Use pea gravel for a patio by first working the soil to a depth of about six inches, installing a three-inch layer of coarse stone and topping the patio off with another three inches of pea gravel. Prevent weeds and mud in your patio by installing a sheet of landscaping fabric beneath the coarse stone layer.
Pea gravel, being a loose paving material, has a tendency to travel to other parts of the yard. A perimeter fence of some kind keeps pea gravel contained in the patio area. A raised line of stones or bricks or even an inexpensive perimeter of plastic edge fencing is usually sufficient for keeping the small stones where they belong.
Many improperly installed pea gravel patios make standing or walking difficult. The most common reason for this is an insufficient or completely absent underlying coarse stone layer. The coarse stone layer gives the smaller stones that make up pea gravel a firm foundation, and it prevents them from moving around too much. Using a steel honeycomb frame along with coarse stones for the bottom layer provides an even sturdier foundation.
Maintain a pea gravel patio with occasional raking to level out the top layer. Making pea gravel patios safe during snowy and icy conditions is somewhat difficult, as water seeps down between the numerous small stones. Rock salt makes an effective preventative measure against snow and ice, but it is not very effective after a patio freezes.