Rock Garden

How to Make a Rock Garden Without Weeds (Guides and Procedure)

If you want to turn your backyard into an enchanting beauty with nature at display in its glory, then fix a rock garden. Rock gardens add an element of sparkle to your home while adding depth and dimension to the whole scenery.

Making a rock garden, or a rockery as some call it is quite simple. All you need do is have an idea of what you want it to look like, pen it down on paper, get ready to do a lot of manual labor, and then swing into action.

To ensure that your rockery does not have weeds, ensure the ground is weed-free and create a barrier that will keep weeds away. Come along, and let’s show you how you can accentuate your home with a weed-free rock garden.

The Rock And Plant Mix In A Rock Garden

Rock gardens date back to the Victorian era when hunters used them to display the wide array of plant species discovered in regions of the world where they hunt. The earthy appeal of these beauties is still being appreciated to this day.

A rock garden is a way of creating your own “natural” mountain-feel in your backyard. It is an interplay of rocks, beautiful plants, and flowers arranged aesthetically appealing.

There are a million and one ways you can arrange the rocks and plants to form a rock garden of your choice. You could decide to follow the flow and scatter small and large rocks without following any pattern. 

This will leave you with a rustic scene that many people find appealing, or you could come up with a theme and pattern for arranging the rocks and choosing to highlight some larger rock pieces; this will result in an orderly garden suited to a cultivated taste.

You can decide if you want your rock garden to look formal and a little “man-made,” in which case you might want to create a frame of rock around the plants in the garden, or you can space the rock the way it would look if it were naturally occurring in your backyard.

In choosing the plants to grow in-between the spaces in the rock, you must ensure that the plant can thrive in the soil and climatic condition of the rock garden environment. For instance, you don’t want to plant a full sun plant if there are trees that will be shading the plant and keeping it from getting full sun.

It is best to also plants that grow all season and not those that die in winter, making the rock garden look forlorn in winter.

The best plants to grow in your rock garden are clump-forming small plants that grow low to the ground; remember that the centerpieces in this kind of garden are the rocks, and you don’t want plants overshadowing them. Hence choose evergreen alpines like Picea, penstemons, Dianthus, and the likes.

Since no one wants weeds ruining the beauty of their rock garden, you can choose to grow weed suppression plants in the garden.

These plants can keep weeds from growing in a place because they compete very favorably against weeds and stop them from thriving in the given area because they can completely cover the whole ground. Such kinds of crops include creeping Sedums and Leptinella potentilla or Creeping Sedums.

Before You Make Your Rock Garden

There are 2 main things to carefully consider before you think of making a rock garden, and they include:

  • The kind of rocks to use
  • The best location to site the garden

1. The Kind Of Rocks

To create a breath-taking rock garden, you must carefully choose the types and sizes of rocks you will be showcasing in your garden.

You will need lots of rockery stones of different sizes, especially if you are making a large garden, and your best bet is to source these rocks from your local quarry or the stone merchant.

2. The Best Location To Site The Garden

In choosing the best location for your rock garden, you should remember that the plants you grow to complement the rock in the garden require specific growth conditions, which is one of the things to remember.

For instance, Alpine plants, which are the most common rockery plant, grow well where there are no trees or shrubs that shade them; this means that you should site your room k garden in an area that is clear of any form of shade so that the plants can get the right amount of sun they need.

Rock gardens can be sited on flat or sloppy terrain, but a land with a slope gives the rock garden some depth and makes it easily visible from every path of the garden.

If your land is flat and level, you can create this depth and give more visibility to your rock garden by digging down slightly at the front to create a small mound.

The great thing about this kind of sloppy terrain is that it enhances the garden’s drainage, especially if you have a pond or winning water in your backyard.

You have to have a thought-out plan on where to site your rock garden; remember: rock gardens are fairly permanent, so you don’t want to make them in places that will affect other structures like underground pipes and manholes. We believe that your local authorities will not consent to you making a rock garden in such places.

How to Make a Rock Garden Without Weeds 

Now to the real business of the day.

Below are some of the tools and materials that you will need to make your rock garden:

Tools include:

  • Spade
  • Trowel
  • Crowbar
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Pegs and string

The Materials You Need

  • Rocks (obviously)
  • Rubble to cover the area
  • Landscape fabric
  • Plants/Flowers
  • Topsoil
  • Compost

READ: What To Put Under Rocks To Prevent Weeds?

1. Plan The Rockery

This is the first and perhaps the most important part of making a rock garden because it determines if you will succeed or fail at it, but making a rock garden is not rocket science neither will one little error mar it.

Don’t be surprised that your rock garden can become attractive to different wild animals like exotic birdsraccoons, squirrels, and the likes after planning and successfully executing your plan.

There are different designs that your rock garden can take, and with your creative juice spawning, you can create a truly original design.

Since there is no wrong way of designing a rock garden, you can come up with anyone that is structurally feasible and doable. But whatever the case, pen down your design and thoughts as that will help keep you and your team on the same page during the execution phase.

2. Mark Out the Area

If you are sure you’ve got the right spot for your rock garden, then go ahead and mark the spot using pegs and strings. This is to endure that you do not exceed the land area you weren’t to convert to a rock garden.

3. Prepare the Space

The next thing to do is to prepare the area you have marked out, and one of the most important things to do is clear every weed and debris on the ground; this is especially important since you want a weed-free garden.

If many weeds can’t be dealt with manually, you will have to resort to using weed killers, which are effective even against the peskiest perennial weed.

4. Place Rubble Over the Area For Drainage

Good drainage is a very important part of a rock garden, especially with running water. Adding a layer of Rubble across the entire area creates good drainage that s supports the base for the rocks you will be placed on the ground.

5. Add Fabric Over the Area

Since you are interested in having a weed-free rock garden, you will have to place a layer of landscaping fabric over the surface of your rockery.

The fabric will create a barrier over the soil and block the growth of any weed that might have found its way into the sure after you must have gotten rid of the weeds.

The fabric is secured with landscape stapled to keep it from shifting under the rock layer. Ensure that there is no gap between each fabric by overlapping the fabrics so that weeds do not have the slightest means of growing

6. Add The Stones

With the foundation of the rock garden in place, you can go ahead and start placing the stones, starting with the biggest rocks, which are placed in such a way that ‘they take center stage.

Build the rocks upward to reach a peak, then bed the rocks with soil and small stones so that the big rocks will remain balanced and stable.

7. Add The Smaller Rocks

With your main rock pieces in place now, you can go ahead and fill in the gaps between the big rocks with smaller rocks, so they don’t look out of place. You should also leave some spaces where you will create a bed for planting your flowers and plants.

8. Get Your Potting Mix Ready

With all the rocks in place, the next thing to do is to prepare for planting your flowers and plants by mixing an equal amount of weed-free topsoil, horticultural grit, and coir (leaf mold works, too) which you now fill in the spaces and crevices between the rocks.

9. Add Your Flowers/Plants

At this stage, you can now add your flowers and plant. To do this, you should gently tease the roots of the flowers and plant them into the planting pockets between the rocks and then add some gravel or grit as a layer for drainage purposes.

Remember to water them so that they will be firmly rooted. You should face sun-loving plants southwards, while the shade-loving ones should face north.

Conclusion

A rock garden is another way to transform your backyard into a thing of beauty, a place to relax, and an interesting place to show off to your friends.

This low-maintenance garden can be set on any terrain: be it flat or sloppy, and you can be sure that weeds will not be an issue because your use of weed killers in land preparation, landscaping fabric to create barriers against weeds and weed-free potting mix for planting the flowers are sure to eliminate weeds.

Helpful Links:

We trust this article helped you learn how to make a rock garden without weeds. You may also want to check out How To Prevent Weeds From Growing Under Rocks.

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