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How To Use Gravel for Mulching Small Plants

By parttimegardener
October 25, 2015

When I was getting tired of poking gravel with tweezers or toothpicks out of the rosettes of my sempervivums and jovibarbas after having applied fine gravel as a ground cover, I came up with a new method and applied plants to gravel rather than gravel to plants.

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Name: Judith
Northern Virginia (Zone 7a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oct 31, 2015 4:57 PM CST
Michael, thanks for the excellent article on keeping the gravel off the semps. It's amazing how hard it is to get the gravel out of the leaves once it is wedged in there.

Do you have any tips for drilling those holes in your pots. I have a pretty good quality bit, but it takes me 15 minutes or more to drill a single hole in a high fired pot. I have lots of pots that need drilling. Thanks. Thank You!
Name: Michael
Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany
Sempervivums Hybridizer Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Region: Europe Garden Ideas: Level 1
Nov 1, 2015 3:49 AM CST
Hi Judith,

I'm using a cheap 8mm (about 3/8" ) drill bit for concrete and stone and switch my drill to hammering mode. To protect my plates I place some bubble foil under it and fill the plate about 5 mm ( 1/4") with water for cooling. I always drill from the inside as the first hole tends to break out irregularly on the backside. Then I drill some more holes around the first one and end up with a hole of about 4 cm diameter (1.5") that is sufficient for drainage. As I rarely look at my plates from below I do not care if the hole is not completely round...

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