Deciding on how you’ll landscape your next project can be overwhelming. There is certainly no shortage of options to choose from, and the selection and application of materials can be equally as diverse. Whether you’re making these decisions on your own or you’ve sought out the help of professionals to assist in the design process, there are some elements to consider.
Are texture and color a priority for my project? Does the environment require special attention to the type of materials used? What’s the project threshold for ongoing maintenance? And, of course, what will our budget allow?
With all of that considered, there’s a good chance that you’ll be contemplating crushed stone as part of your material mix. Assuming that’s the case, let us help you get organized.
1. Crushed Stone Selection
This is where color, texture, application, and cost come into play. Are you looking to cover a driveway or fill in some spaces between stone pavers? Then a certain color variation of pea gravel might be in order. Maybe you’re looking for a good, lightweight aggregate with explosive colors that work well in drier climates. If so, lava rock could be a solid choice. Let’s say you want a sleek and classy option that works well around container gardens and adds to your landscape design. Then marble chips would work well. With the quarry access that Staker Parson has at its disposal, the point here is simple: We’ve got whatever crushed stone you might need.
2. Vegetation Removal
If you were to ask your local landscape professional for a list of what distracts most from an otherwise beautifully landscaped property, it would likely include some form of unwanted vegetation growth. This is especially true for landscapes with crushed stone. Because many vegetation types can be challenging to kill, the intention here needs to be complete removal and treatment before your stone goes down. That means pulling shallow vegetation and then spraying the area with a nonselective herbicide, which is simply a vegetation killer that eradicates all types.
3. Soil Preparation
Now it’s necessary to relocate your soil inside the landscaping area. The result is the flattening of elevated sections and the building up low spots. Although it doesn’t need to be perfectly flat, the goal is to avoid large peaks and valleys. Once that’s accomplished, you need to address the barrier material. This can be any geotextile fabric that’s draped over the bare soil to help manage vegetation growth, erosion, and general soil structure. Each section of fabric can be staked to the ground in regular intervals. Just be sure to overlap the edges of each section by about six inches. That will keep the fabric secured and avoid rolling up once the stone is placed.
4. Edging Installation
When you’ve got a varied landscape design, one of the most important aspects of that design involves containment. It’s monumental for crushed-stone applications. That means using edging material that creates a barrier to separate stone types or foliage and to create interesting patterns. Edging comes in the form of flexible plastic that can be staked to the ground in a variety of shapes, or it can be a matter of digging small trenches that hold bricks or pavers. A lot depends on the look and application you’re going for, but the premise doesn’t change. It would be best if you had a solid edge to reinforce the structure of your crushed stone. Just don’t forget to tuck your barrier fabric under the edging of your choice.
5. Maintenance Schedule
At this point, you’ve thoughtfully considered your materials. You’ve done all the preparation and placement. Now the only thing that’s left is maintenance. Inevitably you’re going to see some rogue weeds make it through your treatment and barriers. The same goes for minor erosion and water runoff that displaces your stone. While this should be minimal, there will still need to be attention paid to your work. Create a schedule to inspect your work over time. Have appropriate herbicides available to treat problem areas when they arise, and be sure to address any erosion problems before they become major issues.
Using crushed stone in your landscape design doesn’t have to be complicated to make a statement. Have fun with it! Give others a small peek into who you are through your design. Chances are, you’ll have plenty of time to appreciate the results.
As always, if you have questions, we’d be happy to assist you! Just contact us or request a quote if you’re ready to start designing.