Gravel is a versatile, long-lasting, and durable material that is excellent for landscaping and other yard improvements projects. With gravel, you can select the size of rock and the type of aggregate makeup, such as decorative granite or lava rock, rounded river rock, or pea gravel. Here are some recommendations that you can use as you install and use gravel in your yard's landscaping.
Apply It as a Mulch Covering
Aggregate makes a great landscape material as a mulch cover on your soil surrounding vegetation in bedding areas. A good organic rock mulch will cover the soil to protect it against weed seed collection and growth, and it will protect the soil from drying out by holding in moisture when you water surrounding plants and trees.
When you order your aggregate, select the size of rock you want for your mulch material. This option allows you to look for a specific size of rock, such as one-inch in diameter and smaller, or you can opt for larger river rock that has been rounded and is two to three inches in diameter. Your aggregate supplier can screen the rock to collect only the appropriate size for your project.
Install For Erosion Control
In addition to using gravel as a mulch product to protect areas around your vegetation, you can use it as a stable surface to prevent erosion. Soil can be eroded by natural causes, such as wind and rainfall, but you don't need to allow this to cause your soil to flow from your property and down into the stormdrains and waterways. Erosion protection can come in the form of gravel and decorative rock. Gravel provides the barrier to your landscaping bedding areas to hold the soil in place.
Just be sure that you install a layer of landscape fabric or weed barrier between your soil and the gravel. This is not to control weed growth but to keep the soil from working its way up into the aggregate. Then, install a base layer made of larger rock covered with smaller rock to provide good stability to your gravel covering. Aggregates made of larger pieces can be used on sloped soil areas, as the aggregate will remain in place and will not travel with gravity when rainfall occurs.
Pave a Driveway
Aggregate is a great option to create a good pavement for your property, especially when you may not have the budget for concrete. Gravel pavement that has been layered, set, and compacted in place will give you a durable surface that can last for years. Then, if you want to apply a chip seal treatment to update your existing pavement, a layer of asphalt bitumen followed by aggregate can be spread and leveled onto the asphalt and compressed into the slurry. This mixture will harden and give you a solid pavement with aggregate for strength.