Mulch and landscaping rock are both designed to serve the same function. They prevent weeds from growing in landscaped areas and provide a pleasing, polished look to the yard and garden. If a homeowner grows tired of landscaping rock and desires a mulched look, the mulch can be applied directly over the rock with no detrimental effects. This creates a thick barrier through which no weeds will grow and can be used around trees and small shrubs.
Purchase a small nugget or shredded mulch to place over the landscaping rock. These smaller mulch types fit better into the grooves of the rock and thus less mulch is needed for complete coverage.
Use a garden hose to water any shrubs or trees contained within the landscaped area.
Unroll the weed control fabric and place in a single layer across the surface of the rocks. Use scissors to cut an opening in the fabric to accommodate shrubs and trees. Overlap each layer of weed control fabric by 1/4 of an inch. This fabric layer prevents weeds from growing through the mulch and prevents the rock and mulch from mixing.
Open the mulch bags and distribute the mulch over the landscaped area until the entire area is covered.
Use a rake to evenly distribute the mulch until it creates a 1- to 2-inch layer across the entire area.