Maintaining a well-manicured lawn can be costly and time-consuming, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of square footage. Many of us would prefer to skip lawn maintenance altogether. Creating a rock lawn is a unique and effective way to eliminate many common yard tasks while providing various other advantages. Instead of grass, a rock lawn incorporates rocks of all sizes, giving your property an earthy feel. Rock lawns are ideal for dry areas like the drought-stricken Southwest. While rock lawns can be beneficial in many climates, most people are not familiar with rocky landscaping compared to traditional turf, resulting in misconceptions. Let’s debunk these beliefs about rock lawns.
“Rock Lawns Require Extensive Maintenance”
Many believe that keeping up with a rock lawn requires extensive maintenance due to the amount of effort needed to keep weeds at bay. When properly installed, a rock lawn actually requires less maintenance than regular grass. To prevent weeds and grass from growing through cracks in the rocks, it will be necessary to first spray a weed-control product, followed by placing layers of sheeting to smooth the turf. Various materials can be used as sheeting, including newspaper and landscape fabric.
“Rock Lawns Leave Little Room for Creativity”
One of the biggest advantages of rock lawns is the unique designs that can be created. Rocks of various sizes and colors can be used to create different looks, and more than one type of rock can be incorporated to define pathways or line garden beds. Wood mulch around plants can be substituted with sand or pebbles for a more cohesive look. Large boulders can also be placed in designated areas of the lawn to function as seating.
“Rock Lawns Are Too Expensive”
While the price of creating a rock lawn ultimately depends on factors such as the size of the yard, the type of rocks used, and whether you do the work yourself or hire it out, rock lawns are an affordable option for homeowners. Of course, there will be an initial cost for the rocks themselves, but once in place, the lawn will require minimal funds and maintenance to maintain. A rock lawn can actually save you money. Your yard will no longer require mowing, and you can save a substantial amount on your water bills.
“Rock Lawns Do Not Allow for Plant Growth”
Rock lawns can accommodate a wide variety of plants, but not just any plants are suitable. It’s crucial to choose native plant species that can thrive in a rocky environment. Native plants are non-invasive and require minimal water. Popular choices of plants that can be successfully used in rock lawns include cacti and succulents. If you desire plants in your rock lawn, dig holes for the plants directly through the sheeting layers.
“Rock Lawns Are a Permanent Commitment”
Rock lawns should be considered a long-term commitment due to the amount of time and effort it takes to prepare the ground and place the rocks. However, a rock lawn doesn’t have to be permanent. If you desire a change in the future, the rocks can be removed and grass seed can be planted and the soil fertilized to produce fresh grass.