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How To Landscape With Stone Mulch

By Katherine Kally ; Updated September 21, 2017
River rock mulch you can use on your landscaping.
stone image by Mandy Chou from Fotolia.com

Increase your homes curb appeal by landscaping with stone mulch. Stone mulch, such as small white rocks or river rocks, creates a distinctive background for flower beds, stepping stone walkways, ornamental trees and evergreen shrubbery. Landscape around your mailbox with decorative stone mulch or create a focal point in your yard with a layer of stone mulch beneath a fountain or garden bench. The stones help retain moisture and prevent weeds, much the same as other types of organic mulch.

Remove the grass inside a 3-foot perimeter around an ornamental tree in your yard. Remove any rock or other debris inside the 3-foot perimeter. Stack landscape pavers two-high to create a border around the excavated perimeter. Fill in the excavated space between the border and the tree with a 3-inch thick layer of white rock mulch.

Excavate the ground 12-inches around your mailbox post in a circle, square or rectangular design. Stack a layer of two slate stones around the perimeter of the excavated area. Layer white rocks or river rocks inside the excavated area for visual appeal.

Spread a 3-inch layer of stone mulch around the flowers in your flower bed. A thick layer of stone helps with weed prevention. Slate stone chips, white rocks or polished river rocks are all good choices for flower bed mulch.

Excavate a 2-foot wide pathway in the desired area of your property. Create a small crevice along each outside edge of the pathway with a spade. Insert 4-inch edging into the crevice so that 1-inch is above soil level; a mallet may help secure the edging into the opening. Backfill the crevice around the edging with dirt to anchor it. Fill the space between the edgings with a 1-inch layer of stone mulch.

Create a 6- to 12-inch wide stone mulch border around the perimeter of your patio. The stone mulch is a decorative base for container plants and will increase the overall floor space of the patio. You can also stand shepherd’s hooks, lighting and other decorative features on top of the stone mulch.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Pavers
  • White rocks
  • Natural slate stones
  • River rocks
  • Square spade
  • 4-inch edging
  • Mallet


  • Landscape fabric between the soil and the stone mulch will help prevent the stones from sinking into the soil.


  • Stone absorbs heat and releases it during the night, which can increase the amount of water used by plants, according to North Carolina State University Extension.

About the Author


Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.