What is Gravel Gardening? Learn How to Grow Veggies in Gravel!

Did you know that you can grow flowers and vegetables in a garden nourished by gravel?

That’s right, rocks do a lot more than just lay there. In this post, we share the secrets of gravel gardening and how to create your own rocky veggie patch at home. Let’s go!

What is Gravel Gardening?

Gravel gardening, also called geological agriculture, is a soil-less method that can effectively grow all types of crops using crushed sedimentary rock.

This is an ideal technique for any type of property, especially homes with a small backyard.

How Does Gravel Gardening Nourish Plants?

You might be scratching your head and wondering how on earth plants can grow out of rocks. It works due to a nutrient transfer that occurs between gravel, water,  seeds, and roots.

River rock, pea gravel, and sedimentary rock are three materials that release potassium, silica, and copper, which are all vital nutrients that plants need to thrive. 

Oxygen, water, and sunlight complete the equation to create the perfect agricultural environment.

Starting a Low-Maintenance Gravel Garden in Your Backyard

The key to creating a successful gravel garden is to plan carefully. Once you have chosen the best materials for your needs, it’s a relatively easy process to get everything set up.

1. Choose a spot

Start by walking your property and observing the areas of your yard that receive ample sunlight, with plenty of room for plants to grow. Keep in mind that the plants should be spaced 10 to 18 inches apart.

2. Choose your gravel

As we mentioned above, river rock, pea gravel, and sedimentary rock release the nutrients plants need to flourish. Pea gravel is easy to find in most garden supply stores and is low-maintenance.

Before laying down the gravel, you can add a layer of soil or compost if you desire.

Cover your garden bed with 4-5 inches of pea gravel. This ensures proper drainage and prevents root balls from drying out.

3. Choosing the right plants

Always start with plants that are drought tolerant and native to the region where you live. Other than that, vegetables that grow above the ground are best for a gravel garden.

Here are some vegetables that do well in gravel:

  • Beans
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Melons
  • Peas

Once your plants are in place in the gravel, use a rake to level the gravel for a cleaner look. 

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