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How to Make a River Rock Pathway in San Diego, CA
Category Landscape Rock
A pathway made of river rocks is a wonderful alternative to a plain path made of concrete. River rock is cost-effective, provides color, texture, and beauty, and is easy to use if you want to create a pathway yourself. These decorative rocks are easy to install because you place them at a shallow depth, you don’t have to mix concrete, and you can use standard household tools. Whether you’re creating a pathway to your home’s entrance, in a garden, or around a pool, follow these steps to build a river rock path that will provide lasting visual appeal and practical benefits.

Calculate the Volume of River Rock You’ll Need

First, you’ll need to know the amount of river rock your project will require. To calculate how much river rock you’ll need for your pathway, measure your space and use this formula: volume = length x width x height.

Draw Out Your Path

Using landscape chalk, mark out the shape and size of your pathway. At this stage, you can play around with different widths and shapes to make sure you’re satisfied with the design before you move on to digging. You’ll also have the chance to verify  the color choice you’ve made, such as gold pebbles or polished black river rock, will look good in the space.

Clear the Area & Dig

Next, dig up the grass in the area you’ve marked and remove any pavers or other types of stones you may already have in place. Don’t automatically throw away any stepping stones or decorative rocks, such as snow-white pebbles, you’re removing. They may fit in with your new design, and you can save money by reusing them. Finally, dig out the soil to a depth of approximately 5 inches.

Ensure Your Border Is Flush

When you dig out the soil along the side of your pathway, make sure it’s flush. This will be essential when you’re installing side guards, which will keep your decorative rocks from moving and prevent erosion along the pathway’s edges.

Install Side Guards

Now it’s time to put in your side guards. Make sure to use pins to keep them in place. This is an essential step because it will keep your pathway’s edges in place and prevent movement.

You have several options for materials to use for side guards, including:

  • Fence pilings
  • Larger stones
  • Pavers
  • Garden bed edging

Create the Base Layer

Next, you’ll need to put down a layer of bedding sand, which will provide drainage and keep the pathway level. On top of the sand, place a weed mat or landscaping fabric to keep weeds, grass, and other unwanted vegetation from growing through the decorative rocks in your pathway.

Place Stepping Stones & Spread River Rock

Now, place any stepping stones, if you’re planning to use them. Larger stepping stones are a good idea if the pathway will be in an area that’s used frequently by people who are barefoot, such as near a pool. Finally, spread a layer of river rock along the pathway, making it flush with your stepping stones and stopping about a half inch from the top of the side guards to avoid overflow.

If you need advice on designing a river rock pathway of your own, call on the experts at RS&P Rock Stones & Pebbles, your premier choice when you’re looking for a supplier of landscape rock, river rock, and stones to create the perfect look in your yard. We specialize in drought-tolerant landscaping materials, including a variety of colored beach pebbles and river rock. To learn how we can help you enhance the exterior of your home, call us today at (866) 380-0580.

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