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Gravel: how to use it in the garden

Gravel paving harmoniously connects the parking lot with other areas of the front garden.

The crunching of gravel underfoot evokes pleasant thoughts. This simple, relatively inexpensive and environmentally friendly type of coating is emotionally charged: it is associated with a country atmosphere, peace, comfort, freedom.

The use of gravel in garden decor

Gravel cover is classified as filtering – it does not interfere with the access of air and water to the lower layers of the soil. The antipodes of filtering materials – water-repellent coatings (tiles, asphalt, concrete) – change the hydrogeological properties of the landscape. Compaction of the soil under them reaches a great depth: this is facilitated not only by mechanical action (walking on the surface), but also by reducing chemical reactions that begin to prevail in the soil if oxygen is blocked.

Gravel: how to use it in the garden

In a few years, the impermeable track turns into an underground “dam” that disrupts the natural movement of groundwater. For example, if it is laid across a slope, over time, an underground “reservoir” can form above it, which floods the root system of trees. And even if this does not happen, the roots passing under the path will sooner or later die off due to soil compaction. Add to this the “extra” water flowing from the path or area to the roots of plants, and it becomes clear why the use of water-repellent coatings is limited to 10% of the territory and requires thoughtful attitude.

Properly laid gravel does not create these problems. The roots of the trees under it do not lose their vitality, the soil absorbs water and “breathes”, keeping its natural profile quite well, and if you decide to remodel the garden, it will be easy to reclaim and bring it back to life. There are no restrictions on the area of ​​filter coverings: gravel can prevail in the garden or in some of its zones, while a storm drainage system is not required. These properties are widely used in design, especially where inexpensive local gravel is sold: English “gravel gardens” are widely known, where dumping replaces the lawn.

John Brooks, a renowned UK garden designer, says: “I often use gravel in local gardens, we have very rocky soil. Chipped local stone is one of the cheapest coverings. If there are no beds dug up and prepared for planting, I plant them straight. in the gravel. In the summer it works as mulch and allows biennials to self-sow and overwinter. Some of the seedlings may die in the winter, but those that remain will develop well. In the spring, I only remove what I do not like. Plants that protrude slightly. the contour of the main fit, will give you a natural feeling. “

There are few subtleties in the device of gravel coverage. The first thing to think about is a reliable border. The bulk material does not hold its shape well, so inexpensive plastic lawn tape, which is most often used as a separator, is not the best option. It will bend, “squeeze” out of the soil in winter, while the edge of the track or site will look untidy, and in some places will collapse. Gravel: how to use it in the garden

There are more reliable professional flexible curbs made of UV resistant plastic, with profile extension at the top and underground fasteners, but these are rarely available. Perhaps the most sensible solution is to save on the coating itself, not to save on the curb and buy a reliable, stable concrete or clinker. It is installed on a crushed stone pillow, fixed at the bottom with concrete mortar. It is not very important for the filter cover whether it will be above or below the soil level. Therefore, we choose the height of the upper edge of the curb arbitrarily – for the convenience of caring for the plantings, it is enough that it rises 2–3 cm above the soil.

Gravel: how to use it in the garden

Tracks are formed on frequently used paths and gravel surfaces. To avoid this, geotextiles are laid under the gravel, evenly distributing the load. In part, it also prevents the germination of weeds, although this is more true for the roots and seeds in the soil. Weeds sprouting from seeds that fall into the gravel from above will have to be weeded out: the roots have a greater penetrating ability than aerial shoots, and quite often penetrate the soil through geotextiles.

A special approach is required for areas where a car is parked, heavy garden furniture or where pedestrian traffic is very intense. Here, in addition to geotextiles, a plastic lawn grating up to 5 cm high is required. It is laid on top of the geotextile and covered with gravel (a layer of gravel above the upper edge of the grating is about 2 cm). To make it easier for yourself, it is better to first select a specific type of grating, and then finally determine the size and configuration of the gravel surface. The lattice is produced in the form of rectangular modules of a certain size, and it is easier to adjust the proportions of the platform to the size of the modules than to cut them later.

Gravel: how to use it in the garden

Gravel is often sold in tons, and the amount you need is calculated in volumetric units: the thickness of the backfill layer (in meters) is multiplied by the area. To calculate how many tons of gravel you will eventually need, multiply volume by volumetric weight. If the supplier finds it difficult to name the volumetric weight, take it as 1.6 t / m3. Buy 10-15% more gravel than calculated – the bulk volume (in the car) differs from the volume in the tamped state. Choose fine gravel (5–10 mm), it is easier to walk on.

Gravel: how to use it in the garden

Types of gravel for landscaping:

1. Large granite crushed stone.

Has high water permeability. Particles of dust, earth, dry leaves are easily washed off from its surface, therefore
the coating of coarse gravel always remains clean. But it is not even enough, and it is inconvenient to walk on it, therefore, most often it is large
crushed stone is used for parking lots and driveways.

2. Pebbles.

A beautiful and expensive type of bulk material. Dirt does not accumulate on the surface of the pebbles, but it is inconvenient to walk on slippery rounded stones. Where inexpensive local material is available, it makes sense to use small pebbles to cover the walkways. But most often, pebbles are used to decorate the shore of a pond, trunk circles or other decorative compositions.

3. Marble chips.

It is used to decorate flower beds, but not very suitable for paths: too expensive material, moreover, it quickly becomes dirty.

4. Granite screening – fine granite chips. Forms a dense coating. Puddles can form on it, but it is even, comfortable for walking, heels do not fall into it. Used on footpaths not only in private gardens, but also in city parks.

published by econet.ru

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