How to Edge Gravel

Gravel is a durable, inexpensive landscaping material used for a variety of surfaces including walkways, patios and driveways. Installing gravel is a simple DIY project: simply dig out a foundation and add pack, a blend of gravel and stone dust, to support the surface. The feature is complete once gravel is added and raked evenly. For a finishing touch, edge the gravel surface to retain the rocks and block weeds and grass from encroaching.

Determine the type of landscape edging you will use. Metal and plastic edge restraints offer a simple barrier between the gravel and grass, and blend into the surroundings. Use metal for a straight or angled surface and flexible edging for curved surfaces. For a driveway or primary walkway, use a sturdier restraint like landscape timbers, pavers or natural stones.

Place ropes along the sides of the gravel surface as an outline for the edging. The distance between the edge of the gravel and the ropes should be equal to the width of the stones, timber or bricks plus 2 inches.

Cut into the grass along the ropes with a spade or shovel to dig a trench. Dig down 4 inches for metal or flexible edging. For timbers or natural stones, the trench should be equal to the height of the edging material. Set weed barrier fabric along the length of the trenches.

Add ¾ inch gravel into the trench and pack it down with the back of a spade until you have a layer 2 inches thick. Pour an inch of course sand over the gravel.

Place the timbers, stones or bricks in the trench onto the bed of sand. Set the materials flush against each other and side-by-side or end-to-end. Press them into the sand by applying equal pressure with a mallet. If you're using metal or flexible edging, align the strips against the edge of the surface and secure them in place with a hammer and 9-inch spikes.

Pack stone dust in the joints between timbers, stones or bricks. Backfill the gap between the edging and surface with gravel.

Things You'll Need

  • Ropes
  • Spade or shovel
  • ¾-inch gravel
  • Course sand
  • Edging material
  • Hammer
  • 9-inch spikes
  • Stone dust
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About the Author

Aurora LaJambre is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, N.Y. For over five years she's covered topics in culture, lifestyle, travel, DIY design and green living for print and online media. Her publication credits include "WOW Women on Writing," "Six States" and She graduated from New York University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing.