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Old 04-13-2019, 02:28 PM   #1
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Side yard into gravel


Hey everyone,

I am looking to put down some sort of little stones or gravel with stepping stones in the side yard. Right now, it is mostly dirt and a little grass. But, my question is, if i just remove the grass and weeds as best as i can and compact the dirt as best as i can, can i just lay down the gravel with the stepping stones or do i need to use a tarp of some kind? I guess a similar question would be the front yard. I want to put down red mulch down in place of a dirt planter type patch in the front yard. Can i just compact the dirt and put down mulch or do i need a tarp?

Thanks
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:04 PM   #2
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Re: Side yard into gravel


If it's decorative (no fines) or you have soft soil or any type of foot traffic you definitely want at least some sort of geotextile under them.

In rock landscape beds (without plantings) I prefer plastic poly over geotextile fabric as it allows less weeds and when its time for removal it all comes up easier. You may have to deal with more washout or "pools" of settled organics but rock always is a lot of maintenance anyway.

Mulch is different, you don't want anything under it, because it's essentially compost, even with the dyes. I tried fabric once under clean playground wood chips, but it becomes a mess when you pull the weeds because you can't clean the chips like you can rocks.

Tarps are not the best solution as they disintegrate pretty fast.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:26 AM   #3
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Landscape fabric is made for this exact purpose. It prevents your rocks from compacting down into the dirt and stops weeds from growing up from underneath. Though, overtime, seeds from your grass (and weeds) will wind up blowing on top of the stone and growing anyway. Nothing much you can do about that except pulling it spraying them...
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:57 AM   #4
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Re: Side yard into gravel


Quote:
Originally Posted by nightpanda1253 View Post
Hey everyone,

I am looking to put down some sort of little stones or gravel with stepping stones in the side yard. Right now, it is mostly dirt and a little grass. But, my question is, if i just remove the grass and weeds as best as i can and compact the dirt as best as i can, can i just lay down the gravel with the stepping stones or do i need to use a tarp of some kind? I guess a similar question would be the front yard. I want to put down red mulch down in place of a dirt planter type patch in the front yard. Can i just compact the dirt and put down mulch or do i need a tarp?

Thanks
Ayuh,..... Whatever you do, make sure that the grade drops Away from the house,.....
Don't go buildin' dams that stop the water from gettin' away from the house,....
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:20 AM   #5
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Re: Side yard into gravel


You won't need tarp, if you are using red mulch. Start with dirt compaction. Hope this might help.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:33 AM   #6
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Re: Side yard into gravel


@nightpanda1253 , welcome!

I recommend putting your location in your signature so we know where you are (city and state or province are fine). The reason is that some advice can be very location specific, and your query is one of them.

I generally concur with @3onthetree and @Brian Famous .

And, I rabidly concur with @Bondo . Yesirree, floods from a slope get annoying. @michaelhwilliam 's suggestion is worth a thought, too, especially in clay soil, though you really REALLY have to compact the dirt, and some weeds just grow anyway.

If you're in the eastern U.S. or Canada where it rains and/or snows a lot, you're pretty much stuck with dealing with pulling weeds, sooner or later. You can try, as a friend did, turning his side yard into something of a sand pit (it already partially was anyway) which didn't stop weed growth, but which made it a lot less bad.

Here in the Southwest, we sometimes got away with using soil sterilants, especially in flagstone patios, etc. These are chemicals that kill all the vegetation and keep killing it and which kill both plants and sprouting seeds and bulbs.

BUT there are problems. I, for one, get a bit squeamish about stuff like that. It ends up in the ground and ground water. And, in the wetter parts of the country, it tends to wash away faster than you'd like. And, a large area can run into some money after a while.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Ortho-2-...0205/302681349

Last edited by DoomsDave; 04-15-2019 at 11:39 AM.
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