Protect your lawn and add backyard ambiance by simply creating a DIY pea stone patio for your outdoor dining, fire pit, or sitting spaces in as little as two days.
We bought this outdoor teak table dining set a couple of years ago and have enjoyed it so much in our backyard. But unfortunately, our lawn wasn’t liking it as much as we were. There was now a big bare spot under the table, and the chairs were challenging to move around. Not to mention that we had to shift everything each time we mowed the lawn.
Outdoor Dining Space Before
Until we designed, framed, and built this quick and easy DIY pea stone patio to lay beneath our backyard table set. And I wanted to share with you our step-by-step design process in hopes that it may inspire you to add a little ambiance to your own outdoor spaces.
What Do I Need to Build a Pea Stone Patio?
- Driveway Stakes or something similar for marking.
- Red Twine for visibility
- Garden Spade Shovel or the like.
- Wheel Barrel
- Weed Barrier
- Landscape Staples
- Landscape Edging
- Pea Stone | River Rock
- Grass Seed
- Magic Marker and Scissors
“This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.”
What is Pea Stone or Gravel? Pea Stone or Gravel is a top choice and very versatile standard gravel, crushed stone, river rock, and decomposed granite. And there are many popular choices. The stones are about the size of peas and are a long-lasting solution for walkways, patios, ground cover, flower beds, and other landscaping needs.
How to Build a Small Pea-Stone Patio
Choosing Your Pea Stone Patio Design
Choose your space and decide if you want a round, oval, rectangle, square, or whimsical patio based on your own outdoor location.
Mark Out Your Patio Design
Use the driveway stakes to mark out the area and design.
After trying out a few different design shapes with our driveway stakes, we decided that we wanted our pea-stone patio to be oval. It would run up against our whimsical-shaped pea stone walkway, and with all the straight lines and corners of the house, I felt like a square patio would add too many more straight lines along with the rectangle teak table setting. So we settled on an oval circular patio design.
Dig Rim Around Patio Markers
Next, we used a garden spade shovel and dug a 2″ rim around the table markers to serve as the perimeter for our small pea stone patio.
Next, we dug up all the grass within the circular patio we designed. Placing it in a wheelbarrow for easy removal.
Here too, you can easily see how the lawn was completely worn underneath where the teak table sat.
You may also enjoy My First Time Using a Paint Sprayer, What You Need to Know post. And see the raised garden bed painted today with white flowers in it next to our new pea stone patio.
Rake the Patio Area
How to rake a pea gravel patio?
Once the lawn was removed from the patio design, we cleared the area of any rocks and debris with a garden rake. We are trying to make the dirt as even as possible inside our circular pea stone patio space.
Leveling the Dirt
Once our circular patio space was all dug out and raked, it was important to ensure it was all level, as we want our teak table setting to lay flat on the pea stone once it is all completed.
This is where the red twine comes in.
Using our driveway markers still, we tied the twine around one of the markers at the top edge of the dirt patio.
And then, pulling it tight, tied that twine to another driveway marker at the same edge of the patio. We used a magic marker to mark where the twine was tied and did this throughout each marker. The twine should crisscross over the dirt nice and tightly.
Having two people to do this is helpful, as you want the twine to be nice and tight across.
Then using a level, we made sure each crossing twine in the dirt patio space was level, and then we raked the dirt again, even to the leveled twine.
After your dirt is leveled, you may remove the driveway markers and twine to lay the landscape edging in preparation next for the weed barrier.
Install Landscape Edging and Weed Barrier
Now, it’s time to install the landscape edging and weed barrier.
*Update~ We later designed a similar pea stone patio around our stone fire pit and omitted the landscape edging. Which I actually prefer. See more at the bottom of this post.
You can install landscape edging in many ways, from adding pavers, rocks, or bricks around the edging to this simple method of using plastic landscape edging.
We chose to use a simple plastic landscape edging and to install it deep enough into the patio’s dirt edging, so you won’t be able to see it once we add the pea stone for a clean, simple patio finish.
We dug a moat around the dirt patio to set the landscape edging into. And then secured the weed barrier over the dirt to protect the weeds from growing up once the pea stone is in place.
We secured the weed barrier with old landscape staples that we found in our garage. You can also purchase landscape staples at your local hardware store or nursery to secure your weed barrier tarp.
The landscape edging came with its own 6″ staples to secure the patio edging.
And Ella, our Bernese Mountain dog, was really enjoying this patio landing while we waited on the pea stone to arrive as her bone chewing station… Ella has allergies to grass, so this was a new, welcomed addition for her…
So far, the time it took for us to get here was two half days of work or one full day. Now, all that was left to do was to have the pea stone delivered and level it all into this patio design.
One could most definitely complete this simple pea stone patio in one day’s time if you planned ahead and had the pea-stone already in hand, which we did not.
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- How to Repurpose an Oil Lamp into a Unique Flowers Vase
- How We Designed & Built A Pea Stone Patio in 2 Days
Watch this Pea Stone Patio Being Built in Action:
Wrapping Up the Pea Stone Patio
Many pea stone options are available through local landscapers, hardware stores, greenhouses, and even on Amazon.
We chose the river rock pea-stone, which matches the two walkways that we already have at our home. I love its natural coloring and texture that it adds to our landscape.
You may also enjoy White & Green Rustic Summer Flower Planters Sure To Charm You post with more outdoor landscaping ideas.
How much does pea stone or gravel cost?
The cost of the pea stone was $61.00 a yard delivered.
How much pea stone do I need?
We had 3 yards of river rock pea stone delivered from our local nursery. This was what was required for delivery, and we could use any excess on our two walkways. We ended up using only about a quarter of this for our patio, as an FYI.
Pea stone is also available in bags if you are interested in purchasing a number of bags instead of having your stone delivered as we did.
Then we shoveled a good layer of the river rock pea stone to the top of the patio’s rim that we had earlier prepared.
Ideally, you will want to roll and press the stone down as tight as you can. We didn’t have anything to roll our pea stone, but the tighter you can press the stone down, the more stabilized it will be.
Lastly, we raked soil around the newly built patio and planted grass seed. The grass will cover up the black landscape edging, leaving a clean round river rock pea stone patio when the grass grows in.
Oh, and we didn’t let a little rain stop us, either…
I’d love to know what you think. I’ll update this post again, too, once the grass grows in around the edges and when the sun arrives again in Maine…
See more of this finished pea stone patio here:
Pea Stone Patio Fire Pit
In this pea stone patio design, we forgo the plastic landscape edging. We felt like this space really didn’t need it.
I’m so glad you dropped by, and if you are new to my blog, welcome! I hope you enjoyed visiting our Home in Coastal Maine with us today.
Be sure also to check out our Home in Vermont, where we spend winters enjoying the coziness of home in the Green Mountains of Vermont.