feet of mulch around it. But once Mike dug out the 14 foot circle, we realized we needed it all for the patio. Then, we freehanded and marked off how we wanted to connect the area to our brick patio.
- To measure our circular area, we put a shepherds hook in the center, added a 7 long rope/string and used our 7th grade math skills to circle around the shepherds hook with a $1 can of spray paint from Lowes.
2. Once marked, dig out grass and level off dirt.
- Since we based our measurements off of the where our play set and rubber mulch previously laid, Mike didnt have too much grass to dig.
- He used a regular ol shovel to dig up the grass and then a garden hoe to tamp down and level off the ground.
3. Use landscape edging to surround your desired area.
- We used plastic easy no-dig edging, but Ive also seen people use stones, metal edging, or wood to enclose the area.
- You definitely need a barrier separating the pea gravel and your grass or mulch.
- The edging we purchased came with plastic stakes/nails that Mike hammered in every few feet with a rubber mallet.
4. Secure and cover entire area with landscape fabric.
5. Order pea gravel and schedule delivery.
Some Things You Can Benefit From Regarding Your Patio
Instead of using rounded pea gravel, use coarser pea gravel. This will make the gravel hold on to each other in a more compact way.
You should also use different colors of pea gravel to great unique color ways for the pea gravel patio.
You can use yellow, red, beige, white and other colors that are available in your local home improvement store.
- What do You Know About Pea Gravel Patio?
- How to Build Pea Gravel Playground
- How to Build a Pea Gravel Walkway
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Flagstone And Gravel Patio
To boost the rustic environment at your backyard, having the flagstone and gravel patio would be the best solution. The gravel joints and flagstone pieces set in tune will result in amazing rhythm, texture, and shape. The usage of more pea gravel surely impacts on your expenditure eventually, you save more dollar yet your patio design remains fabulous.
Fill Patio With Pea Gravel
Get your wheelbarrow ready, and start loading it up with gravel! I bought this dump cart with a quick-release specifically for this project to make the process easier. It felt like I made a million trips from the side of the house where the gravel was dumped to the backyard patio.
Spread out the rocks with a metal rake over the entire patio area.
When you’ve filled it about an inch, use the tamper to stabilize and compact the gravel patio base layer.
Then fill the rest of the patio with even more pea gravel, and rake it smooth.
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Select The Patio Space
Confirm that the patio location will work for gravel. Steep places will not do well with this project. Because pea gravel is rounded and smooth, its angle of repose can be as low as 20 degrees; at steeper pitches, it will begin to shift. Heavy foot traffic can disturb gravel and create a mess. If an unusual amount of water is coursing through the area, the water can easily wash away the gravel.
Add Pea Gravel In Between The Pavers
Once everything was in place, the only thing left to do was add in the pea gravel in between the pavers! I just shoveled small amounts in between the pavers and used a broom to sweep them into place. I went back and forth whether we should use pea gravel, a decorative rock, or grass, but ultimately, I went with pea gravel. I didnt want a bold rock in between the pavers, and long term, I think I would have maybe hated the upkeep of grass since there are so many pavers. So pea gravel it was. Plus, it was inexpensive and also helps to hide pine needles and other debris!
Phew, well there you have it! Exactly how we made our modern paver patio with pea gravel!
What do you guys think about our patio transformation? I honestly cant get over the before and after. Dang- what did we even do with ourselves before this space?! Its going to look even better once everything grows in, too!
Were currently enjoying the rest of the summer with some patio furniture on it, but next year we plan on executing phase two of our design and making a raised garden area, so stay tuned!
Also, If youre interested in all the details on how I made this modern feature fountain or freestanding trellis, I have blog posts for both.
I hope you found this blog post helpful and inspired you to transform a weird spot in your yard into something amazing!
Until next time,
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Cooking And Using Peas In Your Kitchen
Enjoy them as sprouts, stir-fries, Asian dishes, soups, pasta or any number of other recipes.
I love the crunchy texture and sweet flavour of snow and snap peas in our salads
Sprouting: Peas and snow peas can be grown as nutrient-rich tasty sprouts, microgreens or added to bread, salad garnishes and soups.
Cooking: Fresh raw peas have maximum nutrients and flavour so if cooking, use minimal water and stir fry or steam quickly until just tender. Boil frozen peas for about 1-2 minutes.
Drying: Allow peas to air dry for a few days then store in a sealed jar in your pantry to use in soups or casseroles. The texture, flavour and nutrient value wont be the same as fresh or frozen peas although this is an alternative to extending your harvest. Pre-soak peas overnight before cooking.
Freezing: Pick, shell and blanch in boiling water for 1 minute before cooling. Then bag and freeze immediately.
Sugar snap peas can be blanched for 2 minutes, cooled and frozen whole also.
Too many or too few? If you dont have enough fresh peas for a meal or have an abundant harvest, freeze fresh peas in plastic bags or containers.
If any peas actually make it into your kitchen and arent consumed while you are picking, there are plenty of yummy ways to enjoy them.
Remove The Grass And Dig Out The Soil
Firstly, you have to decide on the area where you want to have the gravel patio. After deciding this, mark the patio boundary with white paint or spray or anything else so that you can know the exact area.
Now, you have to remove the grass from the area that you have marked for your patio. You can remove it either manually or with a machine. After doing this, dig out the soil with a cultivator. Create about 3-4 inches of depth for the patio. Tamp down the soil to level the surface.
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It Is Low Maintenance
Unlike a deck that has to be refinished every few years, or a stone patio that can sink and shift depending on where you live, pea gravel really doesnt require a lot of upkeep. If you have little children like I do that like to take the gravel and throw it into the grass, well then you may have to fill in low spots every few years. Other than that, it is very low maintenance!
Pea Gravel Allows For Drainage
There have been drainage problems and other things we discovered in our backyard and we’ve been trying to find solutions to the problems so our backyard can finally be livable. We’ve done a lot of projects to make our back yard look beautiful but this side yard has long been a problem for us.
One year we had a mud pit, literally, in the backyard! The kids loved it but me, not so much.
Okay, truth be told this photo is from my front yard but you get the idea
We tried gravel with black plastic, which kept some of the weeds out but mostly caused a stinky runoff problem because of the lack of drainage in our yard.
So what do you use to allow drainage with pea gravel?
When someone told me that I could use the same felt that I make crafts with as a barrier for a rock patio, it got the wheels turning in my head. I was sent several bolts of felt by my favorite felt company, Kunin Group, and we set to working. Eight weeks later, it really does work and the patio looks great!
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Pea Gravel Patio Fire Pit
This fire pit terrace is a great idea to apply your pea gravel concept. You would have a large elegant backyard with a fire pit in the middle. You can spend time together with your family and friends enjoying the warmth from the fire pit in the evening.
The rustic look of the Adirondack chairs describes what this space is really all about. The earthy color of this outdoor area creates separation from another area. From this point of view, the garden and the house make an outstanding background.
A rustic pea gravel patio with fire pit in the garden is perfect
The gray-colored space creates a contrasting scene for the green garden.
Obviously, this space cant be enjoyed during the hot summer day.
It Is English Cottage In Style
I love pea gravel for so many reasons. As most of you know, I love English Cottage Style. A few years ago my husband and I had the opportunity to visit the Cotswold Cottage in Greenfield Village here in Michigan, and it had a lovely patio that was all pea gravel.
I fell in love with the space and wanted to do something similar in our own backyard!
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Companion Planting With Peas
Avoid planting peas in the same container or near garlic, onions, chives and spring onions. These plants tend to compete and stunt plant growth. Ive tested this out and Ive had the same result for beans! Peas seem to grow well planted withbeans or with low-growing carrots, radish and turnips.
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Slate And Gravel Patio
The combination of slate and gravel would arouse an edgy impression, recommended for those of you hunting for a state-of-the-art perspective. The prominent point you should not overlook is the tile pattern before place the slate on the concrete slab. Meanwhile, the pea gravel plays a role to touch up the edge.
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How To Stabilize Pea Gravel Walkways
Pea gravel is commonly used for walkways, driveways, and as filler between stone pavers around the home. Pea gravel is made up of small, rounded stones. It is commonly used for high-traffic areas due to its smooth finish.
Pea gravel is highly desirable as it is versatile and cost-effective. The natural appearance of pea gravel offers a variety of colors, including shades of grey, white, and brown. The gravel also allows water to flow easily through the stones, allowing for great permeability.
The best way to stabilize pea gravel is by using a binding agent such as cement, plaster, polyurethane, or epoxy coatings. If the pea gravel has not yet been installed, begin by laying down cement plaster on the area. Next, using pressurized water, remove loose gravel from the area. Finish by applying pea gravel.
When the gravel is loose, it is likely to travel, so an edging material such as bricks, stones, or metal edging is needed. The gravel travels when the pea gravel is not stabilized, allowing it to be displaced when someone walks on it.
Diy Pea Gravel Patio For Under $200
Spring 2021 editors note: check out our DIY Pea Gravel Patio 2-year Update to see how its held up!
2019 has been the year of paint everything thats not moving here at Redeeming Hampton. Patio furniture, whitewashing the brick patio and numerous other smaller projects. I know youve been patiently waiting for this tutorial so today, my friends, Im excited to share something we didnt paint!
Since you guys love to see the before photos, here are a few from about 4 years ago before we moved into the house.
Whats missing now? The tree and playset! The tree was unfortunately dying and every time it rained, another branch would fall yikes! Our nephews and neighbor kids loved to play here, but once the tree was removed, the playset looked out of place !
Since the rubber mulch took up a large area, we dreamed of how we could expand our patio. We love hosting people here and using our fire pit, so we thought this would be the perfect spot!
Just like almost all of our projects, we were looking for an affordable addition that would last at least a few years. Today, well share the tutorial with you of how we created this awesome space for less than $200.
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Crop Rotation For Peas
To make the most of the free nitrogen in your soil after growing peas, plant leafy greens or a heavy feeding fruiting crop like tomato, capsicum, chilli, eggplant or potato.
There will be much less chance of fungal diseases by rotating crops from different families in the same container or garden bed.
Building Your Patio: Step By Step
Now that you have your location, materials and called the 811 hotline, youre ready to begin!
Also Check: How To Make A Patio Using Stepping Stones
Install The Edging Around The Patio
To install the edging, use a hacksaw or mini circular saw like we did, and cut it to size. Then fit the pieces together to create one continuous line or use a 90 degree elbow to create a square or rectangle and secure them in place with a rubber mallet and steaks.
Installing the edging took no time at all, and it added so much to the patio! Although, getting all the pieces needed for this was kind of a headache-
But some things are worth the headache because I think this edging is one of my favorite parts!
When To Plant Peas
- Peas love cool, frost-free growing conditions. They suit cold climates/cool seasons.
- Pea flowers are affected by frost and pods wont form. So check the best time to sow for your local climate.
- I get best results by sowing in the first moon quarter of the month to take advantage of moisture in the soil and a time of prolific growth for above ground plants like peas.
- Personally, if the humidity is above 70% and temperatures are still high, I hold off planting seedlings and sow seeds instead. By the time they are ready, I hope the weather will be more favourable.
- Peas will grow, develop flowers and fruit in about 10-14 weeks depending on the variety. Peas can take up to 3 weeks to mature from flower to pod.
Sugar snap pea flowers on a young climbing variety. Peas need staking or a trellis for support as they grow.
If you want fast food:
- Choose snow peas because you dont have to wait for the pods to fill. A great choice for kids and impatient gardeners!
- Start with seedlings rather thanseeds. Youll save 3-4 weeks.
Try planting a few pea varieties if you want to stagger your harvest time.
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Building A Pea Gravel Patio
As you can see from the photo below I have a 10×10 patio on the north side of my home. I’ve landscaped just beside it before I put up the fence. Since then my husband and I have started to plant around the perimeter of the fence and this spring plan to curve from the existing bed around the bottome of the fence. The area of the pea gravel patio would be about 10 feet wide, and about 8 to 10 feet across.
We’re looking for an inexpensive, DIY, relaxed “patio” which we could use either as a small dining area, or an area to put a few chairs and a fire bowl for nice summer nights. I’ve always envisioned a mediterranean feel or cottage feel to this area
Questions are: 1) Has anyone done a pea gravel sitting area before?2) do you think a pea gravel patio is a good idea?3) Does anyone know how to lay a pea gravel patio properly? Or know of a place to find info on how to do it?Thanks!
View of landscaping from where patio would go…
Pea Gravel Project Details
This project will help you create a gravel patio that is 16 feet long by 16 feet wide, with a gravel depth of 2 to 3 inches. You can adapt the dimensions to fit your patio’s size. Because pea gravel is loose and tends to shift, you will need to build a wooden frame with pressure-treated landscape timbers or lumber to contain it. Note that the wood must be rated for ground contact to forestall rot.
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Growing Conditions For Peas
- Peas are low maintenance, easy plants to grow. After seeds germinate, plants usually only need watering, support and harvesting.
- Peas like well drained loamy soils, with plenty of organic matter and a soil pH 6.0-7.5.
- Peas prefer a sunny spot but not extreme heat or too much wind.
- They like moist soil but notwaterlogged feet! In humid conditions, avoid mulch up too close as this can create an environment for powdery mildew to grow.