Landscaper used dirty river rock over weed block fabric.


Weeds are going to grow in the river rock sooner or later anyway. Having seen driveways and pathways in other countries with pea stone gravel over a geotextile or landscape fabric I tried it in my garden.

I found that a little bit of dirt is not a significant advantage to them as windblown seeds and weeds can grow in pretty much anything.

The key seems to be foot or vehicle traffic. If you have traffic that keeps the weeds down then you only have to do maintenance on the edges. If this is an area with no traffic then you can look forward to having to remove all the rocks, weeding and replacing. How often depends on the type of weeds, proximity to trees and climate.

I got about 10 years out an area of professional grade fabric covered with two inches of 5/8" pea stone gravel. The last few years were miserable as grass, weeds and scilla moved in.

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    Dirty river rock just advances the timeline of when weeds sprout in the air-borne soil under the rock. In my area, a new installation of 1.5in/8cm river rock over fabric may give you four years before weeds start to appear (less if the homeowner doesn't leaf-blow all leaves off of the rock before winter sets in). Rock size and type matters - the larger and rounder, the quicker you'll see weeds. Depending on how dirty the rock is, if you used river rock you may be looking at two years max before you'll see weeds in it. – Jurp Dec 4 '20 at 17:08

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