How to Lay River Rocks

River rocks make a simple, beautiful addition to your landscaping. The smooth, round stones add drainage and give a polished look to your flower bed, fence, garden or walkway. Aside from their practicality and natural beauty, another benefit of river rocks is that you can save money by gathering them yourself. Laying river rocks is a labour-intensive -- but not necessarily complicated -- process.

Remove any grass and weeds in the area where you wish to lay the river rock. Break up the soil with a small tiller. Using a shovel, dig a 3-inch-deep path of your desired length and width.

Roll a tarp or landscape fabric over the area where you will lay the river rock. Overlap the fabric so that all seams are completely covered.

Cover the landscape fabric with river rocks. If your pathway is narrow -- such as for a flower bed border -- stabilise the rocks by pressing them individually into the layer of fabric and soil. If your fabric covers a large area, scoop the rocks and lay them over the fabric, levelling the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Tarp or woven landscape fabric
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About the Author

Alice Post began writing professionally in 1999. Her first job was writing for "The Baltic Times" in Tallinn, Estonia. She was a journalist for Reuters in New York City, and is now a copywriter for a nonprofit organization in her native Ohio. Post holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Ohio University.