3 posts / 0 new
Last post
Front yard landscaping


I usually keep over in the wood working section of TOH....but this year I need to spend some time on the front yard. It is a mess and I am finding it hard to get my head around the problem. I have started doing some research and have done some preliminary layout work. I will post a bit later once I have something that makes sense. For now...I have some questions regarding drainage. I was planning on putting down some river jack stone up near the house....for about 4 feet. The house has some really nice lower level windows I want to not block with plants. I have been warned that not having plants will lead to erosion problems. Is this true? Right now there is nothing growing there (mostly dirt) and the dirt does not seem to be going away (at least not in a hurry). Will using rocks create some problem I am not seeing at this point?

Also, same person told me to NOT use landscaping fabric (the black cloth-like stuff) under the rocks as that will promote weeds and bugs? Is this true? If it is, what does one use under a bed of rocks?

Thanks for any help.


Re: Front yard landscaping

I've always used landscaping fabric and I think it works very well. I've never had any problems with bugs and it's there to keep the weeds out so I don't know what your friend is referring to.

I can't really get my mind wrapped around your other issue except to say that if it's not eroding with out the rock, I don't know why the rock would hurt. Could you post a picture of the area so we could get a better idea of what you are talking about.

A. Spruce
Re: Front yard landscaping

Walt, you need a better class of friends. ;):p:D

Rock will help, though not stop erosion if you're having a problem with it, which you don't seem to be. The use of weed cloth helps to control weeds to a point. That is to say, the cloth stops new weeds from coming up from underneath it. It does not stop wind blown seed from sprouting between the rock on top of the cloth. It isn't likely that you'll have any more issue with bugs or critters if cloth is used.

Added benefits to weed cloth is that it aids in water run off, so be sure to grade the soil around the house properly before installation. It provides a barrier to the rock so that if and when you decide to remove the rock and do something else, you won't have the stone mixed with the topsoil. The cloth also holds moisture in the soil, so any plantings within the cloth will require a bit less water.

I personally am not a fan of rock, it looks great for a short period of time, then is more difficult to maintain when weeds start to take hold. If you've got dogs or other critters, they'll knock rocks loose and spread them around where you don't want them. In the fall, when plants loose their leaves and needles, rocks are a challenge to keep clean. This has been my experience, FWIW. Have you thought about using various vegetation as ground covers? There are some nice ground sprawling plants that are non-invasive and require little to no maintenance.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.