How to Care For Decorative Gravel

Here at Sansums, we supply an extensive range of decorative gravel for all types of garden and driveway projects.

It is a low-maintenance landscaping material that will last for years; however, it does require some care to keep it looking at its best. We take a look at how to care for decorative gravel.

Control weeds

When it comes to how to care for decorative gravel, you may find weeds are your biggest problem. Weeds can quickly take over a gravel bed, so it’s important to control them regularly. You can use a weed barrier fabric or a herbicide to prevent weeds from growing in the first place.

If you do have weeds, you can remove them by hand or with a hoe. We strongly advise taking the time to put down a barrier fabric first otherwise, you will spend more time than you would like getting rid of the weeds that will continually grow.

Rake the gravel

Over time, the gravel will start to settle and become uneven. You will notice patches that are more built up than others and gaps where the gravel is barely there. To keep it looking its best, rake the area every few months to smooth out the surface and remove any debris.

Clean the gravel

If the gravel gets dirty or dusty, you can clean it with a hose or a pressure washer. Be sure to use a low setting so you don’t damage the gravel.

Also, if you do decide to use a pressure washer, be careful that you don’t blow up any smaller stones and make a real mess of the surrounding area. Often removing the gravel and washing it in a large container is a good idea. You can then replace it after cleaning.

Add new gravel

Over time, the gravel will start to thin out. To keep the bed looking full, add new gravel as needed. If you are opting for a white stone, you will notice a stark contrast in colour so either clean the existing gravel or mix the gravel in well to ensure you don’t get very visible ‘patchy’ areas.

Here are some additional tips on how to care for decorative gravel:
  • Choose the right type of gravel. Not all gravel is created equal. Some types are more resistant to staining and fading than others. Choose a type that is appropriate for your climate and usage.
  • Consider the size of the gravel. The size of the stones/pebbles will affect the look of the bed. Larger gravel will create a more open and airy look, while smaller gravel will create a more dense and formal look.
  • Match the gravel to the surroundings. A contrast between a black fence and white gravel in a border, for example, looks very striking and you can create some really nice-looking areas.
  • Drainage. If the graveled area has poor drainage, you may find that your choice of gravel becomes muddy, dirty and waterlogged. Consider a different area or a choice of stone that can withstand the elements.

With a little care, your decorative gravel will last for many years to come.