The Pros and Cons of Pea Gravel for Landscaping

June 7, 2023

In the world of landscaping, a vast range of materials is available to create aesthetically pleasing and functional outdoor spaces. One such option, pea gravel, is particularly popular for its unique combination of visual appeal, versatility, and low maintenance. However, just like any other landscaping material, pea gravel has its pros and cons that must be considered before incorporating it into your outdoor design.

Pros of Pea Gravel

Aesthetic Appeal: Pea gravel comes in various neutral colors ranging from white and gray to tan, offering a beautiful and natural look to your landscape. The rounded and smooth stones can complement many architectural styles, thereby enhancing the overall appearance of your property.

Versatility: This material is suitable for various landscaping projects, from patios and walkways to garden borders and drainage systems. The size of the pea gravel, typically 1/8″ to 3/8″ diameter, makes it a flexible choice for a variety of uses.

Durability: Pea gravel is highly durable and can withstand various weather conditions without deteriorating or decaying, unlike organic materials. Its robust nature makes it a long-term investment for your landscaping needs.

Easy Maintenance: Maintaining pea gravel areas is relatively straightforward. You can easily rake the stones back into place if they displace, and washing with water can readily restore their shine.

Cons of Pea Gravel

Mobility: Due to its round and smooth shape, pea gravel can easily shift underfoot, which can lead to instability in walkways or patios. This mobility can also make it challenging for outdoor furniture to stay stable.

Weed Growth: While pea gravel can deter some weed growth, it’s not a foolproof solution. Over time, windblown seeds can settle into the gravel and sprout, requiring periodic weeding.

Inconvenience for Bare Feet: Walking barefoot on pea gravel isn’t typically comfortable, which may limit its use in areas where barefoot traffic is frequent, such as around pools or play areas.

Requires Edging: To keep pea gravel contained and prevent it from spilling into grass or flower beds, you need to install edging around the gravel area. This can increase both the cost and the time needed for installation.

Understanding the pros and cons of pea gravel can help you make an informed decision about its use in your landscaping projects. While it offers a unique aesthetic and versatile application, considerations related to mobility, weed growth, comfort, and the requirement of edging should be factored into your decision.

Ultimately, the choice of landscaping material should align with your personal preferences, project requirements, and overall design vision. As a premier construction material provider, Holliday Sand & Stone urges everyone to remember that each material has its strengths and weaknesses, and the success of any landscaping project lies in leveraging these properties to your advantage. If you’ve got questions, give us a call today!