Gravel (River Rock) or Crushed Rock?
River rock or gravel is round, smooth rock naturally shaped by erosion or weather as in a river or water setting. River rock does not pack and so is loose and rolls around. Its uses include drainage or decorative such as dry creeks. The various sizes are commonly known as Pea Gravel (3/8″), Concrete (3/4″), Drain (1-1/2″), and Oversized (2″-6″). Pea gravel and concrete rock are in concrete mixes. Drain, oversize and concrete rock commonly appear in ponds and water features. Drain and concrete rock are used as ground cover.
Crushed rock is machined-crushed rock and screened. The rock is angular with jagged edges. The minus after the size (3/4″ Minus or 3/4-“) means that all the fines, smaller pieces or stone dust are included up to 3/4”. The fines help for tamping or compacting to ensure a stable and hard surface. Its uses include roads, driveway, patio base, retaining wall base, or other projects needing a solid foundation. Clean crushed has been screened to remove most of the fines.
Consider how the rock will be used. Is its purpose for drainage, decorative, or solid foundation surfaces? Will it require landscape fabric to ward off weeds and keep it above dirt or mud? Will it scatter and need landscape edging to keep it in place? Will it stick to shoes and track into the house scratching hardwood floors? Will it need a stabilizer product to keep it together? Will it require raking? Will it allow dragging garbage cans or lawn mowers across it? Is it walkable and/or barefoot appropriate? Will it survive mud or moss?