Red lava rock or white marble chips?

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Topic by Cindy posted 04-23-2013 04:09 PM 4818 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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346 posts in 2584 days
hardiness zone 6

04-23-2013 04:09 PM

I’m building a new garden bed and it’s going to be 10’ x 15’. Everything in it is going to be planted in pots (I have very large tree pots, etc). I don’t want to put down pavers because of the labor and cost – I still have to finish my front patio and that will take all my energy! lol

So I’ve decided to lay down heavyweight black landscaping plastic – which I already have a big roll of – and cover the ground with gravel. Easier to weed when wind-blown seeds take root and not muddy like plain ground, and also not mulch – I’m getting earwigs and ants in my mulch around the yard (and I hate rubber mulch so that’s a no-go). The garden will be enclosed by fence and I’m going to line the inside with exterior lumber about 6” tall to keep the gravel from escaping. For gravel I’m going to use something from Walmart because I get a discount, so my choices are the big white marble “chips” (I call them chunks! lol) or the same size red lava rocks. I like the look of the red lava better but I use it in my aquariums to anchor plants to – plants that need to have their roots exposed to the open water, but I digress! – and I know the red lava crumbles and breaks down just by handling it, let alone walking on it. The white marble will last longer I think, as it isn’t a porous rock. The fencing is white so as far as looks go, white will work and my mobile home also is in shades of dove grey and whites.

How do you think a white ground will affect the growth of veggies in dark/black pots? Do you think it can? Less heat retention, or reflected light, etc. Also, does anyone know if the color white attracts any pests like aphids, etc. ~ thanks! ~

-- ~ Cindy, Virginia Appalachians, UDSA Hardiness Zone 6 ~

View jroot's profile


5121 posts in 3503 days
hardiness zone 5a

04-23-2013 04:15 PM

Cindy, I think it will look great. The white will give great light reflection and keep the soil a bit cooler, and that is a good thing. I know that you will keep us posted.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Cindy's profile


346 posts in 2584 days
hardiness zone 6

04-23-2013 04:33 PM

Thanks jroot – I hadn’t really thought about the benefit of the light reflecting, but this is an area that gets afternoon shade so it might help. I was concerned the reflected light might be a problem. In doing some reading just now, it seems night pollinators are attracted to the color white – so that’s good!

-- ~ Cindy, Virginia Appalachians, UDSA Hardiness Zone 6 ~

View Radicalfarmergal's profile


4312 posts in 3136 days
hardiness zone 5b

04-24-2013 04:37 AM

It sounds like it will be lovely. Post photos for us. : )

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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