Pea Gravel Pathways - Oh Our Aching Backs! | The Hypertufa Gardener

Pea Gravel Pathways – Oh Our Aching Backs!

A thousand pounds of pea gravel, one shovel full at a time.

 

I should explain that I have a gravel path or open walking area for my garden. I have had it that way for several years and I really like it. We once tried a load of “crushed limestone” which is supposed to have the sharp edges that make it pack down tightly and make good pathways.

Hated it!

Pea Gravel Pathways in the Garden

 

You see, I am a country girl and I like to go barefoot a lot. That sharp limestone is so hard to walk on!  I go out in the morning in my jammies and I like to be able to walk in the garden barefoot if I want to. Pea gravel has smooth sides and is much more amenable to barefeet. Problem solved.

The Best thing about gravel areas?  Little succulent sprigs root well and give you a new plant so easily.

The Worst thing about gravel areas?  Weeds………………….lots of sprouting weeds ….lots!

 

Weeds in the pea gravel

And those cute little wood violets that look so purple sprinkled around the garden in the spring, these are the Devil’s handiwork a month later. They end up all over!  Hundreds of them.

Spray vinegar in pea gravel

 

Easiest Way to Clean Pea Gravel Paths?

I use plain vinegar. I just buy it at the grocery store, that 5% solution is great for killing weeds. I don’t dilute or anything. I don’t even add salt or dishwashing soap. I just screw on a spray attachment to a quart bottle of vinegar and I can control the weeds as they pop their little heads up through the gravel.

affiliate disclosure updated

However, if I am not diligent, the weeds can get overwhelming quickly and then you have to pull in the big guns. I use a Hudson 66192 Yard & Garden 2 Gallon Sprayer 2 In 1. This works out to do a large area that you need to cover.  If you spray on a hot dry day, the weeds will die out usually by the end of the day.

 

Do not get the vinegar spray on the plants you want. It will kill them too! But if you are careful, this is so simple and easy to keep you weed free. It is best done every week. Or when you see a lot of weed sprouts coming up, such as after a rain.

Back to my Pea Gravel Paths

For my birthday, I only wanted some pea gravel and help spreading it in my garden. Hey, I am easy!  So we took off for our local landscaping supply yard. The pea gravel is only $28.95 per cubic yard. We got a half yard which is about 1000 lbs of pea gravel. Yikes!

Pea Gravel - A Lot of It

 

We can’t get our truck into the backyard, so my husband usually gets out his Quad to pull the trailer into the yard and park it by the garden. Then we can shovel and wheelbarrow the gravel into the beds. ( After the weeds are cleaned out, of course.)

Towing the Pea Gravel

We made sure when we had the fence put up that we made a double gate so we could get big loads through. But Oops! I put a big shade garden there. So now he can’t drive the truck back there. Neither can we have a large truck deliver and dump things back there. But that is just the way it is.

Double Wide Gate

So he backed up the loaded trailer right next to the garden and he and I have worked off and on shoveling rock!  Oh the joys of gardening! Or some such words I keep hearing Jerry muttering under his breath.

pea gravel on site

 

Shoveling Pea Gravel

Fearsome words, but it has gone faster than I thought it would. I only worked about an hour this morning and then Jerry and I both worked for about another hour. We can’t sustain long periods of work this hard like we did when we were younger. But it is looking good!

Here is a photo of the small aisle between some of my larger hypertufa troughs. The gravel gets weeds in it, but also small sprouts of new sedum and succulents grow there too. I make sure I dig them all out before I treat with the vinegar.

pea gravel path between troughs

We may need another half-yard of pea gravel, since I like it to be about 5 inches deep. I don’t put landscape cloth under it because I hate that stuff. I have previously put newspaper and cardboard box material under there. That works well. But now I just have to refresh the gravel every 2 or 3 years. But I like it.

It will be done soon……….I hope the Tylenol and BenGay don’t run out before then.

I have this post on a Link Party at You’re Going Love It Party! at Kathiewithane.com

I have this post on a Link Party at Wicked Awesome Wednesday on Handy Man Crafty Woman

 

 

 

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Kim, The Hypertufa Gardener

Hi, I am Kim and thank you so much for visiting my magazine! I am a gardener and a hypertufa maker. If you came here to learn about hypertufa, I have a lot of information. But I also write about flower gardening and using succulents which are great drought-tolerant plants.

Of course, I have some recipes and some random family concerns which I hope interest you too! Please page through the Magazine and find what you like! and Subscribe!

I also have a YouTube channel called Kim’s Gardens where you can see my hypertufa as I make them. ( See My About Page)

 

15 thoughts on “Pea Gravel Pathways – Oh Our Aching Backs!

  • August 11, 2016 at 12:33 am
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    What do you mean by 'refresh' the gravel? Do you just add new stuff on top, or take out all the old stuff and then put in new stuff? I love the idea and look of pea gravel, but I don't want it if it's going to be a huge hassle. Thanks! Reply
    • August 11, 2016 at 8:26 pm
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      We have had gravel for a while, but it does "sink" after a while and needs to have a new added layer, so I have called it a "refresh." I just clean out as much weeds as possible (vinegar) and then just pour it on/shovel it on. I really like the way it looks. All refreshed, in most places it is about 6-8 inches deep. Suppresses the weeds great. If one pokes up....vinegar. Reply
  • June 21, 2016 at 10:59 am
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    Despite the pain, your garden looks beautiful!! Alix | www.apintsizedlife.com Reply
    • June 21, 2016 at 6:22 pm
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      Thank you so much. A little bit of Tylenol and I am good to go again. But it is finally done! Reply
  • June 20, 2016 at 8:47 am
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    Thanks for the vinegar tip! I should have thought of it myself. I moved into a new house a couple of months ago and it has a gravel driveway. I've been digging out the weeds by hand. I won't use pesticides since my lawn is full of clover and bees. I'm going to try the vinegar approach and see if it helps, although I think I'll still be digging the Bermuda grass out by hand! Reply
    • June 20, 2016 at 10:10 am
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      Thank you, I know you will like the vinegar as a weed killer. I have sprayed and it just keeps them wilted/dead. Easy to rake away and so little effort. Reply
  • June 10, 2016 at 10:34 am
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    I had to laugh when I read this article because it reminded me of a project I did about 4 years ago. I wanted to make a prairie type garden with pea gravel and drought tolerant plants. It is quite large about 40 feet by 25 feet and it took a whole load of pea gravel which is about 14 tons!. I did put down garden cloth and then the job began. The truck wasn't able to get close enough as I wanted so we had to manually move all that stone. Thank God for my grandsons and daughter helping. Even so we were exhausted and we did not finish to the following Spring. It is beautiful now but still get weeds unless I spray with the vinegar in the Spring. Thanks for the memory. Reply
    • June 10, 2016 at 11:57 am
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      Wow, now that is a PROJECT. I cannot imagine 14 tons. You really have a nice garden, and I think easier to weed. I am still surprised at how well the vinegar works. I can zapp that clover now! Aren't you glad for family coming over to help? Reply
  • June 8, 2016 at 8:34 pm
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    I'm glad I'm not the only one out in the garden barefoot and in pajamas! Love the pea gravel. I think I might use some of that in between the big rocks in my "dry river bed" to keep the weeds from sprouting up so often. Reply
    • June 9, 2016 at 3:17 am
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      I wouldn't miss the morning in the garden. And I am barefoot or flip flops whenever I can! Reply

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