Landscape Materials & Supplies Guide: The best supplies for your landscaping project

Landscaping garden path

Landscaping materials being used to create garden path

Landscaping supplies can be a significant cost in developing any garden or outdoor area. There are many different landscaping materials that can be used that all differ in price.

Before starting any landscaping project, understanding the suitable materials to use is essential for a successful space. We’ve put together a guide to help you choose which supplies are the best for you, some prep work to consider, and more. 

Key considerations before buying landscaping materials

Consider the cost

The cost of landscaping supplies differs depending on the type and amount of material that is being purchased. Cheaper materials may be less durable and could also have the potential to be less pure (e.g. mulch or soil may contain pests).

Transportation prices are also a significant cost, and it is recommended to source from closer suppliers or stores to reduce the cost significantly.

Consider the availability

It is best to gather information before deciding which material will be used for your landscaping project. The availability of materials must be taken into consideration; the availability of certain materials may vary from one locality to the next, or from season to season.

Before purchasing your materials, the waiting time needs to be considered, as you may need to wait weeks or months until the material becomes available or can arrive at the job site.

Soil

Soil is a crucial factor in how well plants are able to grow, or how you may need to level any areas of your garden. Depending on if the soil is being added to a garden bed, the soil selected will need to be suitable and complement the existing dirt found on site. To avoid damage to the existing soil structure, the new soil should be laid over the top or mixed into the existing soil.

When selecting the type of soil, more research needs to be done including texture. Poorer soils may be full of clay lumps or rocks. The scent of the earth will give an indication of whether it contains stagnant water or undecomposed organic materials or toxins.

Generally, soils should be well-drained with a good blend of silt, clay, sand, and organic matter to ensure healthy and robust soil. An adequate soil with organic matter found in it will have a dark appearance with an earthy moist smell.

Soil

Soil Pricing

Soil can differ in pricing depending on the type and amount being ordered by the customer. The average pricing is $55.00 per cubic meter, with delivery costs depending on the location.

Sand

There are many different types of sand that can be used in the garden. The types of sand available will vary depending on the location of the job site. There are many different colours of sand that also differ in particle size.

Sand can come from quarries or be mined from sand dunes. It can be contaminated with salt, dirt, rocks, and other unwanted materials; however, river sand or washed sand should be free from contaminants.

The type of job that the sand is being used for will impact the type of sand being used. For example, coarse washed sand is suitable to be used as a base for pavings, pathways and driveways.

Sand being used to fill between pavers

Sand Pricing and Cost

Depending on the type of sand being used, the price will differ from an average of $66.00 - $70.00, with delivery costs varying depending on the location of the supplier and job site.

Mulches

Two basic types of mulch can be used for gardening purposes, inorganic and organic.

Inorganic mulch includes materials such as gravel and pebbles. In contrast, organic mulches are made from plant materials and animal manures. Selecting which type of mulch to use will be dependent on what is available on the job site and the time of year.

Wood chips are widely-used for mulch; they are made from bark or timber. The chips tend to break down slowly and come in a variety of different sizes, with the larger sized particles taking a longer time to break down.

One problem with organic mulch is the process known as 'nitrogen draw down'. If mulches have not been adequately composted, they will decompose on the garden ground. Rather than adding nutrients to the soil, they will take nitrogen from the earth as they break down.

Mulch in garden

Mulch Pricing

The average pricing of mulch will differ from inorganic and organic mulch and can cost between $38.50-$75.02 per cubic meter.

Timber

Timber is an important material that can be used for retaining walls, fences, and other structures within gardens. There are two main types of timber best suited for landscaping: pine and hardwood.

Pine

Pine is a softwood timber that is cheaper and easy to work with; however, it is prone to bowing and is not very durable unless treated. Once treated, pine is an excellent material to use that will resist termites and other conditional deterioration.

Hardwood

Hardwood timbers are usually solid and durable, both the original material and the time it has been dried determine the strength of the timber.

Timber planks

Concrete Pavers

Paving is an essential component of many gardens or outdoor areas; paving can vary from creating a series of stepping stones, paths, or driveways. Concrete pavers allow for all-weather access to parts of the garden, outdoor areas, or the house. Paving materials need to be hard-wearing and durable; due to this, paving is an expensive component of the garden. A good quality concrete paver will have minimal ability to crack and move when securely installed.

Concrete Pavers being laid on crusher dust

Concrete Paver Pricing

The average pricing of concrete pavers is around $42.00 per square meter; however, this can differ depending on the supplier and delivery. 

Gravel & pebbles

Gravel and pebbles have two primary uses; they can be used as a base for paving or as a feature of their own.

Gravel that contains different sized particles can be used underneath pavers to create extra support. When gravel is compacted to provide support for the paving, it creates a stable base.

Coloured gravel and pebbles can be used as a feature or alongside mulch in garden beds. When creating a garden feature, selecting gravel and pebbles of similar sizes is recommended. It can either be a uniform colour or a mix of colours and can also control weeds using a porous weed mat under the gravel.

Garden Pebbles

Gravel and Pebble Pricing

The cost of gravel and pebbles differ greatly depending on the type of gravel and pebble being used. Each customer is recommended to contact a supplier and get a quote on the specific type of gravel or pebble they want.

Rock

Landscape materials such as rocks can be a great feature in the garden. Creating a more natural look, particularly with plants spilling over the top.

The type of rocks available range from yellow sandstone to volcanic rock, depending on the site's location. It is important to select rocks with an attractive 'face' to achieve the desired design.

Rock Pricing

The pricing of rock differs depending on the supplier as well as the delivery; however, the average cost is around $66.00 per cubic meter. 

Talk to a professional

Deciding on which type of landscaping materials and supplies are best for your project is important to consider before starting a new project. For more information on landscaping materials and supplies, visit our website at iseekplant where customers can browse our marketplace to source contractors, services or equipment. 

Got any more questions? Email our project team for any queries you may have.

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