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I am not a big fan of mowing the lawn, and am planning to cover the current lawn with washed rock completely (also to prevent weed growth).

Do I need to prep anything beforehand? Or can I simply have to cut the grass, and leave the cut grass in the lawn as is, and then lay the washed rocks over them directly?

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  • This makes me sad :( – OrganicLawnDIY Jun 2 '16 at 4:22
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    Hi. This is an interesting question. You may not have any further gardening interests, but in case you do, I invite you to join our community. We'd love to have you, plus, as you know, you can get rep here for what happens to your posts, like my upvote! – Sue Jun 2 '16 at 19:47
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Simply putting down rock will not stop vegetation growth.

To attempt to eliminate all vegitation growth you need to:

  1. Remove the sod and top soil
  2. Spray the area with pre-emergent vegitation stopper to stop any seeds in the soil from germinating
  3. Put down a layer of compacted sand to restore the height of the removed top soil minus the thickness of the stone
  4. Put down heavy duty landscape fabric
  5. Put down the washed stone.

Even after all this you will probably have to spray certain spots with vegetation killer a couple times per year.

Grass, in all its varieties, is the single most successful plant on land. It will not be stopped easily or for long.

Good luck!

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    And, organic debris will accumulate, especially if you have trees overhead, and will give birth to new unauthorized life. So, don't consider this a one-time "fix". – Daniel Griscom Jun 1 '16 at 11:46
  • Also be careful not to create a new drainage problem, otherwise your basement water problem may get worse. – Tyson Jun 1 '16 at 18:24
  • Would replacing it with rock be creating drainage problem? I plan on sloping away from my house. Will that do the trick? – KubiK888 Jun 2 '16 at 1:09
  • As I said to KubiK888, this question is interesting. I like your answer too, it's helpful to people like me. I hope that if you have other gardening interests, you'll join our community! – Sue Jun 2 '16 at 20:05
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I did what you are planning to do about seven years ago. I followed the ideas ArchonOSX lists but used pea stone gravel. So the soil profile from bottom to top is:

  • compacted soil
  • heavy duty geotextile or landscape fabric
  • thin layer of stone dust
  • about 1/2 to 1 inch of pea stone

Issues I have encountered:

  • pea stone does not deal well with slopes, larger size stone should stay put
  • in the fall autumn leaves are not easy to rake. If wet they do not blow easily. I put the lawnmower on high, attached a bagger and "mowed" the pea stone. Neighbors laughed but it was quite effective
  • significant other did not understand the key principle which is "Do not cut the fabric". Anywhere I cut the fabric a weed sprouted within a year.
  • after five to six years the amount of organic matter in the pea stone is enough for weeds to take root. A hoe makes short work of them.

I place a premium on the crisp no maintenance look so the 45 minutes a week I used to spend on lawn mowing is replaced by a few hours in spring and fall. Time well spent. Like any weeding timing is everything. You have to get out and spend some time weeding in the spring before they get huge, not later.

  • Wow, thanks for your comment. So how do you deal with this new invasion of weeds? And do you consider all the work is worth it? – KubiK888 Jun 2 '16 at 1:12
  • @KubiK888 worth it for me and expanded my answer – kevinsky Jun 2 '16 at 1:26
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I think the solution is Laying the Foundation for a Rock Garden. A good foundation is everything. Even if you have the ideal natural slope for building a rock garden, experts advise taking the time to dig up the area to put in a proper foundation. That's because most rock garden plants need soil to be at once water-retentive and quick-draining. Large rocks are entirely optional, but you can use them to create your own Zen garden or to provide natural seating in the landscape. If you prefer not to add plants to the landscape, you can choose colorful rocks to make up for the lack of color in the rock garden. Some landscapers suggest spreading the gravel before laying medium and large rocks, but placing the larger rocks first prevents you from wasting gravel that remains concealed under the larger rocks.

I hope this will help you

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    Hi Quiet Corner, and welcoming to Gardening & Landscaping. I see from your tour badge you've already read our FAQ, thanks for doing that. Please also see our policies on advertising (aka "how to not be a spammer"). We require that people clearly and explicitly disclose any affiliation they have with sites and services they promote. In this case that means we require you disclose that the site you're linking to is your own, which it seems like it would be. – doppelgreener Jun 26 '17 at 11:38
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    I removed the link, sorry, my mistake – Quiet Corner Jun 26 '17 at 11:49
  • Thanks. You're welcome to provide the link, provided you disclose your affiliation. For example, many people maintaining their own website will mention "I've written about that [on my site here]" or "You can read more about that [on my site here]". – doppelgreener Jun 26 '17 at 11:55

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