Rock landscape dilema

johncharles1923January 18, 2010


So I'm taking on a big project within the next couple of weeks to completely remodel our front yard. My dilema is not on what to do but on how to go about doing it. I want to install decorative rock along with concrete pavers but I have a slope on one side of the front yard. I want to install weed fabric before I lay down the rock but I am afraid that the rocks will slide if I do nothing to address the slope. It isn't a very steep slope, maybe 10% I'm guessing, but I would like prevent from doing any further work, to basically do the job once. I heard, from a co-worker, that there are materials out there that you can lay over the fabric to avoid rock slippage but I have searched to no avail. Can someone please point me in the right direction? Name of this material? And I am guessing you could buy it at Lowe's or HD, but I shouldn't assume, so a place where I can get this material would be great.

Thank you.

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Landscape fabric is the pits and in my opinion not worth the money. It does not prevent the weeds growing in the dirt on top of the fabric only the ones that come up below it. It will get holes over time and then you have the big job of digging it out.

As for the slope and the decorative rocks--dig out the soil at the back of the rock so it's sitting level. Then back fill the soil so the back is submerged--no slippage. Do all your planting--of rocks and plants. Then cover the exposed soil with a layer of wet newspaper about 4 layers thick and spread mulch on top of the newspaper. Use only the black and white pages. You will have to do the newspapers and mulch every few years because the paper will decay--and by the way add organic matter to your soil. It is more effective at controling weeds than landscape fabric and costs nothing and you are not stuck doing the whole bed again to get up the landscape fabric.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 9:36PM
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What size rock are we talking about? Unless quite small sized, I doubt you need much of anything other than its own weight to keep it in place - a 10% slope is not very much.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 10:01AM
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The best way to keep rocks from slipping is to embed them into the slope, with at least half the rock underground.

If you p[lop them on top, they WILL slide.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 4:42PM
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If the rocks are large enough to embed/bury - i.e., landscape boulders - no, they won't slide:-) They just look more natural if a portion is embedded. Even smaller, 2-3" diameter river rock will not slide down a 10% slope - that's only a 1 foot incline over the span of 10 feet. Heck, it would be tough for even pea gravel to migrate far with that kind of slope.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 8:52PM
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"I would like prevent from doing any further work, to basically do the job once."

This should remove landscape fabric from consideration. As mentioned, it rots over time and weed seeds blow into and germinate in the detritus/soil on top of the fabric, so it ends up being work in the long run.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 9:00PM
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Also replacing news paper every so often would be more maint that you might want to do. What size rock and how much repeating. Carefully placed boulders for effect works with a 1"- 2" size rock mulch and should work with good effect. A good base of sand and pea gravel will probably keep the job done once. But have to ask, what plant material are you planning on using? If the plant material is tree shrub or perinnial or all of the above these will also help to keep the job a one time factor. Oh ya is there some soil amendment planned?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 3:04AM
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Thank you all for your help!!!! Sorry this response is so late but I didn't get any of the response emails. I will post pictures once the job is done this weekend.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 2:14PM
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