Landscape rock can be a simple and effective way to transform your garden, especially if you’ve got an area where plants fail to thrive or is difficult for you to maintain. Rock gardens can be low maintenance and are a great place to try new and exciting planting schemes.
But – how can you install landscape rock and make it look good while enhancing your garden and homestead?
In this guide – we’ll show you our exact process for installing landscape rock without fuss.
- How to Install Landscape Rock
- What's the Best Rock Size for Landscaping?
- Should I Put Plastic Under River Rock?
- Should I Put Sand Under Landscaping Rocks?
- Installing Landscape Rocks –FAQs
- Best Landscaping Stones for Easy Installation
How to Install Landscape Rock
Installing landscape rocks is easy – but it takes a little elbow grease depending upon the size of your landscaping rocks or homestead. Here are the basic steps involved.
- Planning and Clearing
- Install Weed Barriers – If Needed
- Lay an Optional Layer of Sand
- Place Your Rocks and Firmly Set Them
- Level Your Rocks – Neatness Counts
Here is our process for how to install landscape rocks.
1. Planning and Clearing
Installing landscape rocks always starts with careful planning. Once you install landscape rocks – you won’t want to move them. So – plan and prosper!
Which rocks do you want? Large or small? What size and colors? And where do you want them?
We recommend a flat surface if possible. That’s where clearing comes into play. You should remove any clutter, garden toys, sticks, weeds, and yard debris from your prospective rock garden.
2. Install Weed Barriers – If Needed
So we sometimes recommend using weed barriers underneath landscaping rocks. Other homesteaders detest weed barriers – and we also argue that if you place landscaping rocks thick enough – you probably won’t need weed barriers. If you commit to natural weed removal? You can skip the weed barrier.
3. Lay an Optional Layer of Sand
Unless you have a sloped backyard, we try to install landscaping rocks on a flat surface. If you have small hills and valleys in your yard, sand is the best equalizer.
You can fill any holes and gaps with landscaping sand.
Sand also helps keep your landscaping rocks in place! You can easily position them precisely how you want if you have a thick layer of landscaping sand.
4. Place Your Rocks and Firmly Set Them
Placing and installing the landscaping stones is infinitely easier on a flat surface! It’s also easy to gently nest heavier boulders or stones in a thick bed of sand. Sand can also improve the design of your rocks and add contrasting colors and styles. You can also use sand alternatives!
Rubber or wooden mulch also enhances your rock garden and landscaping stone design – and they help stifle weeds.
5. Add Rock Garden Enhancements
Creativity can make or break your rock garden – and your landscaping rocks. Sometimes, we spend all day finding the perfectly shaped landscaping rock for every spot in the rockery garden.
Once you decide on the perfect location? Look to enhance your rock garden! Try to find local herbs with white flowers and other contrasting colors to help finish your design. Or – consider shade-loving herbs to help bring your rock garden to life.
That’s another reason we often skip the weed barrier. Your rock garden is the perfect place to grow a variety of herbs. You can also nestle potted plants inside your rock garden if your soil isn’t the best.
Now that we’ve discussed how to install landscape rocks – we should also talk about the landscape rock nuances that most homesteaders overlook.
When installing landscape rocks, also consider the following.
What’s the Best Rock Size for Landscaping?
There is no definitive answer to this, as it depends entirely on what you want! Small landscaping rocks are great for covering areas of ground, while larger landscaping rocks can get used for creating a striking visual effect.
One of my favorite ways to use landscaping rock is to combine several sizes to give the impression of a varying landscape. Smaller landscaping rocks can get used for creating pathways, with medium and heavier landscaping rocks spreading out into the planting areas. Large boulders can be dotted around to create focal spots. Boulders are also a nice place to sit and admire your garden!
Should I Put Plastic Under River Rock?
Many homesteaders advocate putting plastic under rock gardens to suppress weeds, but this is not a good option for the environment.
Plastic will also start breaking down over time, leaving thousands of tiny pieces of plastic under your landscape rock. We’re not plastic advocates.
Should I Put Sand Under Landscaping Rocks?
Sand is superior to plastic. Sand can be tremendously helpful under landscaping rocks, as it helps to bed them into the ground and keep them secure. Securing your landscaping rocks and boulders is essential if you use heavier boulders that need setting into the ground.
The great thing about sand is that it will blend well with your rock, hiding the soil underneath. It is also surprisingly easy to pull up pesky weeds that take root in a layer of garden sand!
Read More – How to Make a Bubbling Rock Fountain DIY
Installing Landscape Rocks –FAQs
Now we’ve got you all inspired to give landscaping rock a try? Let’s answer the most common questions about using this simple but effective garden decoration!
Best Landscaping Stones for Easy Installation
Installing landscape rocks doesn’t have to be a grueling headache!
We found some of the best-reviewed landscape stones and rocks perfect for rockery gardens, flower beds, raised beds, and pathways.
We also tried to find the lightest stones possible – so you can avoid straining your knees and back when installing these stones.
Want versatile landscaping stones that aren't too heavy to use? These Mexican beach pebbles upgrade your flower bed, backyard, or garden pathway. The rocks are around three to five inches - and range in color. The landscaping stones are easy to install - and the total weight is approximately 50 pounds.
PAID LINK - We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.02/15/2024 12:28 am GMT
We love these massive landscape stone covers! They're perfect for covering up outdoor elements you want to hide - like your septic tank lid or exterior electrical outlets. The build is solid and withstands the rain, snow, and sleet. These landscaping stones also look authentic and get made in the USA!
PAID LINK - We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.02/14/2024 03:23 pm GMT
Have you ever thought about painting your landscaping stones? Then these landscape rocks are perfect. They're the ideal size for decorating. That way - you can add custom color, style, and personality to your garden. Painting rocks is also relaxing and a great creative outlet. Each landscape stone is approximately two to three inches.
PAID LINK - We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
We love the ambiance these glow-in-the-dark landscape stones create! They're tremendously light (and small) and easy to install. The entire pack only weighs 2.4-pounds. They're perfect for terrariums, gardens, and walkways. Or throw them in your fish tank, pond, or waterfall. But - the rocks are tiny. If you want to decorate a large area - plan accordingly.
PAID LINK - We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.02/15/2024 04:29 am GMT
Ladybug landscape stones can brighten up your flower garden. Big time! They look adorable and draw attention to any area of your yard. But - they aren't the most durable landscape stones. We recommend installing these landscaping stones around garden beds, mulch gardens, bushes, and other places where you won't step on them.
PAID LINK - We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.02/15/2024 01:12 pm GMT
We love to install landscape rocks in areas where nothing else grows but weeds! Landscaping rocks look beautiful as part of a garden, walkway, or backyard.
Installing landscape rocks is tricky, but we hope our guide made the process easier.
What about your experience? Do you use landscaping rocks for backyard decor and garden inspirations?
If so – we’d love to hear about your experience!
Which landscaping rocks are best for gardening and outdoors?
We value your insights – and hope to hear from you!
Thanks so much for reading.
Have a great day!