Saturday, September 11, 2010

Install Pea Gravel Path

Install a pea gravel path as a do it yourself yard improvement project. The gravel path is an alternative to walking on the grass and it cuts down on mud being tracked into your home. 

A few years ago my husband and I worked the entire summer by upgrading our yard. My husband does not like cutting grass so we decided to design several feature gardens, an outdoor living space with patio furniture and we installed outdoor accessories for ambiance. 

Here is a outdoor living space that I designed at 

Dream BIG Outdoor Space


 The gravel path is exactly what we needed to connect our outdoor living space with the garden areas  The eye appealing pea gravel path has improved our yards appearance and has increased our home value.   Know that we love the way the path looks and we never walk on the grass.

The labor for this project was back breaking however, the results were breathtaking. After the completion of our yard transformation, both my husband and I spend all of our free time in our outdoors and do not need to worry about tracking dirt into the home.  We are very thankful that we took the time to install the garden gravel paths.

If you desire a pea gravel path then schedule time to complete this do it yourself project. If your spouse enjoys yard work then do the project together, if not ask a friend to help you. Before starting your do it yourself project survey your yard to determine where you would like the gravel path.

What kind of garden path do you want?

  1.  Would you like the path to meander, such as a long and winding path that is close to your outdoor living space? Or would you like the path to allow you to go to your gardens, dog kennel or to wind around trees and take you to the furthest part of your yard? 
  2. Decide on the type of path you want, shop online at or to get ideas of type of rock or gavel that is available and the costs.  
  3. Decide on the location for your pea gravel path.  Measure the square footage and take these measurements with you when you go to shop of your for your gravel path supplies.

Gravel Path Install Tips:

Outline the length and width of the path.  A path that is three feet wide is a good size for a residential yard.  Use white marking paint for your outline.  Measure the width and the length of your path. Take these measurements to a garden center. Purchase pea size gravel and edge stone for your path.  

Begin your path by removing the grass.  Then remove six inches of the soil. The excess soil may be used as filler for your gardens and the grass can be added to your compost bin.  

After the grass and the upper layer of soil is removed you would rake the path, the raking is a method to smooth the top of the path and to remove any remaining debris.

Note:  If you have clay soil the path trench will need to be compacted before you move onto the next step.

Next install the edge stone by digging a trench that is one inch deep along the outside border of the path.  

Set the stone at the edge of the path. Tap the stone into the soil with a rubber mallet. When the stones are set, fill in dirt around the stone so that it is secure.  The edge stone is what holds the gravel in place.  Edge stone should be four inches in height. 

Cut the landscape fabric so that it fits into the base of the trench. This fabric will aid it deterring weed growth.  Fill in the path with two inches of pea gravel. 

Gravel should not cover the border stone; there should be a one inch allowance for gravel and the edge stone. 

 Smooth the pea gravel surface with a metal rake.  If you use more gravel it may be hard to walk on as your foot will fall into the gravel.  If you add stepping stones to the gravel path, then you can add more gravel.  (see picture below)

Maintain your pea gravel path by spraying it with natural weed control every spring, summer and fall.


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