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28 June 2013

How Gravel can Improve Water Drainage in your Garden

If your garden is becoming waterlogged to the extent where your soil is suffering or your plants are beginning to show signs of distress you should invest in some methods of drainage within your garden. There are several methods of recovering your waterlogged garden but the cheapest and simplest method is through the use of gravel. For some tips on how to use gravel to improve the health of your garden read on.


Before you actually add the gravel to your garden, you need to select the right type of gravel as some rocks are too porous to be of any use to you. Limestone is a prime offender for this as when it comes into contact with water it becomes soft and spongy. This can potentially cause further water retention within your garden, making the problem much worse than before. Walking on your lawn whilst it is still wet can cause the soil to compact and lose its shape. Soil with either grit or gravel in drains water far better than if you use standard soil.



When adding the gravel to your soil it’s best to apply the gravel to the top layers of the earth. If you add the gravel to the bottom layers of the soil it will have less of an effect on drainage as the water will simply gather above the gravel until there is no air left in the soil, only when there is no air remaining will the water drain properly.


With this in mind till your garden until the ground is soft. Once the ground is soft add your gravel to the soil and mix in thoroughly, be cautious that you aren’t using too much gravel as you still want your plants to root properly. With the gravel now in the ground, sprinkle some grass seed over the top of your soil, and your garden should be back in perfect shape before the month is through.


Another method of improving the drainage within your garden that includes the use of gravel would be to install a French drain within your garden. A French drain consists of a trench filled with landscaping fabric, gravel, sand, and some soil to allow the water to drain away harmlessly.


Building your own French drain is fairly simple. The first step in the building of your drain is to locate an ideal site, and to then build your trench; the trench must be wide enough to drain the majority of your garden but not so deep that the water doesn’t run off properly. When you have built your trench line it with landscaping fabric and layer it with gravel, then fold the lining of the fabric over the top of the gravel to prevent dirt from mixing with it. With the gravel in place cover the lining in sand followed by topsoil and sod. With the layer of sod added you have completed the building of your French drain.


For more tips on the use of gravel and how much gravel is required in relation to the size of your garden get in touch with us at Aggregate Shop or check out our latest news.

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posted by Aggregate Shop at 13:21
12 June 2013

Using Gravel in your Pond

There are many different sorts of outdoor gravel, some of which can be used for other purposes, whether this is as paving, an alternative to tarmacking your drive, or to enhance the drainage of water in your potted plants.  But what you probably haven’t considered is using gravel in your pond.


The majority of people are torn on this subject and would give you mixed advice on whether or not outdoor gravel is appropriate for a pond, especially a pond that is inhabited by fish. The main reason for people to be against the idea, is that some outdoor gravel can have adverse effects upon the fish, through changes in the water. If purchasing rocks or gravel from a pet shop is more convenient for you then stick to what you know, but if you’d like a change here are some tips on identifying safe, reliable gravel to use within your pond.


 Most gravel is safe to use in the pond, but some gravel contains high levels of calcium. Calcium can affect the water through hardening and causing changes in the pH. If the gravel that you have selected contains high levels of calcium it’s best to avoid using this type.




Although, how do you know if your gravel is too calcareous? There are several methods of testing your gravel for calcium; the first requires your chosen gravel and some vinegar.

Place a few drops of vinegar onto the gravel that you are thinking of using within your pond, if the gravel begins to foam or fizzes you should avoid using this as it contains too much calcium.


The second method of testing for high levels of calcium within your designated rocks is by acquiring a bucket of the water that you are going to be using within your pond and testing the pH. Once you’ve tested the pH of the water prior to the addition of the gravel, place the gravel within the bucket of water and leave to sit for approximately a week. After a suitable period of time has elapsed, test the water again. If there is significant change in the hardness and pH of the water since the addition of the rocks it’s preferable that you ditch this type of gravel and go for a safer option.


Some known calcium culprits are limestone, dolomite, coral and marble. Whereas some stones that are thought to be less hazardous or perhaps even safe are slate, granite sandstone and onyx, however even though these rocks are considered to be safer than those named previously each of them should still be tested before preceding further as they still pose as a risk to your fish.


Keep in mind that even if the gravel is not calcareous, rough or sharp edges can still harm your fish, so be cautious when deciding on which gravel to use within your pond.


Gravel can be bought from various locations such as garden centres, landscaping companies, and outdoors, so long as you don’t disturb the natural habitat of any animals. Or you could come to us here at Aggregate Shop, as we too sell gravel of all types.

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posted by Aggregate Shop at 16:04
8 June 2013

Benefit of Slate Chippings in your garden

Benefit of Slate Chippings in your garden

 Using slate chippings as mulch can improve the quality of your soil whilst giving benefits akin to good mulches (which might otherwise not look so attractive). Slate chippings are available in a choice of colours and sizes and are inexpensive, meaning that most gardeners will choose to use slate over traditional options.

Slate chippings are very versatile and can be used in numerous situations including paths, driveways and for landscaping. They are also widely used for decorative borders where plants, shrubs and small trees are planted. Borders are usually very prone to weeds and much time in the garden is often spent weeding to ensure that plants grown in them are not suffocated by unwanted growth. Using slate chippings can save you a lot of time by preventing sunlight reaching unplanted areas where weeds are more likely to take hold.

Weed prevention is not the only benefit of using slate chippings. They are also help the soil retain moisture during hot spells where watering is needed more often. Not only do the benefits of slate chippings make them a great choice for gardeners, but for anyone wanting to make a beautiful, modern and colourful statement in their garden.

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posted by Aggregate Shop at 10:55

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