Gravel

Definition - What does Gravel mean?

Gravel is made up of a variety of rock fragments that vary in size. Contrary to popular belief, gravel does not necessarily consist of tiny, powdery rock particles, but can range from granule to boulder in terms of size. Gravel is traditionally used to make roads, paths, and even gardens. It is formed through erosion and weathering.

In hydroponics, gravel can be used as an anchor for the roots of the plant to hold on to, but it doesn't absorb and retain moisture. This makes it more ideal for passive, expandable drip and NFT systems.

MaximumYield explains Gravel

The water current in rivers and waves can pile up fairly large accumulations of gravels. In such cases, the gravel can become concreted and compacted into rocks, a process known as conglomerate. Man-made gravel is produced by crushing tough rocks such as basalt, limestone, and sandstone.

There are several different types of natural gravel: Piedmont gravel, for example, has a coarser texture and is carried down from mountain streams. Crushed stone gravel, on the other hand, is man-made and consists of different types of stones and rocks that have been crushed together. This is often made from dolomite, limestone, and granite, and is used to surface driveways and roads.

Unlike traditional gardens, gravel-based ones do not require a lot of maintenance. Gravel gardens are ideal for plants such as Phlomis, Santolina, Cistus, Euphorbias, and Lavender.

It is advisable to cover the soil with sheets of landscape fabrics beforehand to prevent weed growth. When creating a gravel garden, particular attention should be paid to the placement to ensure that the plants benefit from the proper temperature, moisture, and lighting.

Proper soil preparation is also crucial for the plants to thrive and grow within the gravel surface. Another advantage of gravel gardens is that they can be shaped in just about any pattern.

Finally, gravel can also be used to create a bottom layer in any potting mix. Having an inch or two of gravel in the bottom of the container ensures the plant has better drainage.

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