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Garden path with gravel - natural look and easy care

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.

Creating a gravel garden path - image

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

👎 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.

2.2 Pollution

Leaves, soil and weeds easily collect in the gaps. Gravel paths look unkempt if they are not cleaned regularly.

2.3 Weeding

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

Create an incline by properly pulling it off - approx. 2% incline

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

Gravel as a basis for gravel paths

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

Image of 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

Image of medium gravel 8 - 16 mm diameter

Medium gravel with a grain size of 8-16 mm is most suitable. It packs well and offers stability.

3. Coarse grit

Coarse grit image

Grit larger than 32 mm appears coarse and raw. Finer grits are more visually appealing.

Preferred rock types for coarse chippings are:

  • basalt
  • greywacke
  • or quartz.

5. Calculate amount of gravel

The amount of gravel required depends on the area and the planned thickness of the path:

  1. Determine area and depth: Measure the area and determine the depth, eg 3-5 cm.
  2. 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
spade 15-30€
shovel 10-20€
rake 10-20€
wheelbarrow 50-150€
pounder 15-50€
leaf blower 30-80€
chainsaw (for wood edging) 100-200€
concrete mixer 80-150€
Compaction device (e.g. vibratory plate) 150-300€

Stone cutting disc when cutting lawn curb stones for the gravel path

cost of materials

material Costs
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.

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