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Gravel in Garden Beds

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by lawnspecialties, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,524

    I just posted a thread on red gravel (brick nuggets) a customer was interested in. After seeing the costs :dizzy: , they asked if there was another gravel that would be more economical.

    One point made on my "Red Gravel" thread was the heat reflected by the gravel itself and the stress that would put on the plants in the bed.

    Anyone have any good ideas? Thanks.:)

    MILSINC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    any time that I install a stone bed, I keep the stones away from the base of the plant. You have to give them some room to wiggle, without having the bark rub up against the stone, and you have to come back repeatedly throughout the year to make sure they are ok. I do think there is something to be said for the heat exposure, as most stone beds I see have plants that look a little stressed, even when they are on trickle. I generally try to avoid planting in stone. I do like to install an initial bed w/ stone and edging a few feet out from the house, then outside of that, install the planting area with mulch. The end result is pretty cool!
  3. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,524

    Thanks MILS. This customer will most likely end up a full-service maintenance account so I'll be able to keep a good check on the garden plants. I'm still trying to persuade them on mulch or straw anyway.:laugh:
  4. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Go organic if you can, stick with a ground mulch for the plants and the soil's sake and accent with stone, or better yet boulders. Stone it self will absorb heat, darker colors will absorb more heat and as the air cools, typically at night after a sunny day, the stones will radiate that heat back into the air keeping it hotter longer. Light colored stones, that won't absorb as much heat, will reflect some of the light energy from the sun to scald the underside of the leaves of the plants. Most plants leaves are not going to do well if the leaves get scorched. Any injury to the plant will invite pest and disease problems to accelerate the demise.

    As I recall from my roadtrips through central North Carolina, you have some interesting rock that would make good accents. Try to persuade them to go with natural mulches like root or bark and allow the plants to become the focal point. Stone is good for paths, but best not used as a mulch.


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