What Are the Best Tips for Creating a Gravel Yard?

Gravel is available in many different colors and textures.
It's best to spread plastic sheeting underneath gravel yards to prevent grass or weeds from growing through the rocks.
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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2014
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There are many different tips and tricks a person should consider when creating a gravel yard, most of which involve proper planning and execution in creating the yard. One of the most important tips for using gravel to create a landscape is to remove and kill any grass or weeds present and use plastic sheeting to keep them from coming back. The color and texture of the gravel chosen can also have a dramatic impact on the final results of the yard. Care should also be taken in making sure the gravel is ready before using it to create a gravel yard.

A gravel yard is a landscape, or part of a landscape, that uses small rocks, usually called gravel, rather than plants or dirt. Before creating a gravel landscape, however, any existing plants such as grass or weeds should be removed and killed. It is typically best to remove such plants and then treat the area thoroughly with a powerful weed killer. This should be allowed to soak into the ground for a few days before a second application of the weed killer is applied.


Plastic sheeting should then be laid down over the area that is going to be turned into a gravel yard; this plastic can be purchased at many hardware or gardening suppliers. Care should be taken when laying down the plastic sheeting to ensure it covers the ground thoroughly; overlapping the plastic at any seems is also a good idea. While laying down plastic, the person creating a gravel yard should also consider any patterns he or she wants to make in the yard. Plastic dividers often used as edging for flower beds can be used to create borders for different areas of gravel.

The gravel used in creating a gravel yard should also be carefully considered. Gravel can come in many different sizes and colors: “pea gravel” typically refers to very small gravel about the size of a pea, while larger stones can also be used. Mixed gravel usually includes different colors and types of stone, though one particular type of stone can also be used, such as red rock or soap stone. By choosing different types of gravel for a gravel yard, different patterns can be created through various textures, colors, and sizes.

Care should also be taken regarding how the gravel is treated before it is used on a gravel yard. If the gravel has too much dirt mixed with it, then the dirt can become a bed in which weeds can grow. It may be necessary to sift the gravel and separate it from any dirt before laying it out on the plastic sheets, though a small amount of dirt is typically not a problem and it will naturally settle below the gravel.


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