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Pea Gravel Patio: Pros and Cons

Pea Gravel Patio: Pros and Cons


If you’re thinking of using pea gravel in your outdoor projects, you’re in for a treat. This article will examine the benefits and drawbacks of pea gravel. Any outdoor area may benefit from adding pea gravel, a popular and adaptable landscaping material that exudes natural beauty.

The options are unlimited when you picture yourself lounging on a warm pea gravel patio or strolling along a picturesque gravel walkway! But before you start your landscaping projects, it’s crucial to comprehend the benefits and drawbacks of using pea gravel.

In this essay, we’ll explore the appeal of pea gravel and its benefits and drawbacks.

What Is Pea Gravel?

Pea gravel, often called pea stone, pea pebbles, or pea rock, is a tiny, naturally rounded river rock with a diameter of about 3/8 of an inch and resembles a pea. It enhances the natural beauty of any environment with its amazing palette of hues, which include grey, cream, tan, gold, black, and white.

Pea gravel’s uneven form gives it its distinct appeal. Although they are all about the size of a pea, they are not all the same roundness. When utilized in landscaping projects, some may have precisely round forms, while others may have oval or shattered shapes, producing a fascinating and dynamic texture.

Pea gravel’s adaptability may be seen in many places, such as patios, dog areas, playgrounds, roadways, and sidewalks. Pea gravel’s hues intensify when wet, giving garden ponds and other water features an alluring aesthetic appeal.

Pros of Pea Gravel

Pea gravel is a highly popular option because of all of its benefits. Let’s examine this more closely:

Aesthetic Appeal

In the landscaping industry, pea gravel truly stands out in beauty. Its organic and rustic appearance adds appeal, texture, and depth to any outdoor area. A visually pleasing and welcoming ambiance is created by the tiny, rounded stones in different hues of grey, beige, or brown, which can improve the overall appeal of your landscape.


Another significant benefit of pea gravel is its adaptability. Several applications for it can improve the visual appeal of your outdoor projects. Pea gravel creates a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere for walkways that are ideal for strolling along and taking in the beauty of your landscape.

It may also be used for driveways, providing a distinctive and environmentally beneficial substitute for conventional concrete or asphalt surfaces. Pea gravel may be used to make lovely patios with a relaxed, rustic vibe in addition to driveways and walks.

A pea gravel patio may be transformed into a lovely meeting place for hosting guests or taking in peaceful moments outdoors when furnished with outdoor furniture and décor.

Water Drainage

Its permeability is another benefit that draws homeowners who care about the environment to pea gravel. Rainwater can permeate the surface due to its porous structure, aiding in water drainage and reducing erosion. Because of this, pea gravel is an excellent choice for locations that need good drainage, such as low-lying areas in landscaping or near plants.


Maintenance is frequently a major factor when choosing landscaping materials, and pea gravel also excels in this area. Pea gravel requires less upkeep than grass or other plants that often need to be watered, mowed, or trimmed.

After installation, maintaining its excellent appearance doesn’t take much work. While periodic raking and restocking may be required to keep it looking nice, pea gravel will ultimately save you time and work.


Pea gravel is typically less expensive than other landscaping materials like pavers or genuine stone, which makes it a desirable choice for homeowners on a tight budget. This is the perfect material if you want to create a beautiful and valuable landscape without going over budget.

Easy To Install

Pea gravel’s simplicity of installation is one of its many noteworthy benefits for landscaping projects. Installing pea gravel may be easy with the appropriate method, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned do-it-yourselfer or a homeowner wishing to employ a professional.

Pea gravel has small, rounded stones that make it easy to distribute and level, creating a smooth and aesthetically pleasing surface. It can be done by anybody with little equipment or simple landscaping abilities because it doesn’t require complicated tools or large machines.

Cons of Pea Gravel

Even though pea gravel has numerous benefits for landscaping projects, there may be some drawbacks to this material to take into account.

Shift & Scatter

One of these challenges is its propensity to disperse and move over time, especially in locations with heavy traffic. When thinking about using pea gravel for their landscaping requirements, homeowners should be aware of how this may effect the landscape’s stability and beauty. Because it is tiny and spherical, pea gravel is prone to shifting and dislocation over time.

Uneven surfaces can result from pea gravel shifting and scattering due to several factors, such as foot activity, vehicle movement, and severe rainfall. As a result, frequent maintenance is needed to restore its function and look.

Requires Containment

Appropriate installation techniques, such as edging or borders to confine the pea gravel and stop it from spreading beyond the targeted area, can help reduce the aforementioned difficulty. Moreover, putting a geotextile fabric underneath the pea gravel can increase stability and lower the chance of displacement.

Regular maintenance, such as raking or re-leveling the pea gravel, may also be required to guarantee fair distribution and stop shifting.

Builds Up Debris

The propensity of pea gravel to gradually gather dirt, twigs, and other detritus is another possible drawback. This may negatively impact the beauty of the landscape, and frequent cleaning or upkeep is necessary to maintain the pea gravel’s neat and well-groomed appearance.

Especially in locations with dense vegetation or in the autumn, homeowners should be ready to put in time and effort to maintain the pea gravel area clear of detritus.

Weed Growth

Pea gravel’s loose and porous texture can create the perfect conditions for developing weeds. The tiny spaces between the stones might allow weeds to grow roots and take over your manicured area, giving rise to undesired vegetation.

This can be annoying, and keeping weeds in check could need constant upkeep. When using pea gravel, it’s important to install the weed barrier properly to stop weed growth.

Underneath the pea gravel, landscaping cloth or geotextile fabric may be used to prevent weed development while enabling enough drainage.


What should I place beneath the pea gravel?

Pea gravel should be placed over a suitable base or underlayment for best results and longevity. Although pea gravel is well-known for its inherent ability to drain, adding a foundation layer can help keep the surface stable, inhibit weed development, and lessen the chance that stones will move or sink over time. A layer of crushed stone or compacted gravel, landscape fabric, or geotextile membrane are common choices for underlayment. The characteristics of the region where pea gravel is to be laid and its planned usage will determine the requirements for underlayment.

How much depth is required for pea gravel?

  • A minimum depth of two to three inches is often advised for pea gravel in pathways or walks.
  • Deeper than four to six inches could suit driveways or high-traffic areas.
  • A depth of 1-2 inches may be sufficient for pea gravel in a garden or ornamental application.

Final Thoughts

Its affordability, low-maintenance requirements, and permeability make it a desirable choice for many frugal households.

Pea gravel may offer a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing surface for various landscaping applications with proper installation, which includes sufficient site preparation, appropriate edging or containment, and consideration of possible problems.

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