How to Use Pea Stone for Landscaping


Pea stone is frequently sold as a landscaping mulch for use in gravel pathways or other locations where you do not want grass to grow. Unlike organic mulches such as bark, pea stone will not allow new grass to become established in the mulch surface and will not require replacing because of the mulch breaking down. Pea gravel is not a good mulch for flower beds because of the gravel's tendency to absorb heat and release it into the soil.

Step 1

Measure and mark the boundaries of your pathway or other project using a measuring tape and spray paint.

Step 2

Remove sod and a 4-inch thick layer of soil with a sod cutter, shovel and spade.

Step 3

Compact the surface of your project using a tamping tool. Ensure the surface is level by placing a plywood board down over the surface of the soil and placing a carpenter's level over the board.

Step 4

Cover the soil with landscaping cloth. Tack the cloth to the soil using landscaping pins.

Step 5

Place metal edging against the side walls of your pathway or project. Position the edging metal stakes against the soil and pound them into place with a rubber mallet. The stakes will hold the edging in place against frost heave, which is caused when the earth's freeze-and-thaw cycle pushes edging upward.

Step 6

Fill the recess in the soil with pea gravel to a depth of 4 inches.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Spray paint
  • Spade
  • Sod cutter
  • Shovel
  • Tamping tool
  • Plywood board
  • Carpenter's level
  • Black plastic barrier cloth
  • Landscaping cloth pins
  • Edging
  • Rubber mallet
  • Pea stone


  • This Old House: How to Lay a Gravel Path
  • Texas A&M University Extension: Mulches for Enhanced, Low Cost, Low Maintenance Landscapes
  • Colorado State University Extension: Mulches for Home Grounds

Who Can Help

  • New Mexico State University:Mulches for Gardens and Landscapes
Keywords: mulching options, using pea gravel, landscaping

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."