What To Put Under Rocks To Prevent Weeds

What To Put Under Rocks To Prevent Weeds? (How To Prevent Weeds From Growing Under Rocks)

Garden rocks are helpful for a lot of reasons. They are easy to maintain as you do not have to worry about mowing or applying water. They are beautiful decorations that do not attract pests and last long.

But eventually, you will start to see weeds grow from under your rocks. Weeds make your landscaping rock looks unattractive and can be a nuisance.

This guide will suggest ways to prevent words from growing under rocks. We will also give you some tips to follow before laying these landscaping rocks.

What to Do Before Laying

Before laying your landscaping rocks, endure that the area selected is free from weeds. If weeds are already growing, use a non-selective herbicide to kill the weeds. Avoid spreading other plants in the process, and if it’s a windy day, it is advised that you don’t use herbicides.

Other options to look into when weeding include white vinegar, boiling water, and salt. Although these options will not be as effective as using herbicides, salt should not be an option if you have other plants and bushes nearby.

If the weather is warm and you are not installing your rocks immediately, place plastic on the areas selected for landscaping. 

This will kill growing weeds and prevent more from growing. You should also add compost to the soil before laying your rock.

What to Put Under Rocks to Prevent Weeds

What To Put Under Rocks To Prevent Weeds

Once the time comes to lay your rocks, there are some materials you can use to prevent weed from growing. We will briefly explain the use of these materials below.

1. Plastic

You can pu4chase a large black plastic sheet to keep on your soil before laying your rocks. If a large plastic sheet is not immediately available, you can always overlap smaller sheets, but it is not the best option.

While plastic sheets may effectively prevent weeds, it also has their disadvantages. Plastic is not penetrable and will not allow water or air to enter your soil; this suffocates the soil and kills the living organisms dwelling there. It is also prone to breaking and deterioration due to the harsh UV rays.

To fix this problem, you can always purchase plastic sheets resistant to UV rays; this will help the sheets last longer. You can also create holes in the plastic to allow air and water into the soil.

2. Newspaper or Cardboard 

This option is a short-term solution that may need to be replaced regularly. Overlap newspaper or cardboard to prevent the growth of weeds. Do not use colored newspaper to prevent chemicals from seeping Into the soil.

Do not use a lot of newspapers in that area if you intend to grow plants in the future. This is because newspaper increases the carbon content on the soil. You can always fix this by adding more nitrogen to the soil.

3. Landscape Fabric

Landscape fabric is a good option because, unlike plastic, this material is breathable and will allow your oil to have adequate air and water. Landscaping fabric prevents your rocks from falling or sinking. There are three types of landscape fabric, spun, perforated, and woven.

4. Spun

This fabric is strong and will kit cut easily. However, you may need to male holes to allow air and water to get into the soil.

5. Perforated 

This lightweight fabric can tear easily, but it is permeable and allows your soil to get sufficient air and water.

6. Woven

This fabric is breathable and allows your oil have access to adequate air and water. But you may want to make bigger holes if you want larger roots to pass through.

The weed protective feature of a landscape fabric does not last forever, and weed will eventually grow, and these newly grown weeds may be hard to get rid of because they have their root tangled with the fabric.

What is Best to Put Under Landscaping Rocks

With so many options available, there can only be one material that is the best to put under landscaping rock. Putting plastic under your rock will choke your soil, putting it in need of water and air. Plastic will not last long due to the sun’s intense heat; it is also biodegradable and will rot.

Cardboard and newspaper only last for a short time and require regular change. Instead, it doesn’t hold up your rock; it allows it to sink.

It can also leak chemicals that are dangerous to the soil. Some people use mulch, but it is not the best option as it decomposes and attracts pests; it can also serve as a natural fertilizer to the soil after decomposition.

The best material to put under your garden rocks is a landscaping fabric. Landscaping fabrics are breathable and will last longer due to resistance to UV rays. These fabrics are easy to handle, and they keep your rocks afloat rather than dink them.

But it is recommended that you remove weeds before setting up your rocks. This will help you deal with less weed in the future.

Is Landscaping Fabric Necessary Under Rocks?

Professionals will highly recommend landscaping fabric to prevent weeds from growing under your garden rocks. Although its preventive weed effect will not last long, it is necessary.

Laying your rocks without a material under them to prevent weeds will make the whole setting look messy and damper.


You don’t want your whole yard looking nice but seeing weeds poke out of your garden rock. That is why you need materials that will prevent weed growth under your rocks. Plastic, landscaping fabric, and cardboard are good options. But Landscaping fabric is the best.

It is also important that you weed your area before laying your rocks; this will make weeds less. You can pull out weeds using your hands. 

You can use regular vinegar or horticultural vinegar that contains 20% acetic acid; boiling water is also another option.

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We trust this article helped you know what to put under rocks to prevent weeds. You may also want to check out the How To Waterproof A Mattress For Outdoors.

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