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How To Remove River Rock From Patio

How To Stabilize River Stone Pathway

Moss and Lichen Removal – Soft Wash on Stone Patio and Firepit!

I had a landscaper install a pathway through my yard with concrete tiles for the center and stones filling up around the tiles for a 4 foot path. I was going for a tile+gravel kind of look and maintenance. However, the problem happened that he brought in a bunch of small river rock which i did not realize would cause huge stabilization problem. It took me a couple of days to realize that this was not going to be very stable – but then already 60 ft of stones had been laid down. The stones easily roll around to the Tiles, anything dragged on them is a huge pain and creates ruts.

I am almost considering the whole set hauled out – but thought I will ask this

Is there anyway to reasonably stabilize it? Can i pour sand/small-gravel in from the top now? They are white stones, mostly rounded, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch diameter. I have to add that it looks amazing – it just is a pain to walk on or roll a lawn mower on.

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  • When To Call A Professional Landscaper

    Landscaping with river rock isnt always easy. When you have a range of landscaping designs and different river rock types to choose from, sometimes you need a professionals advice.

    Call a professional landscaper near you if you need assistance with river rock landscape design, installation, river rock removal, or moving large stones.

    S For Cleaning Landscape Rocks

  • Use a leaf blower to push as much debris out of the rocks as possible.
  • Dig down to confirm if landscape fabric or plastic sheeting is below the rocks. Use a hose without a nozzle and flood the rocks with water, letting the water carry debris out of the rocks.Washing works well with landscape fabric or plastic under the rocks. If you do not have the fabric or plastic washing the rocks in the flower or garden bed could over saturate the soil and cause root rot.
  • For stained rocks, shovel the rocks into a wheelbarrow or buckets. It maybe necessary to filter debris from the rocks.Youll want to work in small sections. Fill the buckets or wheelbarrow half full or less with rocks, so youll still be able to lift and carry them. Use a sprayer hose to clean rocks.
  • Fill the rock containers with water. If your rocks are still stained after you rinse them with the sprayer, you could add 1 part household bleach to 2 parts water to cover the rocks for the washing. If using bleach in the water, please dont dump it on vegetation!
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    Encourage Good Drainage With A Dry Creek Bed

    Because rounded river rock does not fit snugly together to create a compact surface , water can easily pass through these small stones and into the ground.

    So what?

    Poor drainage can lead to contaminated runoff polluting water habitats, such as rivers and streams. Runoff can also damage your homes foundation or basement.

    The result: A river rock surface has better drainage. Surfaces made of pavers, concrete, or asphalt are impervious, meaning they dont allow water to drain into the ground underneath.

    The Many Ways To Use Loose Materials

    Pin by Johns Palms Landscaping on Flagstone, walls ...

    Often loose material is thought of as a supporting material for more static and formal patio installations. It is often used as the filler between a large solid surface and the yard. However, loose material as the primary surface of your patio has many advantages!

    • It can be easily installed over uneven ground.
    • It provides good drainage – water won’t pool.
    • It is generally less expensive.
    • It can be easy to maintain – just add filler or rake it up for a fresh look

    Loose material as a decorative accent provides a variety of interesting colors and textures to accent hard surface patios such s brick and concrete. It can soften the appearance of these traditional patios to create a more natural look.

    Also Check: Slope For Patio

    Medium And Large Rocks


    Pull any weeds or clip the grass around the rocks to expose as much of the rocks as possible. You can move the rocks to a flat surface, such as a driveway, if desired.


    Spray the rocks with a garden hose or pressure washer, starting with a slow stream and steadily building up pressure until you achieve enough pressure to wash the mud away. Avoid using full pressure because the water can splash more mud on the rocks or the stream can disturb delicate plants.


    Scrub any remaining muddy areas on the rocks with a hard-bristled scrub brush to loosen the mud.


    Spray the rocks a second time with a gentle stream of water to rinse the remaining mud away.


    River Rock Clean And Seal

    River Rock is a popular stone used for pathways, patios and waterfalls. The rock is composed mainly of phosphate and is obtained from stream beds. River rock is available in a wide range of sizes, shapes and colors. Sizes range from large rocks to pebbles and the most common colors are gray, black and white. They are usually worn and rounded from erosion. River Rock is set in an epoxy base and troweled over a concrete substrate. It can be applied as thick as desired to meet structural or aesthetic requirements and offers up to twice the strength of concrete. Regular maintenance is required to protect and preserve its appearance.

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    The Benefits Of Sealing River Rock

    Exterior surfaces composed of river rock are exposed to a harsh environment. Over time, wind, rain and UV rays from the sun can degrade the stones. Sealing river rock will prevent damage from the elements and prolong its beauty. It also protects the stones against staining and allows them to be cleaned easier. In addition, sealant guards against wear from foot traffic and helps prevent the stones from coming loose from the epoxy base. Sealants are available in both matte and gloss finishes to enhance the appearance of the river rock. To seal river rock, youll need to make sure the area is clean and free of moisture. The best type of sealant for river rock depends on the type of resin your stones are set in, as well as the environment and traffic area they are currently in. Call us or shoot us an email with more details to get more specific answers about sealing your stone.

    What Does A White Rock Flower Bed Cost

    How to Create a River Rock Patio Area

    The landscape area around our patio is pretty large. I think it took about 20 bags of river rock. The total for this project came to around $175.

    In hindsight, it would have been cheaper to grab river rock by the truckload instead of the bags. I was just eye-balling the bags and we used way more than I expected to use.

    So, do we love it? Yes and no! I love the ease of maintaining it. We can use the leaf blower for just a few minutes and it looks great. The rocks stay in place and I dont have to worry about them.

    BUT I dont love it quite as much as fresh mulch. I think theres something really homey about fresh mulch that you cant quite get with the rocks. However, as soon as fresh mulch starts looking not so fresh then I definitely dont love that either. I do think once my plants grow to be a bit bigger, it will feel homier.

    Overall, we are definitely glad we chose to landscape with the rocks instead of the mulch. It has helped the patio stay cleaner and more put together and, in the long-run, it will be much cheaper. If you want to see more of our patio, then make sure to check out our home tour!

    Other rock landscaping ideas could include: adding rock around trees, under or by a water feature, creating a dry rock creek, etc.

    What do you think of the whole rock vs mulch situation? Would you ever consider using rocks instead of mulch or do you love the fresh mulch look?

    p.s. Did you know that you could

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    Get Rid Of Your Grass

    The first step in transforming your yard is to remove the grass, but dont get out the shovels just yet. The easiest way to kill your grass is to wrap your lawn in black plastic, so use garbage bags weighed down with rocks for a cheap solution. Youll want to keep the lawn sealed off for at least two weeks.

    After you remove the plastic, dig out the dead grass. Youll want to use a square-headed shovel to slice off the grass and roots. Use the shovel to make incisions into the grass, soil every couple feet and remove the excess chunks. You can compost the dead grass, but do not use as mulch immediately. Remaining seeds in the dead grass could sprout in your flower-beds.

    Landscaping With Rock Instead Of Mulch

    April 18, 2019 by Ashley Mayes

    Landscaping with rock instead of mulch is easy and is something you wont have to replace year after year. Learn what we think about mulch vs. rock, how much our flower bed with rocks cost and how long the rock landscaping bed has lasted us!

    We are still working on the patio spruce-up. Honestly, we will be working on our patio for quite some time but are making progress for sure! If you missed the first installment of the patio spruce-up, or the DIY Scrap wood rolling planter, make sure to check those out! Basically, we are working on sprucing up the patio over the next month or so on a serious budget! So, lets chat about our decision for using rocks instead of mulch and what that entailed.

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    Haul Away The Rock Yourself

    You might want to ask a couple friends to help for this option. Shoveling rock is no walk in the park. In fact, manual labor doesnt get much harder than river rock removal. If youre willing to take on the challenge, youll need to get your hands on a truck and trailer. Either call up a buddy who has one or else you can rent a truck and trailer from Home Depot or even U-Haul. You should also make sure you know of a yard waste disposal place that accepts gravel because only a few do. Here in the Twin Cities, my favorite yard waste sites are in Maple Grove and Gertens in Eagan. Please note that both of these places will charge a fee per cubic yard unless you are a local city resident. The other option would be to rent a roll off dumpster and have it delivered on your driveway. As long as the door is low enough, you should be able to push your wheelbarrow into the dumpster.

    Preliminary Rock Patio Considerations

    Simple and Stylish Ideas Can Change Your Life: River Rock ...

    The first step to creating your ideal rock patio is thinking about some preliminary considerations. What do you want to do in your yard, and how could having a rock patio help this? How big is your available space and how much space do you want the patio to take up? What is your budget for this project? While some people choose to make these decisions on their own and be more independent with their process, you are always welcome to call Saunders for a consultation. You can trust our experts to help you figure out what is best for you and your family. It is important that you know exactly what you want out of your rock patio before you get started so that your unique structure really does suit your lifestyle the best. This way, you have no regrets years from now, and this rock patio will continue to serve as an asset as long as you live on this property.

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    What To Use To Clean Pebble Rock Flooring

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    Since pebble rock flooring contains multiple different pebbles, and acids can etch certain types of rocks, avoid cleaning them with acid-based products such as vinegar, ammonia or lemon juice. Instead, use pH-neutral cleaning solutions to keep your floor looking its best. When in doubt, contact the company that installed the flooring for their suggestions.

    Have You Recently Spotted Fungus Mold Algae Or Moss Growing Among Your Outdoor Living Space

    Mold and other types of growth thrive in shady areas with excessive moisture. Decomposing organic matter like excessive thatch, mulch, and buried material like wood or roots will harbor this growth as well.

    Removing these organic fungi is crucial for a safe and appealing outdoor area. If left untreated, they can cause discoloration, an unsightly look, and a slippery surface to walk on.

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    Pile The Rock Under The Deck

    Ive seen this done plenty of times. Normally landscaping rock is about 1.5 inches deep. If you dont want to go through the effort of hauling the rock away, you can just relocate the rock to another area on your property. Maybe you like the rock underneath the deck but not around the house. In that case all you need is a spade shovel, a wheelbarrow and a metal rake. The biggest problem with this approach is that youll end up with 4+ inches of rock in one area. This might cause the rock to overflow and go over the border edging and onto the grass. Everyone knows what happens when a lawn mower runs over rocks! Because of this, I dont prefer this option very much either. Though it is better than the first option.

    How To Separate Rocks From Dirt

    Removing rock in the garden

    For retaining as much soil from a rocky area of your lawn, a sifting screen is the way to go.

    A screening tray is a very effective way to remove rocks from soil, even if you need to work alone. I built a tray after watching this video to clear larger stones out of a new garden bed area.

    A manual sifter screening tray requires a bit of effort, but the results are worth it. If you have another person, you can work the tray directly over the area you want the soil to remain, then dump out the rocks into a waiting wheelbarrow.

    A sifting screen set at an angle allows you to toss a shovelful of rocky soil onto the mesh and let gravity do the work of separating the materials for you.

    This picture demonstrates how to use an angled soil sifter.

    You can build or purchase an electric-powered sifter, which will increase the amount of soil you can process if your rock-clearing job is extensive.

    The size of the holes in the metal mesh material will determine the size of rocks it separates from the soil. You can buy mesh of various sizes, or recycle a section of chainlink fencing to attach to your wooden frame.

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    Crushed Stone Patio Among The Trees

    Crushed stone is laid down and tamped into a perfect square within the grass. You can create little corner areas by just adding a few patio stones for a hard surface. This is a very easy design to create with the straight edges. To keep the stones in place you could incorporation a simple brick edging or even flexible rubber edging used in gardens.

    Perfectly squared crushed stone patio

    Install The Dried Paver

    After the concrete dries completely, use a screw gun to remove the screws from the 1- x 3-inch pieces and carefully take out the finished paver.

    Add a layer of sand to the ground space and smooth it to make it flat and level.

    Add an even layer of landscaping rocks, such as river rocks or pebbles. Repeat the steps, adjusting the amounts of materials you need, to make as many more DIY pavers as desired.

    Add a decorative element to your home when you learn how to make a paver and pebble pathway. First, chisel off the nubs of a paver so it will fit into your path. Use a circular saw to cut a 19 1/2-inch square and 12-inch square from 3/4-inch plywood.

    Screw the smaller square to the center of the larger one. Cut two 21-inch and two 19 1/2-inch segments from a common board. Attach the outer edge of the 19 1/2-inch square one inch above the board to make a mold.

    Pour concrete into the mold and let it dry. Remove the screws and finished paver. Level a layer of sand over the ground space. Finish by adding river rocks or pebbles.

    Looking for a tool to complete your project? The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them.

    Shop this Project

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    Removing Excess Pebbles Or Gravel

    In the event you are removing an old gravel path or large amounts of debris, you can finish up with a leaf rake to separate small pebbles from the soil. As these pebbles normally help with drainage, they should be left in a new garden or landscaped area under normal circumstances.

    Note that removing all pebbles from an area will allow the soil to pack down and may create flooding risks over time.

    How To Build A Loose

    Learn How To Remove Rocks From Yard With 6 Steps

    Sharon is a human resources manager with a passion for reading and research and hanging out in her own backyard.

    There is nothing better than having an area in your own backyard to enjoy being outdoors. A beautiful backyard is a place to sit, read, entertain, or just relax in the sunshine.

    As a society, we tend to spend too much time indoors, and we should get outside more often to soak up some of that Vitamin D. The best way to encourage this is to create an inviting outdoor room right outside on your own property.

    The patch of green grass is inviting enough but why don’t we kick it up a notch by creating an outdoor room? You may think this is a costly project that requires skilled workers but this is just not true. The loose material option is a super easy “do it yourself” weekend project.

    Your backyard beckons!

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