Curb appeal: pros and cons of river rock

By: Newscenter 16 Email
By: Newscenter 16 Email

A landscaping project isn't complete until you finish the look with mulch or stone.

It covers the ground and make the plants and shrubs stand out.

River rock was chosen for this year's 16 curb appeal project.

We take a look at the pros and cons of this stony look.

We were there when the rolling stones arrived at the Shelton family home in Elkhart County.

The rocks are called washed river gravel. While they are more expensive and a lot heavier than bark mulch, Mark Linton of Linton's Enchanted Gardens says, this ground cover will last longer.

“You should be able to expect about 20 years if not more use for the stone ground cover until it would have to be replenished unlike bark which has to be added to almost on an annual basis. Stone makes for a lower maintenance landscape,” said Linton.

The crews lowered the soil grade by about 2-3 inches to keep stones from spilling onto the driveway.

A weed barrier fabric will stay in place thanks to the rocks.

The pressure of the stone is going to keep that right up against there to ensure that we don't have any weeds popping up in between the weed barrier and the driveway.

“It's important to put the weed fabric down after the plants are installed,” added Linton. “If you do it in that wrong order, you actually run the chance of getting dirt on top of the weed barrier and that totally defeats the purpose of the weed barrier once its contaminated.”

Once the weed fabric is down, the rocks can be added and that includes large slabs for a garden path...

“We are creating a beautiful garden pathway along with this gorgeous flagstone,” said Linton. “It's something I personally like doing, it’s like putting together a puzzle. Take random pieces of stone and fit them together. Leaving a 2-3 inch gab in between. Come back and add the river gravel in between there level that off so that we've got a nice, easy to walk on garden path.”

Do-it-yourselfers, if you are looking to save money, patio blocks are an inexpensive alternative to the stone slabs.

You'll find them at Linton's or any home improvement store.


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