People undoubtedly have gardens and backyards, and they enjoy beautifying them. People frequently step on your freshly mowed lawn, causing you to become irritated. It would be far better to have a garden path for them to walk on.
However, you may find installing a walkway time-consuming, expensive, and too much of a challenge considering your garden path needs to be on a slope. Luckily, gravel paths can provide a solution, yet you may think of these as a struggle to stop gravel moving downhill.
For pathways, gravel paths are the most cost-effective option, and there are ways of building a gravel driveway on a hill using the same techniques as your path.
In our guide, you can learn how to create a gravel pathway on a slope, and by the end, you’ll have a pleasing yard, and you can get up your game and build a gravel driveway on a slope since you know about stabilizing gravel on a slope. (Learn How To Hang Plants From Ceiling Without Drilling)
Why is Your Gravel Sliding Downhill?
Gravel sliding is frequently caused by incorrect installation. Material can slide downhill or be swiftly destroyed by vehicle traffic if the gravel was not spread to the proper depth, drainage was not planned, or an improper gravel kind was utilized.
- The gravel was not laid properly.
- The gravel was the wrong kind.
- Water runoff from heavy rain.
- The incline is too steep.
Gravel placed on a slope with a grade of over 15% drop on a distance of 100 feet is unlikely to stay in place, regardless of the building methods used. If your driveway slopes more than this, consider rerouting to an area that offers a more gradual path around your yard.
What is the Best Type of Gravel for a Slope?
When laying a sloped driveway or path, angular gravel is the ideal choice. When laying a driveway or path, especially on a slope, always use angular gravel.
These sharper stones have a rough surface to provide extra grip and lock together to prevent slippage. For example, Pea gravel and river rock are smooth gravel that slides readily and can be slippery when wet.
The gravel should be laid in three layers, first with large gravel, then medium gravel, and finally small gravel on top. To construct an appropriate base for a driveway or walkway, different gravel must be used. You may create a firmer base with good drainage by laying large gravel first, then gradually shifting to smaller gravel.
Following this, here are the best ways of keeping gravel in position on a pathway slope.
There are several ways to make gravel laid on a slope more stable. Several techniques offer a long-lasting surface resistant to erosion, ruts, flooding, and more. Taking the time early on can save time and effort for continual raking on your pathway later. (Learn How Much Liquid Chlorine To Add To Pool)
Use Gravel Grids
Installing a plastic or geotextile grid before dumping gravel on steeper slopes is an excellent technique for keeping gravel in place. The honeycomb construction creates “cups” to catch and hold on to the gravel.
- Before adding gravel, anchor your grid to the soil with rebar pegs or similar to offer more support.
- Fill your grid with crushed stone—use #3, which will be a 1/2–2 inch gravel mix.
- Fill the gravel grid using the #3 crushed stone, and on top of this, use the smaller gravel such as #57 followed by something like #411 to create a more refined, more compact gravel path.
- Using this technique, you can even keep gravel in place on steeper slopes or driveways.
Build a Gravel Base Layer
For more extensive pathways or driveways, you need to build your path to a depth of 8–10 inches when adding your gravel to an elevation. While it can be hard work, here are the steps to create a gravel surface to withstand vehicle traffic on a slope without slipping:
- Excavate 8–12 inches and grade the area for the driveway.
- Install any culverts that need to run beneath the gravel.
- Lay 4 inches of stone or the #3 crushed rock, and then roll to compact.
- Next, lay the next 4 inches of crushed stone at number #57. Roll this and compact it against the first layer.
- Spread the next 4 inches of crushed stone number #411 and compact.
It’s critical to layer your gravel and compact each layer with a lawn roller. Moving from large to smaller gravel is essential for constructing a stable gravel base. This enables adequate drainage and compaction, increasing durability and making the area more resistant to flooding. (Learn How To Propagate Pothos)
Create Proper Drainage
- Gravel sliding downhill or forming deep ruts is frequently caused by washouts and flooding; therefore, good drainage is critical.
- A dry gravel path or driveway has a much better chance of staying in position, so if you’re building a new gravel walkway, concrete culverts can be installed beneath the gravel to direct water under the gravel rather than over the top or through it.
- Dig a deep drainage trench drain across existing gravel walkways and driveways to keep them dry and offer stability.
- Because your gravel is on a slope, you’ll have ideal conditions for digging drainage trenches to safely move water downhill before it pools around your gravel as it would on flat areas.
Building a Gravel Pathway On a Slope
Here are the steps you need to make your gravel pathway on a slope. You’ll see the materials required are much less than the effort required to make your walkway.
Dig the Path’s Route
Digging out the shape of the path is the first step, so start by marking the area and shape of your path with a garden hose or a length of rope. You can even use spray paint in the form of line-marking paint to spray lines easily.
Using your square-edged spade, break up the sod and remove the soil inside your border to a depth of 4 inches.
Make a Trench
Use the square-edged spade to dig the trench so that the sides are straight and the bottom is as level as possible. Check the depth of the trench with a tape measure now and again. After that, use a steel rake to smooth the trench’s bottom and a hand tamper to compact the soil.
Add Your Crushed Stone
Line the trench with about 2/12 inches of the crushed stone pack after smoothing and compacting the soil on the bottom. To level the surface of the material, rake it.
Compact the Stone
Spray the stone pack softly with a garden hose or a watering can to dampen it. Then pound the stone pack into a smooth, hard surface using a 6- or 8-inch-square hand tamper. Dampening the crushed stone helps further compaction and reduces dust.
Add Landscape Fabric
Over the crushed stone pack lay a layer of landscape fabric with the shiny side up. Make relief cuts along the outside and interior edges of the fabric to mold it around curves. Overlap the fabric and covering the cuts to the inside of the curve. Allow the cloth to open up at the cuts on the outside. Use spikes or pins to keep the fabric taut and stop it from bunching. (Find Landscape Design Software Free)
Install Your Edging
Make a template spreader bar to keep the two parallel lengths of edging lined up at an even 3-foot distance apart. To do this, cut two grooves in a scrap piece of 2×3 lumber three feet apart. Ensure the cuts are wide enough to pass some galvanized steel edging.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and use your edge pieces to line the inside of the trench, putting them on top of the landscape fabric. Across the first section of the path’s route, slide the template onto both pieces of edging.
For installing the edging into the ground, push it through the cloth, using a woodblock and a large hammer.
Check that the edging is going in precisely straight and not bending into the trench as you hammer it into the ground. Never hammer directly on your steel edging, as you can dent the zinc-galvanized covering and cause rusting; always use the woodblock against the steel.
Backfill along the rear of the edging when all your edging is in position.
Fill Path with Gravel
Pour enough gravel to come within 1/2 inch of the edging’s top. Rake out the gravel evenly, ensuring that no landscape fabric shows through.
Flowerbeds or sod can surround the path, and you can easily maintain the path by raking it smooth, and occasionally, you can replenish it with more gravel as required.
Adding a Walkway Surface
Although a new gravel path uses the most common path materials, you can choose from others. Here are the various materials to offer a durable surface on a steep slope.
- Concrete step stones or asphalt are common, yet you can just as easily use crushed rocks and bricks if you want to make a unique design.
- Finer gravel is the best-used material for stone pathways.
- Coarser gravel won’t be as stable as finer gravel and is harder to walk on.
- Pebbles and Pea gravel offer a shiny stone surface.
- Flagstone walkway can offer a unique design, yet you need to bed these on sand so the pavers can be leveled as you install your path.
To ensure stability, start by constructing a two-inch-thick sand bed. After that, lay the gravel and rake it to keep it level. Install side railings such as the edging, or you can use upended bricks and pavers on the walking surface.
Install Garden Steps
To make it easier for anyone in your garden to climb or descend the stone walkway, place the steps in steep or straight spots.
You can zigzag steep areas and pour concrete over the area to make the steps. You can use wood for a more natural look.
- Cut out the stairs into the grass landscape with a six-inch height and six-inch depth with your shovel. Create a wooden frame for each step or paver with a board, making sure the stairs appear level.
- Pour the concrete into the frames according to the package specifications. Wait for it to dry out.
- Once the concrete has dried, remove the boards.
- Prepare the way for the pavers by digging a two-inch trench using the railroad ties and shovel.
- Add your pavers onto the ground and fill in your edging where required.
- Most times, you can add handrails to the edges, so your pavers are not just left open.