How To Prepare For Rock Landscaping
Rock is one of the most practical ways to design your landscape. Aside from being easy to lay down, it is also durable and long-lasting. You can choose from a wide range of landscape rocks available to design your project. There are several options when it comes to color, shades, sizes, textures, and shapes that you can choose from. Most patio areas, rock gardens, and walkways use rocks in their landscaping designs.
Decorating your outdoor with rock is a labor-intensive task because the weight of some rocks is too heavy to be transferred from one spot to another. However, if you’re only decorating your landscape with finishing stones or pebbles, it is something that is an easy and enjoyable thing to do. This type of design will enhance the aesthetic quality of your landscape.
Rock landscape, pebble finishings, and stone pathways can give your landscape a timeless appearance while providing some useful benefits. Stones and heavy rocks can be placed anywhere, depending on the overall design, but they should not be laid out without any proper preparation. A well-placed rock does not shift, and the landscape area must drain properly. Thus, preparing the landscape area for rocks needs some masonry and gardening skills with the help of some basic tools.
So, how you prepare your garden for rock landscaping? What are the things that you have to do to make sure that the rocks will fit perfectly and won’t regularly need maintenance and replacement over time? Before you can design your landscape with decorative rocks, you must take the following steps to prepare your lawn.
- Mark the path of your landscape area. Regardless if you are working on your walkway, patio, or garden, you must outline the area coverage of your landscape where you will put on the rocks. A small sledgehammer can be useful in driving the wooden stakes into the ground every few feet all around the edges of the one that you want to design with rocks. Use a string to mark the entire area. Tie it from one corner to the next until the entire space if roped off and separated from the rest of the lawn area.
- Following the outline as a guide, remove any plants, weeds, grass, or loose soil from the area up to a depth of about 9 inches, using a shovel. If you don’t remove these stuff, they will constantly grow and sprout up in between the rocks. If this happens, it will be difficult to control these growing weeds or plants. This can be avoided when you remove any plants, weeds, or grass right before laying the rocks on the ground. To begin with, simply dig out all the plants, leaving only the dirt or soil. You can also use a herbicide spray to make sure that the grass or plants will not grow back.
- Fill your wheelbarrow with the solid and grass that you just removed and toss it away from the site. Make the soil within your work area compact using a compactor. You can also spread a five-inch layer of fine gravel over your work area and compact it down again.
- Put a piece of anti-weed plastic sheeting or cloth over the ground to prevent any plant life from sprouting upward and in between your rocks. Cut the plastic sheeting or cloth to perfectly fit the area using scissors. Cover the sheeting or cloth with a two-inch layer of sand and even it out using a simple screed. Cut 2 by 4-inch lumber to match the width of your excavated spot. Slide the lumber along the sand to create a smooth surface and even appearance.
- Using your compactor, press the sand layer down firmly. Take off the outline mark and install a rubber edging strip to make sure that the rocks will stay in place instead of moving out due to heavy rains. You may choose a U-shaped garden staple to keep the fabric in place while placed at 6 to 8-inch intervals.
- Once the site is ready, you can select your landscaping rock. There are several types of rocks available for landscaping, such as large river rocks and pea gravel rocks. The type of landscape that you prefer will determine the selection of rocks that you will use.
- Lay your rocks on the sand and use the outline string as a guide to maintaining the consistent height of the rocks. Place each stone firmly in the sand. You can make some adjustments to the edges using a rubber mallet. Once the stones are laid down, you can fill the gaps around your stones with crushed rocks or sands.
Once your lawn is clear and ready, you can now place your selected rocks for landscaping. Follow this step by step method to guide you in your rock landscaping project.