A gravel garden path is the fastest and cheapest way to create it - it is also beautiful
Gravel is a popular flooring material for garden paths. With its natural look and warm tones, a gravel path blends harmoniously into any garden. Gravel is also water-permeable and easy to care for. However, a gravel surface also has some disadvantages.
In this article we will show you what to look out for when planning and implementing a gravel garden path. Learn all about:
- the right preparation
- suitable types of gravel
- professional laying
- Edging and maintenance of gravel paths.
👍 1. Benefits of a Gravel Garden Path
A gravel covering has a number of advantages that make it a good choice for garden paths:
1.1 Natural look
Gravel looks very organic due to its natural grain. The warm earth tones fit perfectly into a natural garden. Gravel paths look much more natural compared to hard concrete or asphalt.
1.2 Water permeable
In contrast to sealed paths, rainwater can easily seep away from gravel paths. This prevents puddles from forming. Gravel surfaces are also the more environmentally friendly choice.
1.3 Easy care
Gravel paths do not have to be laboriously cleaned or regularly resealed. Leaves and the like can easily be swept away. A gravel path is therefore very low-maintenance.
1.4 More ideas for a garden path
- Garden path with bark mulch
- Garden path with wood
- Garden path with natural stones
- Garden path with paving stones
- Garden path with concrete slabs
👎 2. Disadvantages of gravel for garden paths
However, a gravel surface also has a few disadvantages:
2.1 Low stability
Gravel paths are less stable than fixed pavement or slab paths. Washing out can occur, especially in heavy rain.
Leaves, soil and weeds easily collect in the gaps. Gravel paths look unkempt if they are not cleaned regularly.
Weeds can easily settle in the loose subsoil of the gravel surface. These have to be laboriously removed by hand.
3. Preparation of the ground
In order for a gravel path to last, careful preparation of the substructure is crucial:
3.1 Establish the correct inclination
The sub-soil should be compacted with a slight incline of approx. 2%. This allows rainwater to drain off easily.
Good to know: Please only take this step if you want a slope
3.2 Fill up the substructure
Compacted gravel is suitable as a base layer. This should be about 15-25 cm thick.
3.3 Lay fleece
Finally, a fleece is laid out to prevent weeds from growing. Special nonwovens for gravel paths are suitable for this.
4. Types of gravel for garden paths
Medium-sized types of gravel are best for garden paths:
1. Fine gravel
Fine gravel with a grain size of up to 4 mm is not suitable, as it is easily blown away or washed out.
2. Middle Gravel
Medium gravel with a grain size of 8-16 mm is most suitable. It packs well and offers stability.
3. Coarse grit
Grit larger than 32 mm appears coarse and raw. Finer grits are more visually appealing.
Preferred rock types for coarse chippings are:
- or quartz.
The amount of gravel required depends on the area and the planned thickness of the path:
- Determine area and depth: Measure the area and determine the depth, eg 3-5 cm.
- Allow for an additional charge for settlement: Allow for an additional charge of about 25%, since the gravel will settle over time.
Calculation example: You will need, for example: 10 m2 x 0.05 mx 1.25 = 0.625 m3 gravel.
What costs do I have to expect when creating a gravel garden path?
The expenses are kept within limits and are comparatively low compared to other species.
Here is an overview of tools, machines and material costs
Cost of tools and machines
|tool / machine||Costs|
|chainsaw (for wood edging)||100-200€|
|Compaction device (e.g. vibratory plate)||150-300€|
cost of materials
|Gravel (medium gravel), per m3||30-60€|
|fleece, per m2||2-5€|
|Concrete blocks for edging, per running meter||5-15€|
|Wooden slats for edging, per m||3-8€|
|Aluminum profiles for edging, per running meter||10-20€|
|Chippings/gravel for substructure, per m3||30-60€|
6. Lay gravel professionally
This is how the gravel is applied professionally:
1. Apply and compact in layers
Apply the gravel in 2-3 layers and compact each layer.
2. Draw the surface flat and level
Finally, the surface is drawn in flat and firm with a straightedge or roller.
7. Edging for gravel paths
The edges should be stabilized:
- With concrete blocks
- With wood or wooden slats
- With metal profiles such as aluminum profiles
- lawn edging stone
Helpful guides for edge attachments
Frequently asked questions about the gravel garden path
What type of gravel is best for a garden path?
Medium gravel with a grain size of 8 to 16 mm is most suitable. It offers a good compromise between looks and stability. Fine gravel is too sensitive, coarse grit looks too coarse.
How do I keep the gravel from being washed out of the way?
It is important to have a well-compacted substructure with a sufficient gradient so that rainwater can drain away. Edge fasteners also prevent flushing. Regular checks and refilling of gravel protect against erosion.
How deep does the gravel layer have to be?
A gravel layer 3 to 5 cm deep is ideal. It is important to compact the gravel well and draw in the surface evenly. Calculate about 25% more gravel for later settlement.
How can I remove weeds in the gravel path?
If possible, weeds should be pulled out by hand before they form seeds. Fleece under the gravel prevents germinating weeds. Occasional weed control can help.
How often does a gravel path need to be cleaned?
Cleaning with a broom, leaf blower or water hose should be done about every 4 weeks. Loosen and compact again several times a year with a rake. Top up with new gravel if necessary.
How do I border a gravel path?
Classically dug vertically with concrete blocks. Wooden slats, aluminum profiles or a well-trodden lawn edge also hold the gravel together.
Conclusion - The gravel garden path is the cheapest and fastest way to create a path in the garden!
A gravel garden path looks natural, is water permeable and easy to maintain. Due to the loose substructure, however, it is less stable than fixed paths. However, with solid ground preparation, high-quality gravel and regular care, a gravel path will remain beautiful and walkable for a long time.