The yard is almost the most important part of your home. It creates the first impression and sets the mood before even a person gets into your house. Therefore, if you are looking to improve your yard and wondering what to do with it. I would suggest incorporating a little bit of color from nature.
You don’t even have to remove all the stones completely because grass can coexist well with a stone yard. With good planning, proper research, and dedication you can turn your yard into a chilling and relaxing spot. All you need is to accurately define the area you want to plant your grass and the area you want your stones.
It is a fact, that no one wants muddy footsteps in the house during rainy seasons nor the excess amount of dust that comes from the stones during the hot seasons. Moreover, what is the point of having a good amount of space without using it to benefit you?
So how can you incorporate grass with your stone yard?
Let’s begin with having stepping stones with grass in between. You will need at least 4 inches of space between stepping stones and two inches in the walkways in order for grass to grow in between. The stones should be nice and level with the grass for a good appealing look.
With the area where you want to grow the grass in mind. Mark it out using a string. Dig out the area, rake, and tamp the soil to level. Then get some weed control fabric. This is very important because while having the rocks you don’t want to be picking weeds in between them. You will apply this if you choose to have grass in one area of your yard.
In an area where there is gravel, you can scoop it to either side, dig a hole and plant your grass. Then cover with the soil removed followed by the rocks on top.
Still, in the area covered with gravel, you will require topsoil. About 2 to 10 inches of it will be enough. With the exception of a good layer of topsoil, your grass will not grow well, if at all they do. Yes, it is very possible to lay topsoil over the gravel and have a productive and healthy garden in the yard.
The process is, however, labor-intensive. The basic tools you will need are, a tape measure, the topsoil, a shovel, a rake, and water. Measure the length and width of the gravel with the tape measure to determine how much topsoil is necessary for the project.
After that, decide the desired depth you will want for your garden. Generally, a depth of four to six inches is good for a lawn while 8 to 10 inches of depth would do well for a vegetable garden. When you have your numbers, multiply the length, by the width, by the depth in order to get the volume of the topsoil necessary.
Pour your topsoil over the gravel, then level and smoothen using a rake. After that pour water on top and you are good to go. Do note that removing as much rock as possible before laying off the topsoil is an added advantage to you. As well as using wood or cement boundaries to ensure your topsoil is retained.
Your topsoil should be good. This is to mean, that it has been dug out of the ground somewhere. But not anywhere that could have had toxic agricultural chemicals sprayed.
We might agree to disagree that gravel yards can’t replace the natural beauty of grass. While you are playing around with the idea of planting some grass in your gravel yard. Maybe you would like to replace most of the gravel with a rock? The rocky texture is not as pleasing as it once was.
The best time to do it is during fall or spring because at this time the soil is moist enough to support root development. Moreover, you will need to prepare the soil.
How do you do it? Begin by shoveling the gravel into a wheelbarrow with a place in the mind where you are transferring it. Use a rake to pick up the stray pieces of the gravel. Then spray the yard area with a weed killer. Here you have the option of using your own homemade one with vinegar or buying an herbicide that contains glyphosate.
After giving the area some time for the weeds to die, maybe around two weeks or so. Till the soil area. You will find the soil to be compacted due to the weight of the gravel. Therefore, the tilling will increase the circulation of air and nutrients.
Gravel yards tend to have infertile soil due to a lack of organic matter decomposition in the yard. So, it is good to enrich the soil with manure or fertilizer as a starter. The one that has nitrogen phosphorus potassium is the best. Work it into the first two to three inches of the soil.
Now water the area then pour the grass seed. You can use your hands or a drop spreader or an installing sod. Keep in mind to use the recommended amount of grass seed for the grass type you are growing. Water the area three to four times a day until the grass seedlings emerge.
When choosing grass seeds, select cultivars that are well adapted to your area and the specific site where you will plant. Such as, the area could be receiving full sun or partial shade. Whether the soil has good drainage or not. It has to suit the amount of effort you are willing to put in.
The grass seed mix for your rocky site with poor quality soil is the one made up of grasses that are native to your area.
On the other hand, planting grass in rocky soil can be quite challenging. To begin with, rocky soil dries out quickly thus the grass you intend to plant must be drought tolerant. Also, the type of grass that is low maintenance due to how quickly the rocky soil loses nutrients.
This should not discourage you because you could still amend the soil with compost which enhances the ability of the soil to hold nutrients. You will spread the compost about 1-2 inches of the thick layer then incorporate it with the soil about 3-6 inches deep. This way you increase your range of turf grass to choose from.
Either way, without the amendments, there are a few grass species that can grow in it. For example, Bermuda is heat tolerant and performs best in areas that are in full sight of the sunshine.
Buffalo grass has low water requirements and rarely needs irrigation or fertilization. Zoysiagrass has a deep root system and can be effective on rocky soil that is amended with compost. These grasses will establish easily and be resistant to damage from insects and diseases.
A raised garden is also a good idea for planting grass on stones. They are practically immune to soil erosion and you can easily control water retention and drainage. It does, however, require lots of planning and observation of how the sun travels around your yard. Plus, how you are planning to be watering the grass.
If you have nutrient-deficient soil it would be a good idea to outsource soil. Get soil that is a good mix of media for proper drainage, plant nutrition, and water retention. Wood is the most common choice for raised beds due to being relatively inexpensive and easy to find but it breaks down over time. Cinder blocks, the black hard nylon sheet, reclaimed bricks and stones are good choices as well.
The type of material you use is dependent on your climate as well as the duration of time you are planning on having the raised garden with you. One material that should not be used is old railroad tires. The creosote built-in them leaches into the soil over time and it’s bad news to both plants and people.
Make your raised garden beds suit you and your family. You should be able to reach the middle of the garden from all sides even with mobility issues.
Therefore, your pathways should allow you and the equipment to fit without a hustle. If you have kids, they should as well be able to easily help with the gardening. These are the factors to consider while deciding on the size of your raised garden.
Mulch your raised beds once the plants are established so that the soil retains moisture as well as cuts down on weeds. In addition to that, your gravel is your tidy option for keeping out weeds on your pathways.
Now that you have the correct size of the garden bed and nutritious soil, it is good to plan the order in which you will plant your grass. It should be visually pleasing, nurturing to the soul, and inviting. Every moment spent it is refreshing. Moreover, label the different types of grass you have planted especially if you are using the same type of material for all your garden beds.
Another great option for having grass on stones in your front yard is the simple relaxed style of lush ornamental grasses. Whether mass planted as a hedge, grouped together with complimentary plants, or used as a large specimen plant, they will make your landscape look beautiful.
Ornamental grass comes in a variety of sizes, in different types and colors. They mix perfectly with shrubs like hydrangeas or sweet-smelling lavender. You can put them in huge pots and stage them at different places in your front yard. as well as make a sidewalk garden bed with the smaller ornamental grasses. They contrast very well and can also be used as accents in a rock garden.
Depending on the growth habit of the grass, you may be required to first cut down the bottom of the pot, then double dig the soil to ensure the roots grow straight down and not sideways.
Ditch the regular grass altogether, and create a pretty and unique entry garden full of river rock and ornamental grasses. A mix of grasses creates an interesting dynamic border to the lawn while creating a dramatic showing in the yard. They add movement, color, and texture to gardens made in the shade or the sun. their appeal is definite.
When choosing you will find the long-lasting multi-seasonal display grasses. To mean they can change their colors according to the season. While there are those that retain their form and color despite the season. The varieties are incredible from evergreens to heat lovers to those that thrive in moist environments.
Grasses usually are not fussy about the type of soil they grow in. It might be surprising to know that there are several varieties that prefer poor soil without the need for fertilizer. While others enjoy a well-drained location with well-nurtured garden soil.
The watering may be roughly determined by the temperature classifications. Always refer to the particulars for each individual in order to be able to provide them with the right conditions.
In the pots, ensure that there are plenty of drainage holes. In case you are using containers made of stone, make sure you add 4 to 6 inches of pebbles at the bottom and mix the soil with some sands. They act as drainage material.
In conclusion, choose your grasses based on cool and warm-season growth habits. Then select the shapes, sizes, and colors that work for your chosen location. It is a good idea that you are choosing to have some grass in your gravel yard. you can incorporate the two intentionally and they can co-exist well.
keep in mind that the soil is a living thing therefore, it needs constant replenishing with nutrients in order for it not to die. Do it in between crop rotation and at the end of the growing season.