Gravel and stones create an attractive permanent mulch for garden borders, but planting new shrubs and plants is challenging if the correct procedure is not followed. The use of gravel and landscape fabric diminishes opportunities for weeds to grow in gardens, stops plants self-seeding and aids water retention. When planting in gravel beds, you need to clear the stones from the planting area and cut the landscape fabric. When you have planted your new plant or shrub, the landscaping materials can be replaced.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Plants or shrubs
- Scoop or plastic pot
- Bricks or pieces of timber
- Sharp knife
- Garden scissors
Arrange the new shrubs or plants in the garden border, so you know where you will plant them.
Remove gravel from the planting area and pour it into a bucket using a trowel or scoop. Create a square frame of bricks or pieces of timber to hold the rest of the gravel away from the planting area.
Cut an X shape into the landscape fabric using your sharp knife or garden scissors -- this should be approximately double the size of the plant root-ball. Fold back the four triangular flaps created by your cut to reveal the earth beneath.
Dig a hole for your new plant using the shovel, this should be deep enough for the plant root ball. Add garden compost or potting material and position your plant or shrub in the hole. Use the shovel to replace the garden soil around the plant and firm down.
Water the new plant and pat the triangular-shaped landscape fabric back into position around the plant. Tip the gravel from the bucket around the new plant and remove bricks or timber that are restraining the remaining gravel. Level the gravelled area around the new planting to create a smooth surface.
Tips and warnings
- Add perennial shrubs and plants to your gravel garden, so you are not continually digging it up.
- An empty plant pot is an ideal scoop for gravel.
- Ensure that gravel is held back from the new planting area, as you do not want it to mix in with your garden soil.
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