The Q&A Archives: Dry Creek Beds

Question: I'm in the process of putting in a dry creek bed and am wondering if there is anything I should do before putting down the riverbed rock I plan to use?

I constructed a flower bed last year by placing layers of newspapers over existing grass that was mowed very short, then placing topsoil and mulch on top. Should I put weed barrier down? Should I lay down any other before putting down the rock? I plan on putting mother hen & chicks in different places along the creek bed.

Answer: Sounds like you're off to a good start with your garden. I'd put several thicknesses of newspapers down, or weed barrier cloth, before setting the stones of your dry creek bed. If you want to spread sand over the finished bed to help fill in between the stones, you can do that as well. If you don't put some kind of a barrier between the stones and the soil, you're likely to have weeds popping up between the stones. After putting sand between the stones, any weeds that begin to grow will be easy to pull up. If you don't put a weed barrier down before setting your stones, you may have tenacious weed roots under the stones with the tops growing at an angle to reach the sun. Then, when you pull them, they could dislodge the stones. (Experience speaking here!) Good luck with your landscaping project!

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