Rock that has been sorted or crushed into different sizes makes a great material to use as a ground cover for landscaping your yard. When you change your yard to a drought-friendly rock landscape, you will save on water costs and make your landscaping low maintenance and attractive. Here are three tips to be successful at making your yard over with rock landscaping.
Install it Right
It is important to lay down your gravel only after you have completed the right preparation. Dig down two inches into any soil that you will be spreading with gravel. This will allow enough space for the gravel to stay in place instead of spilling out into the surrounding spaces.
Once you have dug out a couple of inches of soil from the area, spread a layer of landscaping fabric, covering all areas of the soil that will be covered in rock. This is to keep weeds and other plants from growing up through the gravel. Use landscape fabric pins to hold down the edges of the landscape fabric.
Don't skimp on the landscaping fabric. You will need the edges to overlap one another several inches to keep any weeds from growing around the landscaping fabric.
You can also spray the soil with vinegar, which will kill any weeds and prevent others from growing for up to two years. But, be careful not to spray it on plants you want to keep because vinegar will kill any plants it lands on.
Once you have covered the soil in your rock bed with a foundation of landscape fabric, spread a layer of your choice of gravel or rocks, up to two inches deep.
You may keep bushes or trees with your rock landscaping. As you install the fabric, cut a slit in the landscape fabric for each stem or trunk to poke through. Landscaping fabric keeps weeds down, but it allows moisture to still get down to the soil and roots of your plants and trees.
Use Contrasting Texture and Color
As you are covering areas of your yard with landscaping gravel, use several different colors and sizes of gravel.
You can use large grey river rocks that are three inches wide, then in an adjoining section, spread down a small gravel in a different color, such as pink or black. The different colors and sizes of the different rocks will make your yard look colorful and give it an eye-catching interest.
The smooth surface of pea gravel and large river rocks gives you an option to create a dry river bed or pond in your yard. You might even choose to install a bridge in your yard, over the dry river bed.
Upkeep Is Important
Once you have installed your bed of landscaping rocks, it is important to keep the rocks looking nice with a little maintenance. Consider all the time you are saving on pulling weeds and watering vegetation, and instead, spend just a few minutes each week tidying up your rocks.
For pea-sized rocks and other small gravel, take a rake and smooth out any messy areas or holes in the surface of your rock beds. Rake any larger rocks that have spilled out, back into their beds. This will also save your lawn mower if you have any lawn growing near your gravel beds. You don't want your lawn mower sucking up any gravel, damaging the mower blades.
Pick up any leaves, branches, or other debris in your gravel beds that make the space look messy.
By following these three tips, your landscaped rock beds will last for years and look amazing. If you decide to go with only very specific sizes of gravel, you might consider contacting an aggregate equipment auctions company to see what kind of sieves and sifters they have. That way, you can use different sizes of gravel for different parts of your yard.