Do you have to dig a trench for gravel paths?
February 3, 2013 10:30 AM Subscribe
We would like to install a gravel path in the front yard of our house from our concrete entryway to the street (a distance of about 35 feet not including curves), and have received conflicting advice about the need to dig a trench for the path. We were told by a nursery that we could use 4" metal edging, bury 2" of it (leaving 2'' above ground), add landscape fabric (after clearing the grass and weeds, though it's mostly dirt), then fill it in with 1.5" of gravel sitting above the ground, with no need for a trench. Everything we've read online says that you need to dig a trench, then bury the edge flush with the surface of the ground. On one side of the path will be gravel xeriscaping, but most of the path will be surrounded by the level yard. Will edging that sticks out 2 inches above the ground look bad or weird?
posted by odayoday to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Also, if the edging and gravel sit above the ground, how do we deal with the ends of the path that hit the entryway and street, to keep the gravel from spilling over? Do we dig just in front of the ends so the gravel path slopes naturally down to the level of the entryway on one end and the street on the other end? We worry that not sloping the path and just putting an edge against the entryway and street might cause people to trip against the exposed edging as they step onto and off of the path.
It would be far, far easier not to have to dig the trench before installing the path, and considering the fact that we'll be adding gravel xeriscaping on a chunk of the yard against the path on one side, we'd probably have to dig that to the same level, requiring a ton of work. But we want to do it right, so if that's what needs to be done, we'll do it.