Rocks for a low maintenance yard

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Remove your grass and replace it with rocks. No more lawn care. Is this the lawn of the future?

wrote a post about using rocks as a mulch
. A friend saw it, and asked if I thought he could get away with taking out all of his grass to be replaced with rocks. Sure you can, I replied. He countered that he bets that their is a law against it. None that I know of, and I have seen homes here in Houston with rock mulches instead of lawns. I think that your biggest concern would be your HOA (home owner’s association). Would you do it, he queried. No, I replied.
    There are options for taking out your lawn to reduce your maintenance efforts. Rock mulches may be good for you. Here are some issues that I have faced with my rock beds.
The children- the love to pick up and throw the rocks. Luckily, there have been no broken windows yet, but some damage has ensued. I have been pretty good at stopping my own children, but they do have cousins and other guests. Decomposed granite is attractive, and this material packs down, so they cannot get much to throw. However, I resort to educating the kids, so I can have the rocks that I want.
Weeds- they still grow through. I used a regular landscaping fabric/weed blocker, which lasted about a year. If I would be doing a major bed with a rock mulch, I would buy a commercial grade weed blocker. Weeding in the rock beds is not fun, and I can do without it. I did notice rocks cemented into place at a Buddhist Temple. I would advise against this for an entire lawn, because you would create a drainage problem.
Leaves and other debris- I can sweep and gently rake leaves off the top of the rock mulch, but I find that I do need to go in by hand. I guess a blower might do the trick, but I try to only use non-powered (or maybe I should say human powered)  equipment.
    I have not had other issues. If you can think of problems with a rock yard I would like to hear them, so leave a comment.

3 Responses to “Rocks for a low maintenance yard”

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This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank


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