A sustainable landscape designer is sharing the big mistake she made when designing her own garden — alongside the easy alternative she wishes she’d done instead.
Instagrammer Daryl (@yardfarmer.co) is a landscaper who designs some highly impressive gardens and provides helpful tips, all with a focus on sustainability. But before she was a gardening expert, Daryl made the mistake of putting down gravel paths in her own personal garden, which comes with a laundry list of annoying obstacles.
In a recent reel, she urges fellow gardeners to avoid the same mistake and instead go with a stepping stone path set in living mulch.
Living mulch comes with a ton of benefits, and it’s become a popular way to fill in gaps in your garden’s landscape.
Although gravel has always been a common choice, there’s not much of an upside to using it in your garden. It’s a myth that gravel at the bottom of garden beds helps drainage, and the most common plants seen sprouting in gravel are tough weeds that are difficult to stop from recurring.
Living mulch is the clear winner for many reasons.
How it’s helping
First off, a bed of living mulch serves as a weed killer. A hearty green mulch will create a layer of healthy plants that smother weeds before they even have the chance to sprout. It will also attract helpful insects, retain moisture, and hold the soil together to prevent erosion.
Another reason to use living mulch is that it provides long-term sustainability. Normally, once the warm months have passed, people have no choice but to let their gardens die and begin again the next season.
Living mulch changes that. Green manures cultivate living roots, which will attract the fungi and bacteria that form the basis of good soil. This process continues all through the winter, long after crops from the garden are gone.
Come spring again, the soil will be ready for seeds. No more starting from scratch with your soil every season.
What people are saying
Plenty of gardeners who saw Daryl’s reel are picking up on the advice and avoiding the same mistake.
“Honestly, I was about to lay gravel but am reconsidering now,,” one viewer commented.
Other landscapers are following Daryl’s example and are happy with the results.
“It works really well,” another person added.
Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.