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Deciding Whether To Use Gravel or Grass for Your Yard

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By : Fredrica Smith    99 or more times read
Home maintenance entails various tasks, and one of these is to enhance the look of your property. By initially improving your landscape, you are boosting the total appeal of your home. And your primary concern for this project is to select the right kind of material for your yard. For starters, gravel and grass are the two most common choices for a lot of home owners.

Both these materials have special attributes which affect their costs and maintenance needs. Moreover, both gravel and grass have different types, thus your choices can be overwhelming at first. Through the overviews below per material, you can narrow down your selection so you can immediately start your yard beautification endeavor.

Gravel is made of small rocks of various mineral make-up like limestone, dolomite or quartz. It also comes in two main types such as washed or river stones and man-made rocks. Washed stones are generally smooth and round or oblong in shape, thus making them more decorative. The most popular variety of this type is the pea stone, which comes in different colors like off-white, yellow, brown or crimson. Man-made rocks are those with sharp edges due to the crushing method they went through. These are known to be durable as they can support weight of cars. Granite is the most widely used man-made utility gravel. Other gravel varieties include bank gravel, creek rock and pay dirt.

Prices of decorative and utility gravels range from $50 to $80 and $25 to $50 per ton, respectively. A ton of gravel can cover from 30 to 100 square feet of land at 2 inches deep, depending on the size of the rocks. Gravel rocks can be from 1/8 to 2 inches in diameter apiece.

Due to the wide-ranging qualities of gravel rocks, they can be used in many ways. They can serve as ground covering or fillers for pathways, driveways or plant beds. Some home owners with cold-climate gardens are especially in favor of putting gravel in their yard because these stones aid maintaining proper moisture and temperature for the plants. This material is preferred by home owners with a rather busy schedule because of its low maintenance requirement, which includes regular removal of weeds underneath the stones and clearing off debris.

Grass species are typically classified into two categories known as cool-season and warm-season grasses. These categories have their own subtypes too. Bluegrass, fescue, ryegrass and bentgrass are the four main cool-season kinds. These can grow in areas where soil temperatures are at 65 degrees or lower. Bermuda, Centipede, St. Augustine, Kikuyu, Zoysia and Evergreen are the common favorite warm-season subtypes. These mostly have tropical origins and such intrinsic quality make them thrive during hot climates. But some warm-season grasses like hybrid Bermuda and Zoysia can handle cold environments as well.

Each variant of grass has specific blade thickness and texture which can be fine, sharp or coarse. Each type also has different growth expansions from low to high. And while all grasses are generally green, they differ in darkness or lightness of shade and some even turn brown during extreme weathers.

The cost of having grass as your yard ground cover depends on how you want to get it. If you like to personally grow them, grass seeds would be preferable. These are priced from $16 to $20 per ten pounds. If you want an ‘instant’ lawn, sod or grass in mats, nets or rolls would be great for you. Rolls of sod cost 14 to 60 cents per square foot, depending on the quality and variety of grass.

Grass has multifaceted flexibility as well. It can be shaped into any form or combined with other plants. Home owners who want lush soft-looking gardens, this is a perfect material. But due to its numerous maintenance needs like constant watering, trimming and supplying of fertilizers, it would not be suitable for home owners with hectic routines.

Upon looking at the qualities of gravel and grass, you can better decide which one would make your yard very appealing. Just take note that in picking the material, think about your needs, style and schedule.
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