Your Questions About Landscaping Stones

Susan asks…

Our backyard consists of all landscaping stones, no grass. We want to plant grass,?

do we have to remove the stones first, and then lay down the topsoil, or can we just buy topsoil to cover the stones and then plant the grass? Thanks!

Tony answers:

I would remove them. The ground needs to be roto-tilled before seeding besides not good for the grass not good for the tiller. Grass takes more work than just throwing down some seed. You need to prep the soil first.

Nancy asks…

How do I kill grass under landscaping pond stones?

I have a ring of pond stones around a large rosebud tree. Probably 10-12 feet in diameter. I used that black “screen” looking stuff and made sure to have it thoroughly covered. I then laid a good layer of pond stone on top of it. Looks gorgeous, but each year, more & more grass breaks through that black stuff and sticks out through the rocks. Will Round Up kill the tree itself, or as long as I’m careful, will it be OK to take out the grass?

Tony answers:

I’ve never seen Roundup devour a tree yet! You could spend forever pulling the grass up especially the running type which is almost impossible to remove by hand especially from around rocks, every viable root regrows the top again.

Having said that Roundup will kill your tree if you are not careful. Orchards use it all the time for maintenance. Here are some choices, for you:

If you just covered the area around the tree with weedmat and did not kill the grass before you started, you may be better to remove the pond stones, remove the weed mat spray carefully, leave the required 24 hours etc and re-weedmat and re-stone, then make sure you regularly poison the edge with round up so no more runners get into the area.

Your other alternative is to keep a maintenance poisoning on the edge areas, then using an ordinary paint brush use straight round-up and paint the grass leaves that are poking through the stone. This will take a while and a few goes but believe me I have removed couch grass like this that I had been pulling out for years beforehand.

Round-up is a systemic herbicide and if you paint the leaves it takes the poison to the roots and kills them to, completely killing the plant that is touched.

If you are worried about the tree be careful not to allow any spray drift to take round-up to the leaves or trunk. (spay on a still day, and very low to the ground). Anything you cover will not be effected – you can cover the trunk with Cardboard while you spray it to protect it. (this also works in garden beds where you only want to remove a small plant from amounst others) The trick is to keep Roundup off any plant you want to keep.

If you have an accident and touch something by mistake rinse the plant immediately. Roundup washes off, and doesn’t kill through the soil only the leaves. (We’ve had some nasty incidents at our place and all plants have lived to tell the tale). Hope this helps.

Donald asks…

Where can I find some cheap pave stones for landscaping?

I was getting ready to do some landscaping and the pave stones at my local gardening store are very expensive. I was wondering if anyone knows where I can get some cheap ones? Thanks in advance.
If you don’t know what they look like, here is the link…
http://www.propertysolutionsnelson.co.nz/_gallery/paving/paving%20stones%20amongst%20stones-lg.JPG

Tony answers:

If you are a crafty person, make them yourself it is easy. And fun. I make my own stones. I make 6×6,, 6×12 and 12×12 sized ones. To make them get some 1×2 stock from the lumber yard. Cut to make the stones and nail corners. Be sure to measure finished size in the inside. I made a set and made them to small. I am in the process of doing a large sidewalk in my front yard.

Once the forms is made spray them with Pam cooking spray. This keeps the concrete from sticking to the molds. I get QuicCrete for around 3$ a bag. Fill molds and smooth the top to finished finish. A Brushed finish is nice and non slip surface. Let the concrete set around 20 minutes and then pull the molds and reuse. The edges will be sharp and i take my fingers and press the edges down so it gives the stones a old appearance.

This a fun hobby that you can get the entire family involved in on a sunny day.

Paul asks…

If a neighbors landscaping turns out to be on our property, can I remove it, the trellis and stepping stones?

They moved next door 5 years ago. The property line was not an issue. I recently took down an ailing lilac bush. It was on our side, not theirs. They are furious because they felt it was clearly theirs and we are unneighborly. They had a surveyor come out, the boundary line was established and turns out alot of the landscaping is on our property. Can I have them move their trellis and stepping stones and continue relandscaping the area to my liking?

Tony answers:

Yes, you can.

I would go over and talk to them about the new found property line. Explain that since now you know where the property line is, you see that they have some landscaping on your side of the property. If you don’t want them to use that portion of your property, together you can discuss the removal of their items. If they are not removed, you will consider it a gracious gift.

Of course, you will be as sweet as pie. If you don’t discuss it now and let it linger, it will only be a problem later on. If you tell them in a year or two or even five to get the stuff off, they will wonder why you never said anything before and they could have gained some rights to your property after so long of being allowed to use it. (You’ve got to nip it in the bud as they say.) I’m currently going through the exact same problem with my neighbors. We are installing a fence and gate because of the them now. Irritating but needs to be done as some just can’t keep to their own property.

Best of luck!! 🙂

Chris asks…

What is a good price for crushed landscaping stone?

I want crushed landscaping white stone. In Home Depot it is $4 for 1/2 cubic feet. Is that a good price or can I get a better price from somewhere else?
Yes, I mean 1/2 cubic yard, sorry.

Tony answers:

I would just call around and find the best price.

A lot of times I find my local stone company to be cheaper then the big discount stores.

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