Landscaping solutions - gravel retention

One of the key issues associated with using gravel in a landscaping scheme is its migration to other surfaces. There are misconceptions around gravel driveways, in particular, that they are difficult to maintain and keep looking good. Fortunately, there are easy measures to keep gravel in its intended place and help minimise the maintenance that make this versatile surface finish more attractive.

To keep a gravel driveway looking smart, it’s essential that the gravel stays where it should be. If it moves out of place, unsightly thin patches can appear, while piles of the material build up around the edges. The gravel can also make its way into flower beds, lawns, paths, and roads. It can even make its way into your home.

The causes of gravel migration

Car wheels, footfall and rain can all cause the material on a gravel driveway to move out of place. Driving carelessly and allowing wheels to spin can kick up gravel, causing ruts and an uneven surface. Pushchairs or wheelbarrows can cause displacement, producing an uneven and unattractive surface. Of course, a driveway’s purpose is to be used, so some gravel movement should be expected, but it should be minimal if the right precautionary measures are taken.

The solution to gravel movement

The secret to preventing gravel migration on a driveway, path or patio, is to install a gravel retention system. These systems are designed to hold gravel in place and prevent its migration to other areas, as well as preventing ruts and bare patches. Most gravel retention systems are based on similar designs – interlocking grids feature cellular structure.

Gravelrings from Growtivation’s Product That Works range of professional landscaping solutions, is one such system. However, the Gravelrings system has design features that set it apart from others on the market. Gravelrings gravel grids’ circular cells – the strongest geometric shape – provide the most robust design on the market, with a load bearing capacity over 350 tonnes per square metre.

Gravelrings’ exclusive grid design also prevents silt build-up, which helps to prevent the growth of weeds. This is achieved by the inclusion of an integral mesh base on each gravel mat, which also prevents the gravel from being able to move beneath the grid system, causing it to rise and create an uneven surface, while allowing water to filter through. Designed to be overfilled to avoid being visible, the 25mm depth of the Gravelrings gravel mats also provides hidden stability beneath the surface of the gravel driveway, preventing the shifting and sinking of the aggregate over time.

Installing a gravel retention system

Whilst a gravel grid system is designed to hold gravel in place, it needs to be installed correctly in order to perform this crucial role. If a gravel driveway using a grids is not laid correctly, movement of the aggregate is likely to still occur, creating all the issues your client is expecting them to prevent.

As with all landscaping proper preparation of the ground surface is key. This should include excavation to remove the top soil and expose a layer of firm subsoil, followed by the laying of a suitable geotextile membrane, such as the heavy duty Drivetex geo fabric from Growtivation, which should be secured with fixing pegs. MOT Type 1 aggregate or Type 3 for porous, SuDS-compliant installations should then be laid to provide a firm sub-base, and this should then be covered with a thin layer of sharp sand or granite fines to level out the surface.

The surface is then ready for the driveway grid system to be laid, ensuring that it can perform its task of keeping the gravel in place.

With 20 years’ experience, Growtivation understands the needs of landscaping professionals and has concentrated on providing high performance solutions with our Product That Works range.

Find out more about the Growtivation Product That Works range by downloading our Product Guide.

To find out where you can buy Growtivation products visit our online Where to Buy facility or contact the friendly team at Growtivation for advice on 0800 197 8885 or email