How to Create a Gravel Garden - Backyard Boss
We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.

How to Create a Gravel Garden

If you’re like the majority of the population, dreaming of your own space has included a personal and curated garden. But once you finally do have your own yard and the space for the garden, the amount of maintenance required becomes more than apparent. Fortunately, there’s one simple solution: a gravel garden.

A gravel garden allows for plenty of colors and can be home to an abundance of different plants, but it requires less watering, very little weeding, and no fertilizers or chemicals for growth. With that being said, you may be unsure of where to start. Below, you’ll find the deets on all the tools you’ll need, a step-by-step guide, and a few tips and tricks for creating and maintaining the perfect gravel garden.

Tools You Will Need to Create a Gravel Garden

Before you start creating your own gravel garden, it’s important to ensure you’ve got the proper tools in your garage. Fortunately, the list isn’t too long and contains supplies many seasoned gardeners likely already have in their arsenal. Check the deets out below.

  • Gardening gloves
  • Hand trowel
  • Garden shovel
  • Gravel
  • Rake or garden till
  • Landscape fabric
  • Edging
  • Plants
  • Scissors

How to Create a Gravel Garden: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Clear the Area

Removing weeds. Weeding garden
Image credits: Avalon_Studio via Canva

Before you start laying the gravel and building your garden, it’s important to clear the area. This means removing all plants from the garden and ridding the area of weeds and turf. If you want to keep any of the plants for the gravel garden, store them in pots for a short period of time.

Once you’ve cleared the area, it’s time to till the soil. You may also want to add organic material, such as compost or fresh soil to help the plants grow. Next, dig a border around the garden and create edging, which will help to separate the lawn and the gravel garden and keep out grass and weeds.

Step 2: Apply Landscape Fabric

Woman planting using weed membrane
Image credits: Zoe Schaeffer via Unsplash

Now that the area is prepped, it’s time to add the landscape fabric. This will help to stop weeds from breaking through the surface. It’s important to trim the fabric to size and ensure it covers the entire area. You can also use garden edging, such as stones, to hold the fabric in place.

This is also the perfect opportunity to cut spaces for your plants and decide how you’ll position them. It’s important to avoid cutting holes, and instead cut a cross that will allow the fabric to be as close to the base of the plant once it has been planted.

Step 3: Time to Plant

Freshly planted succulent for gravel garden
Image credits: jameshannan via Pixabay

Once you’ve decided where you’d like to place the plants and how you’d like them to be arranged, it’s time to plant them. Plants like succulents and cacti are usually the best option because they require less water, as well as other drought-tolerant alternatives. Simply dig holes for the plants, lower them into the soil, pack them in, and fold the fabric back over.

Step 4: Finish Touches on the Gravel Garden

Succulents planted in gravel garden
Image credits: Annie Spratt via Unsplash

The final step to creating a gravel garden is the most obvious one: apply the gravel! It’s important to do this as evenly as possible, and you can also use a rake to level the surface. Depending on your preferences, you can opt for larger or smaller gravel. If it’s going to be a high-traffic area, larger gravel may be the preferred option, while smaller gravel may be more aesthetically pleasing.

Once you’ve distributed the gravel, it’s important to thoroughly water each plant for about 30 seconds. After that, you should only have to water the garden twice weekly. It’s also crucial to continue to weed as necessary, though it shouldn’t be too often, to ensure the garden does not become overrun with foreign plants.

In Summary

If you’ve been dreaming of a low-maintenance, drought-friendly way to incorporate a little extra color and beauty into your yard space, a gravel garden is the way to go. It’s a hassle-free option and takes minimal effort to implement. And once you’ve planted and applied the gravel, all you have to do is keep the area weed-free and watered!

So, will you try out this DIY gravel garden? Let us know below! And if you’re looking for more drought-friendly lawn alternatives, check out this list.