Preparation for Pea Gravel Ground Cover

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Pea gravel consists of small rocks that range in size from 3/8 inch to 1 inch in diameter. The rocks are processed so that they have smooth, rounded edges instead of the typical sharp edge of most gravel products. Pea gravel comes in a variety of colors including white, gray, yellow and black. This material makes a good ground cover, because it blocks out many weeds and provides a decorative touch to the landscape.

Things You'll Need

  • Rope
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Metal edging with spikes
  • Hammer
  • Weed barrier fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pea grave, 3/8 inch diameter
  • Wide-toothed rake
  • Lay pieces of rope on the ground along the edges of where you want to install the pea gravel ground cover. You can make the edges straight or curved as desired.

  • Walk to one end of the area and insert the blade of a shovel into the ground directly next to the rope. Remove the shovel from the ground and reinsert it directly next to the first location. Continue inserting the shovel into the ground all the way around the inside edge of the rope to mark the perimeter of the gravel area.

  • Remove the rope and set it aside. Use the shovel to dig out 4 to 6 inches of the soil in between the shovel lines. Make the area as smooth as possible and use a level to check for uneven areas as you dig.

  • Walk to the starting location and place a piece of steel edging at one side of the area of ground with the clips facing away from the dug-out area. Insert the supplied metal stakes through the holes in the clips and hammer them into the ground with a hammer.

  • Place the end of a roll of weed barrier fabric at one end of the area and unroll it until you reach the other end of the area. Cut the fabric off the roll with scissors and then lay a second row of fabric next to the first, overlapping it by at least 1 inch. Continue until the entire area is covered in weed barrier fabric.

  • Pour the pea gravel gently on top of the landscape fabric, concentrating the majority of the gravel in the center of the area.

  • Rake out the pea gravel into a smooth, even layer using a wide-toothed rake. Ideally, you should have a 4 to 6 inch layer of pea gravel over the entire area when you are done.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you encounter any tree roots while digging, hit them with the blade of the shovel to break them, or use loppers to cut them out of the ground.
  • If the area has curves, use plastic, flexible edging instead of metal edging.

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References

  • Photo Credit Different colored gravel image by Tjobbe from Fotolia.com
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