The Debate: Pea Stone vs. Mulch

| 6/25/2015 9:48:00 AM

Country MoonRight about this time of year all the landscaping projects that have been in the works since early spring are coming together. At the tail end of most projects, most people usually incorporate some kind of mulch or landscaping rock to set off the new design.

The question becomes which one is best. The answer depends on different variables such as how permanent you want it to be, if you are trying to retain moisture, will people be walking on it or is it for aesthetic purposes only, etc. We have run the gamut from just about every kind of mulch to every variety of landscaping rock.

Thankfully, two years ago Jim had the foresight to redo most of our landscaping areas and use pea stone. These small rocks are worn smooth over time by wind and water, and they come in various colors. It is almost as if they are polished by Mother Nature.

For our yard, this choice has been a godsend. We have a lot of maple trees in the yard that are magnificent except for spring when they produce the helicopter seedlings and in the fall with all the leaves. In both the mulch and larger river rock that we had down before, the seedlings and the stems of the leaves would become wedged in and even leaf blowers couldn’t budge them. As for the pea stone, leaves, seedlings, twigs and most all other debris glide right over the top and you have a clean bed of stone left behind.

Another advantage of pea stone is that it is easy to handle, not being as heavy as other rock, yet it stays where it is placed. We have a long area along the drive where grass would not grow and the area is plagued by raised tree roots. In between the trees Jim landscaped with various antiques, bottle trees and other yard ornaments. Then we took the loader tractor and dumped buckets of pea stone in and raked it level. Our trouble spot has now become a virtually maintenance-free landscaped area.

Another advantage of the pea stone is if you lay it 2 to 3 inches deep, it becomes a natural weed block without the need to lay landscaping plastic under it. Except for an occasional lonely straggler once in a while, weeds are pretty hard-pressed to spring up in this bed of stone. It is also light enough to be used around small plants and is great for both large and small areas.

6/2/2016 4:43:32 PM

Guess it's pea-rock for me. Want to keep the weeds down and have something that will last a long time. Thanks!

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