When it’s time to use sand and gravel as aggregate materials for an outdoor landscaping project, some basic guidelines will help individual do-it-yourselfers succeed in improving outdoor areas. Whether it’s a sand or gravel base for a fountain, rock garden or other installation, or pathways to access areas of a property, doing your base materials installation the right way can help your project turnout better.
The use of landscape edging in sand or gravel areas helps to provide a more visually attractive result for a project. It also helps to prevent erosion of materials along the boundary line of the installation when washed-out areas can make a property look bad. Edging comes in various forms, from high-strength metal designs to composite or plastic types. Choose the type of edging that best fits your landscaping project.
2. Weed Wrapping
The semi-permeable material known as weed wrap has several different uses in a sand and gravel related project. One common use of this material is to put it down under aggregate materials or a base layer to stop weeds from growing up through the area. Another tip for weed wrap or similar materials is to cover items like French drains to help prevent the erosion of sand or gravel from an installation over time. Other tips like terracing can also help with this kind of issue.
3. Tamping Down Aggregates
When you are using sand or gravel to form part of a complex landscaping project, these materials can tend to “settle” over time. That can be a problem if the project relies on a firm and level foundation. One way to prevent excessive settling is to tamp down the materials while installing them in the area. A square-footed “tamping tool” can do a lot for this kind of project.
4. Watering Sand and Gravel
If tamping is not enough to limit settling, another way to “naturally settle” sand or gravel involves spraying the area with water in order to get the materials wet. Watering the area can help the sand or gravel to become more compact, making it a more viable basis for the next step of a landscaping project.
5. Sizing Projects
When it comes to ordering sand or gravel materials, these items can come in some fairly vague sizes. Supply businesses might sell these materials by the scoop, or by the bag. You’ll need to know about how many cubic feet will be needed in order to get the right amounts delivered. Think about all three dimensions, including height, width and depth, in order to estimate the amount of materials needed.
All of the above can help you implement projects that rely on sand or gravel. Many different kinds of yard installations require these basic materials to level out a flat space that will be used regularly for recreation or outdoor living. Other kinds of projects are decorative or intended to help with runoff or erosion problems. Match these sand and gravel tips to the needs of your specific project.