Pros and Cons of Using Gravel for Ground Cover

If you’re thinking of landscaping your garden and are wondering what to use for ground cover, there are really only two options. One that has become very popular is to use gravel. Mulch is another option and for flower beds and around new trees and shrubs this can provide the finishing touch. There are benefits and disadvantages for both materials but in this article, we’re going to look at those that relate to using gravel.

 

Pros and Cons of Using Gravel for Ground Cover

The Benefits of Using Gravel

Gravel comes in a variety of sizes, but the most popular is around the size of a small pea. It’s a popular material because it will last forever and never need replacing. Very little upkeep and maintenance is required, and it can be found in a range of different colours. Suppliers such as Green Vale Products will have the perfect gravel to compliment your property. Gravel tends to be a less expensive option than mulch, because it is much longer lasting and won’t need to be replaced. With a covering of gravel any weeds underneath will be suppressed and it is great for preventing soil erosion. Gravel is a great covering for paths and in cacti and rock gardens.

The Downside of Using Gravel

As you’d expect, there are some disadvantages to using gravel in your garden. It does last a long time but unlike mulch, will provide no added nutrients for your soil. The initial outlay for gravel is also much bigger. However, savings are made because you won’t need to keep replacing it. A small amount of maintenance will eventually be required, as over time weeds will start to grow up through the surface. The chance of this happening can be reduced by using a weed control membrane, but this will add to the cost. If you have young children who regularly use your garden, gravel may not be the best option as it is not very user-friendly. Small gravel is available that is more child-friendly, but this will still graze knees and hurt their hands if they’re prone to falling over. Another downside with using gravel is that it makes the ground underneath very hot, as well as creating a more alkaline soil. It’s not the best material to use under trees and around plants.

Is Mulch Better Than Gravel?

There are people that sit both sides of the fence, but it really depends what you want to use them for. Both are able to supress the growth of weeds and add beauty to your landscape. Mulch will add nutrients to the soil as it decomposes, so is perfect for using in flower beds and around plants and trees. It can be purchased in a range of different colours and types but will fade and look very dull after just a few months. It will need to be replaced more frequently than gravel but is more child-friendly.

There are pros and cons for both materials, so it’s really more of a personal choice.