I. Introduction

II. Types of River Rocks

III. Design Ideas

IV. Maintenance Tips

V. Cost Considerations

VI. DIY vs. Professional Installation

VII. Conclusion

Low-Maintenance River Rock Landscaping Ideas

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance landscaping option that adds texture and visual interest to your outdoor space, consider using river rocks. These smooth, rounded stones come in a variety of colors and sizes, and can be used in a variety of ways to enhance your landscape design.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of using river rocks in landscaping, as well as provide design ideas, maintenance tips, and cost considerations for using this natural material in your outdoor space.

Types of River Rocks

Before you start your river rock landscaping project, it’s important to understand the different types of river rocks available. There are typically three types of river rocks used in landscaping: pea gravel, crushed stone, and river rock.

Pea gravel is the smallest type of river rock, and is typically used for pathways and groundcover. Crushed stone is a bit larger, and can be used for borders and accents in addition to pathways. River rock is the largest type of river rock, and can be used for larger accents and features like waterfalls and ponds.

Each type of river rock has its own pros and cons. Pea gravel is easy to walk on and relatively inexpensive, but can be difficult to shovel and tends to scatter. Crushed stone is more stable and easier to shovel, but can be more expensive. River rock is the most visually striking, but can also be the most expensive and difficult to handle.

Design Ideas

Once you’ve chosen the type of river rock you want to use, it’s time to start thinking about design ideas. River rocks can be used in a variety of ways to add texture and interest to your landscaping.

One popular use for river rocks is creating pathways. These can be straight or winding, and can be made of just river rocks or a combination of river rocks and other materials like pavers or concrete. River rock pathways are low-maintenance and can add a natural feel to your outdoor space.

Another way to use river rocks is as borders and accents. These can be placed around flower beds, trees, and other landscaping features to add visual interest and help define the space. River rocks can also be used to create natural-looking retaining walls that blend seamlessly with the surrounding landscape.

Maintenance Tips

While river rocks are low-maintenance compared to other landscaping materials, they do require some upkeep to stay looking their best. Regular maintenance tasks include removing debris and leaves from the rocks, pulling weeds, and replenishing the rocks as needed.

To prevent erosion, it’s important to make sure your river rocks are properly installed. This may involve excavating the area, laying down a weed barrier or landscaping fabric, and adding a layer of sand or gravel before laying down the rocks. You should also avoid using river rocks in areas with heavy foot traffic or where heavy equipment may be used.

Cost Considerations

When considering using river rocks in your landscaping, it’s important to understand the cost implications. River rocks can be more expensive than other landscaping materials, but there are ways to keep costs down.

One way to save money is to source your river rocks locally rather than buying them from a big-box store. You can also buy in bulk to reduce the cost per pound. Finally, consider using river rocks strategically rather than covering your entire outdoor space. This can help you achieve the desired look while keeping costs manageable.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

When it comes to installing river rock landscaping, you have two options: DIY or professional installation. DIY installation can be a great way to save money, but it’s important to understand the risks and challenges involved.

Before starting a DIY river rock landscaping project, make sure you have the right tools and safety equipment, and that you’re prepared for the physical demands of the job. You should also make sure you understand the proper installation techniques and have a plan for preventing erosion and protecting the rocks from weather damage.

Hiring a professional landscaper can be a more expensive option, but it can also save you time and ensure a high-quality result. Professional landscapers have the expertise and equipment needed to handle even the most complex river rock landscaping projects, and can help you achieve the look you want with less stress and hassle.


Using river rocks in your landscaping can be a great way to add texture and visual interest to your outdoor space while keeping maintenance requirements low. By understanding the different types of river rocks available, considering design ideas, and following maintenance tips, you can create a beautiful and functional outdoor space that you’ll love spending time in.

At A1 Grass, we offer a range of landscaping supplies, including river rocks, to help you achieve your landscaping goals. Whether you’re a DIYer or a professional landscaper, we’re here to help you turn your landscaping dreams into reality. Visit our website to learn more.


1. How often do I need to replace my river rocks?
It depends on factors like foot traffic, weather conditions, and how well the rocks were installed. Generally, river rocks should last several years before needing to be replenished.

2. Can I use river rocks in areas with heavy rain or flooding?
River rocks can be prone to erosion in areas with heavy rain or flooding. If you live in an area with these conditions, it’s important to take extra steps to prevent erosion, such as using a layer of sand or gravel underneath the rocks.

3. Can I mix different types of river rocks in my landscaping?
Yes, mixing different types of river rocks can add visual interest and texture to your landscaping. Just be sure to choose rocks that are similar in size and color to create a cohesive look.

4. What’s the best way to remove weeds from my river rock landscaping?
Regular weeding is important to keep your river rock landscaping looking its best. You can use a hoe or other tool to remove weeds, or consider using a weed barrier or landscaping fabric to prevent weeds from growing in the first place.

5. Can I use river rocks in my vegetable garden?
While river rocks can add texture and interest to a vegetable garden, they may not be the best choice for areas where you plan to grow edible plants. River rocks can leach minerals into the soil over time, which may not be ideal for certain types of crops.

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