Pea Gravel Pros and Cons: The Beauty and Challenges

If you’re considering using pea gravel in your outdoor projects, you’re in for a treat. We are going to take a look at Pea Gravel Pros and Cons.

Pea gravel is a versatile and popular landscaping material that can add a touch of natural beauty to any outdoor space.

Imagine meandering along a charming pea gravel pathway or relaxing on a cosy pea gravel patio – the possibilities are endless!

But before you dive headlong into your landscaping endeavours, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons of using pea gravel to make informed decisions.

In this post, we’ll uncover the allure of pea gravel and discuss its advantages and disadvantages.

From its aesthetic appeal and versatility to potential challenges and maintenance requirements, we’ll explore all aspects of using pea gravel in your landscaping projects.

So, let’s dig in and unravel the fascinating world of pea gravel.

What Is Pea Gravel?

Pea gravel, also known as pea stone, pea pebbles, or pea rock, is a small, naturally rounded river rock that resembles the size of a pea, measuring around 3/8-inch in diameter.

It comes in a delightful array of colours, including grey, cream, tan, gold, black, and white, adding a touch of natural beauty to any landscape.

The unique charm of pea gravel lies in its irregular shape. While each piece is roughly the size of a pea, they are not uniformly round.

Some may be perfectly round, while others may have oval or fractured shapes, creating an intriguing and dynamic texture when used in landscaping projects.

Pea gravel finds its versatility in a wide range of applications, including patios, walkways, driveways, playgrounds, dog areas, and paths.

When wet, the colours of pea gravel become even more vivid, adding a captivating visual appeal to garden ponds or other water features.

pea gravel pros and cons 1

Pros of Pea Gravel

Pea gravel is a very popular choice due to it’s many pros and advantages. Let’s take a look in more detail:

Aesthetic Appeal

When it comes to aesthetics, pea gravel is a true standout in the world of landscaping. Its natural and rustic look adds a touch of charm, texture, and depth to any outdoor space.

The small, rounded stones in various shades of grey, beige, or brown create a visually appealing and inviting atmosphere that can enhance the overall appeal of your landscape.


The versatility of pea gravel is another major advantage. It can be used in a myriad of ways to elevate the aesthetics of your outdoor projects.

For pathways, pea gravel provides a casual and inviting vibe, perfect for strolling along and enjoying the beauty of your garden.

It can also be used in driveways, creating a unique and eco-friendly alternative to traditional asphalt or concrete surfaces.

In addition to pathways and driveways, pea gravel can be used to create attractive patios that offer a rustic and laid-back ambiance.

Paired with outdoor furniture and decor, a pea gravel patio can become a charming gathering spot for entertaining guests or enjoying quiet moments in nature.

Water Drainage

The permeability of pea gravel is another pro that makes it a favourite among environmentally-conscious homeowners.

Its porous nature allows rainwater to penetrate the surface, which can help with water drainage and prevent erosion.

This makes pea gravel an ideal option for areas that require proper drainage, such as near plants or in low-lying areas of your landscape.


Maintenance is often a top consideration for landscaping materials, and pea gravel delivers in this aspect as well.

Unlike grass or other plants that require regular watering, mowing, or trimming, pea gravel is low-maintenance.

Once installed, it doesn’t require much effort to keep it looking great.

Occasional raking and replenishing may be needed to maintain its desired appearance, but overall, pea gravel can save you time and effort in the long run.


Compared to other landscaping materials like pavers or natural stone, pea gravel is generally more affordable, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious homeowners.

It’s an ideal material if you want to achieve a stunning and functional landscape without breaking the bank.

Easy To Install

One of the notable advantages of using pea gravel in your landscaping project is its ease of installation.

Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a homeowner looking to hire a professional, pea gravel can be a breeze to install with the right approach.

With its small, rounded pebbles, pea gravel can be quickly spread and levelled to create a smooth and visually appealing surface.

It doesn’t require complex tools or heavy machinery, making it accessible to those with basic landscaping skills or limited equipment.

Cons of Pea Gravel

While pea gravel offers many advantages for landscaping projects, it’s important to consider potential challenges associated with this material.

Shift & Scatter

One such challenge is its tendency to shift and scatter over time, particularly in high-traffic areas.

This can affect the stability and aesthetics of the landscape, and homeowners should be aware of this aspect when considering pea gravel for their landscaping needs.

Pea gravel, due to its small size and rounded shape, can be susceptible to movement and displacement over time.

Factors such as foot traffic, vehicle movement, and heavy rain can cause the pea gravel to shift and scatter, resulting in an uneven surface.

The result of this is the requirement of periodic maintenance to restore its appearance and functionality.

Requires Containment

To mitigate the above challenge, proper installation techniques can be employed, including using edging or borders to contain the pea gravel and prevent it from spreading beyond the desired area.

Additionally, the use of a geotextile fabric under the pea gravel can provide additional stability and reduce the risk of displacement.

Regular maintenance, such as raking or re-levelling the pea gravel, may also be necessary to ensure its even distribution and prevent shifting.

Accumulates Debris

Another potential challenge of pea gravel is its tendency to accumulate debris, such as leaves, twigs, and dirt, over time.

This can detract from the appearance of the landscape and require regular cleaning or maintenance to keep the pea gravel looking tidy and well-groomed.

Homeowners should be prepared to invest time and effort in keeping the pea gravel area clean and free of debris, particularly in heavily vegetated areas or during fall seasons.

Weed Growth

Due to its loose and porous nature, pea gravel can provide an ideal environment for weed growth.

Weeds can find their way through the small gaps between the pebbles and establish roots, leading to unwanted vegetation in your landscaped area.

This can be frustrating and may require ongoing maintenance to keep weeds in check.

To prevent weed growth, proper weed barrier installation is crucial when using pea gravel.

This may involve the use of landscape fabric or geotextile fabric underneath the pea gravel to inhibit weed growth while allowing for proper drainage.

However, even with the use of weed barriers, some persistent weeds may still find their way through over time.

This will then require periodic weeding to maintain a weed-free appearance.

Where To Buy Pea Gravel

We stock pea gravel here at TW Aggregates. You can simply place an order here on our online shop, or collect from our yard if you live within a reasonable distance of our Wolverhampton location.

Check out our pea gravel here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is pea gravel OK to walk on?

Pea gravel can be used as a walking surface in certain applications.

The small, smooth, and naturally rounded stones make for a unique and visually appealing pathway or walkway option.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that pea gravel is best suited for low-traffic areas or pedestrian pathways.

This is due to the irregular shape of the stones may not provide a stable surface for heavy or constant foot traffic.

Should I put anything under pea gravel?

It’s generally recommended to use a proper base or underlayment when installing pea gravel to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

While pea gravel is known for its natural drainage properties, a base layer can help stabilize the surface, prevent weed growth, and reduce the risk of stones sinking or shifting over time.

Common options for underlayment include landscape fabric, geotextile membrane, or a layer of compacted gravel or crushed stone.

The specific requirements for underlayment may vary depending on the intended use and conditions of the area where pea gravel is being installed.

How deep does pea gravel need to be?

As a general guideline, a minimum depth of 2-3 inches is often recommended for pea gravel in walkways or paths.

A depth of 4-6 inches may be appropriate for driveways or areas with heavier traffic.

For areas where pea gravel will be used in a garden or decorative application, a depth of 1-2 inches may suffice.

Pea Gravel Pros and Cons Conclusion

In conclusion, pea gravel can be a fantastic addition to your landscaping project, offering a range of benefits and aesthetic appeal.

Its permeability, low-maintenance nature, and cost-effectiveness make it an attractive option for many homeowners on a budget.

With proper installation, including adequate preparation of the site, proper edging or containment, and attention to potential challenges, pea gravel can provide a durable and visually appealing surface for various landscaping applications.

However, it’s important to carefully plan and consider the specific requirements of your landscaping project.

This includes the location, foot traffic, and desired aesthetics, to ensure pea gravel is the right choice for your needs.

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