Pea gravel walkways: depths, installation and maintenanceThroughout the years, pea gravel has earned its place as one of the most sought-after landscaping materials on the market.

On top of being very accessible and affordable, these multi-colored stones are extremely versatile and can serve a number of decorative and practical functions throughout your property.

Because of their beauty, size and texture, it has become very popular to use pea gravel in the installation of paths and walkways.

The goal of this guide is to provide you with all of the knowledge and insight required to construct and maintain stunning and long-lasting pea gravel walkways throughout your landscape.

Pea Gravel Walkways

Pea gravel walkways create a defined path for people to walk on. This discourages them from taking “shortcuts” by traveling across your carefully manicured lawn or flower beds.

Your front lawn isn’t the only area where a pea gravel walkway can make a difference. You might construct a path leading from your patio to your swimming pool, or a path to wind around your flower and vegetable gardens. This creates a peaceful and tranquil esthetic.

Regardless of where you plan on constructing your walkway, pea gravel is an ideal choice. The small, pea-sized stones are small, smooth and round which makes them comfortable to walk upon. The varied coloration of the rocks also makes it easy for you to tie together the various aspects of your landscape to make it as cohesive and esthetically pleasing as possible.

Installation & Maintenance Tips for Pea Gravel Walkways

Take Careful Measurements

The key to properly determining how much material you’ll need for your walkway is in precisely outlining and measuring the desired coverage area. For straight paths, you should multiply the length by the width by the depth of the walkway.

For winding walkways, you may need to consult with an expert for accuracy. When calculating your final numbers we recommend padding your total by 10%. This will ensure that you will not end up short on material. You will save yourself time and headaches during your project and if you have any material left over you can easily spread it out over your walkway.

Depth Guidelines

As a general rule of thumb, pea gravel walkways should have a minimum depth of at least 2″ for comfort and sufficient coverage. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to plan on an additional 1″ layer of a base material beneath the pea gravel.

Pea Gravel Walkway Installation Steps

After excavating the area where the walkway is to be installed, you’ll need to make sure that the base of the path is level, free of roots and weeds and is completely compacted. To prevent the growth of future weeds, a layer of landscaping fabric should be applied to the bottom and sides of the walkway.

Next, the base material should be applied. Typically, sand or crushed gravel with fines will do nicely. This layer will help to stabilize the pea gravel, enabling to to support the weight of foot traffic.

Finally, you’re ready to spread the 2″ layer of pea gravel on top. In order to keep stones in place, it’s smart to edge the walkway with bricks, heavy river rocks or other decorative materials. To add even more texture and interest to your path, you may decide to space paving stones throughout the walkway to serve as stepping stones.

Pea Gravel Walkway Maintenance

Pea gravel walkways are relatively low maintenance. To preserve the path’s beauty, simply rake over the stones regularly to keep the surface even and level. A leaf blower can be used to remove debris, as the stones are heavy enough that they won’t blow away. You may also want to rerake and level the stones that are on the walkway every 2-3 years.

Do you have more questions about pea gravel walkways? Speak with a local pea gravel supplier like Braen Supply.

We’ve been assisting homeowners and contractors with projects for more than 100 years. We’d be happy to discuss your project and make recommendations based on your needs.

This photo is an original and is used via creative commons from Richard J. Hughes.

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