Rock mulch will reduce water evaporation from soil, help control weed growth and beautify your landscape.It is a natural product, long lasting and easy to maintain when properly installed.Following these suggestions should help insure a successful installation.
1. PREPARE THE AREA:
Prepare the area to be covered with mulch.Remove debris and smooth soil to a level 2” (or other desired mulch depth) below finish grade (the top of the mulch when finished).
2. INSTALL EDGING:
Larger stones, brick, concrete, or plastic manufactured edgings are all suitable products to contain your mulch.Be sure to consider maintenance when selecting an edging. A smooth edge to run the wheels of a mower works best next to lawn areas.
3. USE A WEED BARRIER/SOIL SEPARATOR:
TYPAR® is an excellent product, especially in planter areas as it allows water and air to pass through the soil. A 6 mil or 4 mil plastic is good for controlling weeds, but does not allow surface water to seep into the soil.
Weed barrier should be installed flat with all “folds” either cut or pinned down so they don’t work their way to the surface of the mulch.Overlap adjoining sheets a minimum of 2”.Nails may be used to pin down the corners if wind becomes a problem before mulch is installed.
4. SPREAD ROCK MULCH:
Spread rock mulch uniformly over the weed barrier.A heavy garden rake is a good tool for spreading and a 2” high board laid on the weed barrier works as a gage for uniform depth.It’s best to start in the corner furthest from the mulch stockpile so you don’t have a travel over the new rock mulch.Use the rake to work dust or “fines” to the bottom of the mulch layer (sometimes water is needed to wash off the dust).Be careful not to cut or pull-up the weed barrier when spreading the mulch.
5. STEPPING STONES:
Stepping-stones in the mulch area should be installed while spreading the mulch.Mulch placed under the stepping-stones helps to adjust them to the desired height.If the stepping-stones are thicker than the mulch layer, cut an “X” in the weed barrier and remove some soil to create a depression for the stone to set in.The stones must be uniformly supported to be stable.Too much rock under the middle causes the stone to “rock”, not enough center support may result in cracked or broken stones.