How to Properly Use Stones Instead of Grass in a Lawn Area

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Things You'll Need

  • Rake

  • Shovel

  • Pre-emergent herbicide

  • Geotextile fabric

  • Anchor pins

  • Scissors

Replace grass lawns with stone mulch to cut maintenance chores.

Grass lawns may be attractive, but maintenance is often challenging for homeowners with little time or gardening skills. Fortunately, there are alternative ground covers for lawn areas that are less time-intensive, such as stones. Stone offers several benefits to the homeowner. When used as mulch, it protects the soil and prevents weeds from growing. Decorative stones in the lawn area can also complement a home and increase its value.


Step 1

Clear the area of grass, sod, weeds and debris with gardening tools, such as rakes and shovels. Level the soil so that there are no mounds or hills and fill up any holes with more soil. Treat the soil with a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent the growth of weeds.

Step 2

Unroll the geotextile fabric over the soil, starting at from one end of the lawn area and working your way across. Cut the fabric with scissors when you get to the other end. If the work area is wider than the geotextile fabric then lay strips of the fabric until it is covered. Let the strips overlap by at least 3 inches. Secure the overlapping areas with anchor pins.


Step 3

Spread several inches of the stone on the geotextile fabric. Ensure that the stone is at uniform depth all over the area. According to Cornell University Extension, uneven spots are susceptible to weeds and leave the soil unprotected.


Stones increase the temperature of the soil and the glare from sunlight. Do not use limestone if you will have acid-loving plants nearby. Limestone will increase the pH content of surrounding soil.



Tina Amo

Tina Amo has been writing business-related content since 2006. Her articles appear on various well-known websites. Amo holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in information systems.