How to Prevent Weeds from Growing in Rocks

rock and landscaping in backyardRock landscaping is becoming more and more popular and there are many reasons why.  The most common reason people decide to put down rocks is because they are very low maintenance.

While using rocks for landscaping is known to stifle some weed growth, stubborn weeds will still find a way to survive.

Read on to learn how you can help prevent weed growth in rocks.

Benefits of Using Rocks in Landscaping

The weight of the rocks helps to suppress weed growth.  Another benefit of rock landscaping is that the rocks will not blow away like some types of mulch.

Rock gardens can withstand all types of weather, which means they look good year-round.  You can find beautiful rock gardens all over the world.

Using rocks in landscaping can increase the property value of your home.  Rock landscaping is peaceful and provides texture to your outdoor space.

Today we will discuss how to prevent weeds from growing in rocks:

  • kill existing weeds
  • landscaping fabric
  • edging

Kill any existing weedsweeds in landscaping

First and foremost, you will need to remove any weeds that are currently in the area where you will put down your rocks.  There are a few ways that you can go about doing this.

One way is to pull the weeds out by hand.  This is a great option if there are not many weeds.

If there are a lot of weeds, spraying an herbicide is a fast and efficient way to get the job done.  Another idea is to lay a plastic sheet or landscape fabric over the area.

The fabric will smother any weed growth.  This process takes a few weeks to work.

Whichever way you choose to kill the weeds, they will need to be removed by hand once they are dead.  Removing all existing weeds will provide a favorable foundation for preventing future weed growth.

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landscaping fabric and rocksLandscaping fabric

Once you have an area that is clear of weeds, you’re ready for the most important step.

The best thing you can do to stop weeds from growing in rocks, is to install a layer of landscaping fabric under your rocks.  Landscaping fabric will prevent the majority of weeds from growing.

This happens because the fabric obstructs sunlight from reaching the weeds.  Plus, the fabric will also stop the rocks from sinking into the soil.

Make sure to secure the fabric with landscaping pins or garden stakes.  Choose a high-quality brand of fabric.  Non-woven landscaping fabrics are best for preventing weed growth.

Landscape edgingdog on new landscaping

Create a border with some type of landscape edging to stop weeds growing in your lawn from invading your rock garden.  The edging will form a barrier between your lawn and garden, thus inhibiting weed growth.

Regular lawn maintenance will cut down on weed growth in your lawn and will thus also cut down on weed growth in your rock garden.

There are a multitude of edging choices.  You can choose metal or aluminum for a seamless look.

Bricks and stone edging will provide an aesthetic feel.  If you’re looking for a budget-friendly edging material, consider plastic or recycled rubber.

What if the weeds have already invaded my rocks?

Don’t be discouraged if weeds have already invaded your rocks.  There are easy ways to remove these weeds.

Hand pull, hand pull, hand pull.  Pulling weeds out by hand is environmentally friendly and effective.

Make sure to pull the root out as well or the weeds will grow back.  As soon as you see a weed popping up, pull it out before it spreads its seeds.

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Wet the area first in order to loosen up the soil and weed root.  This will make it easier to pull out the weed.

If the weeds are between 1-4 inches tall, a weed torch is an adept way to kill weeds.  If the weeds have grown over 4 inches, it will require more effort on your part to remove the weeds.

Be careful not to damage other plants or other materials nearby.  A fire can start and get out of hand quickly.

You can also spot spray weeds with an herbicide.  If you are using a non-selective herbicide, be cautious not to spray the plants you want to keep.

Interested in finding out what your options are for including a rock garden in your outdoor space?  Evergreen Lawn and Landscape has decades of landscaping experience.

trees in landscaping rockWrapping up

Incorporating rocks into your landscape design is low maintenance and also helps to conserve water.  In a state that experiences very hot temperatures, like Texas, water conservation is important.

Having a weed free rock landscape needs to start before you put down the rocks and will require some maintenance, albeit much less than with regular landscaping.

Hand pulling weeds will always be the best way to remove and prevent future weed growth.  Although, if you let the weed growth get out of control, using herbicides will most likely need to happen.

If you prefer to leave the job of removing weeds to the pros, contact Evergreen Lawn and Landscape today to get on our schedule.  Check out our fertilization and weed control service page for more information.

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