Pea Gravel vs. River Gravel

pea gravel vs river gravel

If you are trying to determine what type of gravel to use for your next landscaping or outdoor project, you may be wondering whether you should opt for pea gravel or river gravel, or if there is even any difference at all between the two.  In fact, there are more similarities than differences in what you can use the two varieties for, with the primary difference not being dependent on which type you select but rather what size rocks you choose.

For the most part, no matter what it’s called, all gravel comes from rocks that have been in the river for many, many years.  The rocks turn smooth over time from being in the water and the size quoted is determined by the average size of the rocks that you will get in any particular batch.  A specific size doesn’t mean that every single rock in the batch will be uniform, but rather that the average size of the rocks will be in the same general range to provide the most uniform look and function.

When it comes to pea gravel, most people think of it as being a different color than river gravel and in fact it is if you opt for the yellow variety.  The yellow variety includes rocks in shades of yellows, beiges, tans, whites and browns, with a predominantly yellowish hue to the entire batch.  In contrast, what most people think of as the river variety comes in varying shades of grays, although you will also find some more colorful rocks in the mist, such as beiges, reds, tans and whites.  Again, however, the predominant hue is a gray tone.

Many people use these smoothed out rocks for decorative purposes in landscaping projects.  They can be used to line planting beds instead of mulch or can also be used along walkways, pathways and driveways.  When used in this way, the smaller sizes of rocks provide a uniform and compacted base that is easy to walk on.  Not only is this material an attractive option for landscaping and hardscaping projects, but it also offers benefits such as deterring the growth of weeds and being very low maintenance.  In fact, many people like to use the small rocks in place of mulch because they don’t have to be continually replaced year after year.  Other than some minor maintenance, like raking any wayward rocks back into the appropriate area, there is no replacement needed and virtually nothing that needs to be done.

In addition to being a decorative option for planting beds, walkways and driveways, both varieties of gravel in smaller sizes are often found as a base for playgrounds, patios and even dog runs.  Once you get into the larger sizes of stones, there are more specific decorative options available because the larger sized stones do not make for a uniform and easy-to-walk-on surface.  The larger stones can also be used to help with drainage issues.

There are many uses for gravel and among all uses there are many size options to consider as well as color options.  Determining what your intended purpose is, as well as the overall look you are trying to achieve, will help you determine whether you want yellow pea gravel vs. river gravel, as well as the size of the rocks you need to order.

For more information about the varieties of gravel available through ATAK Trucking in NJ and Staten Island for bulk delivery, call 917-912-2900. 

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