That’s right! Have you ever been frustrated at the massive mess that traditional mulch can bring? Or the hassle it can be to spread out? Not to mention the weeds that it can encourage?
Say goodbye to all these pesky gardening problems and more by substituting traditional mulch with a thin layer of gravel. Why should you take a second look into gravel for a ground layer?
Just keep reading!
Pros of Gravel
Otherwise known as “inorganic” mulch, gravel provides quite a few benefits that “organic” mulch (manure, wood shavings, leaves) cannot.
First, Nashville gardeners tend to favor pea gravel as a mulching gravel. This is because the tiny pebbles are naturally round, which means the soil won’t be penetrated and roots won’t be damaged. They are also brown and red, Nashville, TN natural stone colors that blend in well with surrounding landscape and don’t reflect or absorb too much light.
In general, gravel provides a few things:
- Protection against erosion
- Lasts several years instead of just one season
- Filters water so that soil isn’t pelted by rain
- Good for areas that tend to have standing water when it rains
- Good for plants that like it dry, like cactus
- Less prone to mold
If any of these things suit your gardening needs, you should look into finding gravel to cover your Nashville, TN natural stone garden this spring.
Cons of Gravel as Mulch
Just as organic mulch does, using gravel as mulch has some drawbacks.
For example, gravel is going to more expensive in Nashville and anywhere else usually. The stone has been harvested and transported, so you have to incorporate this into the cost. For another thing, it is a little more difficult to install because of how heavy it is. It’s also more involved installation-wise: you have to add edging of some kind (wooden planks, natural stone, etc.) to hold it in place — but since many garden beds already have such edging, this may not be a problem.
It can also be a bit difficult to maintain the gravel because it’s hard to get leaves and weeds out of once it’s down. (But honestly, what mulch doesn’t have that problem?)
There are few drawbacks to using gravel as mulch in Nashville, but there are just as many to using organic mulch. Check out this article of pros and cons to help you make the best decision.
How do you know?
It’s good to know the pros and cons, but how do you make the final decision?
Think about your garden beds, the ones you intend to use next month or the month after. Are they raised beds? Are they edged? Are they in a place that gets a lot of rain? Does water tend to stand in the soil? What kind of plants do you have — any that like dry conditions like cactus?
The tips in this post will also help you make the right decision for your garden. It’s always good to be educated about all possibilities before starting a garden because once it’s going, it’s hard to change it.
Do you use gravel to cover your garden beds?
So how does it go in your Nashville garden? Gravel makes a very even and clean look on top of everything else it does for your plants. If you have plants that like it dry, need something to keep the soil from eroding, and want to avoid mold, gravel — especially pea gravel — might be your mulch for 2016.
What kind of gravel will cover your plants this spring? Do you have a garden bed already covered in gravel that’s just waiting for warm weather and a little rain? Tell us what you use in the comments below!