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Pros and Cons of Pea Gravel Patio

Pros and Cons of Pea Gravel Patio

These days, most houses have patios which enhance the aesthetic value of the house, but designing and maintaining a patio can be a real task. One should wisely choose the right variety of gravel to fill up a patio, such that its maintenance doesn't become troublesome. In this Gardenerdy article, we shall tell you the various advantages and disadvantages of having pea gravel in your patio.
Mukta Badipatla
When there is snow on pea gravel patio...

In case of light snow, you can use a snow blower to get rid of it. But for heavy snow, you have to shovel until you get a thin layer, which can then be melted with salt.

Be it driveways or pathways, there is nothing better than pea gravel, to fill up the spaces between stone pavers. It is low in cost and more versatile as compared to its counterparts. The availability of pea gravel and the variation in its sizes and shapes differs as per the area it is brought from.
Pea gravel is available in varied shapes and appearance―it can be smooth or jagged. Its size ranges from 1/8-inch to 3/8-inch, and is available in colors like buff, brown, and shades of white, black, and gray. So, what all benefits does this gravel serve when added to the patio? Let's find out.
  • As compared to its counterparts, like the larger gravel, pea gravel is easy to walk on. It has rounded edges that do not cause any discomfort even if you walk bare feet on it.
  • You can be highly creative with the pea gravel. Due to its small size, it can be mixed with other stones and gravel material to add to the landscape. It is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also can be easily installed. Even a novice can lay it without any trouble.
  • Pea gravel is cheaper than a majority of other fillers, like concrete and other larger stones. Its cost ranges from around USD 35 to USD 55 per cubic yard. Also, it can be compacted better than the large-sized fillers.
  • It prevents weed growth. When the gravel is laid at least 4 inches thick from the ground, unwanted weeds will not be able to grow out of the gravel. It is mess free, i.e., if it rains, then unlike other gravel varieties, this gravel will not become muddy. It also helps in keeping rodents away.
  • Other gravel materials have to be placed on a slight incline, so that the rainwater doesn't accumulate on its surface. When water is poured over a pea gravel patio, it doesn't run off the gravel, rather it soaks into it. This gravel also doesn't have to be graded on an incline. Therefore, it improves drainage and controls erosion as well.
  • Its tendency to get transported or carried across the garden, or even into the house is its biggest disadvantage. You must edge this gravel if you do not want it spreading outside the patio.
  • With time, the gravel starts shifting from its intended place. Therefore, you have to keep raking it back and also might have to add more gravel to it, at regular intervals. A base layer of rock has to be fixed underneath to prevent the gravel from shifting.
  • If you ever decide to change the location of your patio, then you will have a lot of trouble in shifting the gravel. As it is small and roundish, the gravel is hard to manage.
  • It cannot provide a firm and solid base to furniture. If you are keen on placing furniture in your patio, then you must lay a thick, six-inch layer of it and fix a base rock underneath it.
  • Although pea gravel doesn't decompose or crack with time, but it does start to sink into the soil. Therefore, you must replenish this gravel after two to three years.
Every gravel variety has its own share of advantages and disadvantages. One needs to understand the various requirements of every gravel variety, and only then make the right choice according to one's requirements.