How Much Landscape Rock Do I Need

How Much Landscape Rock Do I Need?

Transforming your outdoor space into a picturesque oasis often involves the strategic use of landscape rocks to add texture, depth, and character to your garden or yard. Whether you're planning to create a charming rock garden, build a stunning pathway, or accentuate specific areas with decorative rocks, determining the right quantity can be a difficult process.

There’s nothing worse than undertaking a large-scale landscaping project, only to realize you haven’t ordered enough landscape rock. At the same time, ordering too much rock can also cause headaches - you have nowhere to store it and it’s an unnecessary expense. So, how much landscape rock do you need, really?

That’s exactly what we’re going to discuss in this article. We’ll show you how to figure out how much landscape rock you need, to prevent the frustration and delays that come with under-ordering, as well as the unnecessary expense of over-ordering. 

And, if you have an outdoor project in mind but need some help bringing your ideas to life, our Alpharetta landscapers can do just that. Give us a call to get started!

What is Landscape Rock and its Purpose?

Landscape rocks, also known as decorative rocks or ornamental stones, are natural or artificial rocks used to enhance the aesthetic appeal and functionality of outdoor spaces. They are a popular, low-maintenance choice for homeowners seeking to elevate the visual allure of their yards. 

Types of Landscape Rocks

There is a diverse array of landscape rocks available, each offering unique textures, colors, and characteristics:

  • River rock: These smooth, rounded rocks are often sourced from riverbeds and are available in different sizes and colors, ranging from earthy tones to vibrant hues. 

  • Pea gravel: Consisting of small, smooth, and rounded stones, pea gravel is a versatile choice for pathways, patios, and drainage solutions. 

  • Flagstone: Unlike other rocks, flagstone is a flat and thin natural stone, often used for creating walkways, stepping stones, and patio surfaces. 

  • Lava rock: Originating from volcanic lava, these lightweight rocks are characterized by their porous texture and reddish-brown to black colors. 

  • Boulders: Large and imposing, boulders serve as striking focal points in landscapes. They can be used to create stunning rock gardens, retaining walls, or simply as standalone features that add drama and visual interest to the overall design.

Benefits of Using Landscape Rock in Your Yard

Unlike traditional lawns or gardens, landscape rocks require minimal upkeep. They do not need mowing, watering, or regular pruning, saving you time and effort in maintaining your outdoor space. They also aid in water conservation by reducing evaporation and retaining moisture in the soil, making them one of the best drought tolerant landscape design ideas

When properly installed, landscape rocks can effectively suppress weed growth, minimizing the need for herbicides and manual weeding. Plus, they are durable and can withstand the elements, ensuring longevity and sustained beauty for your outdoor space with minimal maintenance.

The Importance of Ordering the Right Amount of Landscape Rock

You might be wondering why it’s so important to figure out how much landscape rock you need. Unfortunately, the wrong amount of landscape rock can completely derail your landscaping plans - here’s how. 

The Risks of DIY Estimation: From Wasted Resources to Unsatisfactory Results

Learning how to figure out how much landscape rock you need can’t be that hard, right? Unfortunately, it can. Without a clear understanding of the types of landscape rocks, their coverage area, and how they integrate into the landscape design, there's a higher chance of overestimating the quantity needed. This can lead to unnecessary expenses and excessive leftover rocks that may not fit into your future plans.

On the other hand, underestimating the amount of landscape rock required can result in an incomplete project, causing delays and frustration. It may force you to purchase additional, different materials, potentially leading to variations in rock types and colors.

You might also end up wasting your time because you’re making trips to buy more landscape rock, or you might try to spread your rock too thin or distribute them unevenly, which won’t yield good results when your project is finished.

Experts Make the Difference: Efficiency, Accuracy, and Aesthetics

So, should you hire a landscape designer instead? Trusting your next landscaping project to an expert can make a big difference when it comes to the end result. While you may spend hours wondering how much landscape rock you need, experienced landscapers will know the answer as soon as they see your space. 

A trusted landscaping company can streamline your project, ensuring you order the right amount of supplies to begin with, and save you from the expensive mistake of over-ordering, helping the landscape design cost pay for itself. They can also give you tips on how to avoid landscaping mistakes that date your home.

Plus, the trained eye of a professional landscaper can help you design a backyard landscape using rocks to create focal points, balance textures & colors, and harmonize with other landscaping and hardscaping, resulting in a visually appealing and cohesive design.

How to Figure Out How Much Landscape Rock I Need: Factors Influencing Your Purchase Order

So, how much landscape rock do I need? Planning a project with landscape rocks requires careful consideration of several different factors. From the scale and scope of your project to the type of rocks you desire, an accurate estimate helps you avoid waste, save money, and all but guarantees the success of your project.

Understand Your Project: The Key Factors That Impact Quantity

Several factors influence the quantity of landscape rock you'll need:

  • Area size: Measure the dimensions of the area you intend to cover with landscape rocks. Be it a pathway, garden bed, or decorative area, accurate measurements are crucial for your estimate.

  • Rock type and size: Different types and sizes of landscape rocks have varying coverage capacities. Smaller rocks like pea gravel or crushed stones can cover more area per ton compared to larger rocks like boulders.

  • Depth of coverage: The depth at which you plan to lay the landscape rocks affects the overall volume needed. For functional areas like pathways, a deeper coverage might be required for stability, while decorative areas may need a thinner layer.

  • Slope and grade: If your landscape has sloping or uneven terrain, consider the gradient when estimating. Steeper slopes may require additional rocks to prevent erosion and ensure proper coverage.

  • Visual design: The intended aesthetic of your landscape design also impacts the quantity and arrangement of landscape rocks. A rock garden or a focal point may require more rocks strategically placed, while a minimalist design will need fewer rocks.

The Math Behind Estimation: A Simple Guide to Figuring Out How Much Landscape Rock You Need

Estimating the quantity of landscape rock involves some basic math. First, multiply the length and width of the area to determine the total square footage (length x width = area in square feet). As landscape rock is often sold by the cubic yard, divide the total square footage by 324 (since 1 cubic yard covers 324 square feet at a depth of 1 inch) to get the cubic yards needed.

If you desire a different depth of coverage, multiply the cubic yards obtained in the previous step by the desired depth (in inches) and divide by 324 to get the adjusted cubic yards.

So, How Much Landscape Rock Do I Need?

The above calculations show you how to figure out how much landscape rock you need. Generally, it’s best to add a small percentage (around 5-10%) as a buffer, because it’s always better to have slightly too much landscape rock than to realize you haven’t ordered enough.

More Factors to Consider Beyond the Quantity of Landscape Rock You Need

Learning how to figure out how much landscape rock you need is important, but it’s just one of the many elements of landscape design you’ll need to consider before your project kicks off. Think about where and how the rocks will be placed to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of your outdoor space.

Also, consider how the landscape rocks will harmonize with your existing elements like plants, trees, and other hardscape features. Make sure you’ve thought of different types of drainage solutions, and if possible, source your landscape rock locally and make sure they’re suitable for your region. 

Want to Eliminate the Guesswork and Enjoy Peace of Mind? Michaelangelo’s is Here to Help

As you can see, there’s a lot more to a landscaping project than simply answering: how much landscape rock do I need? While you can try to figure things out yourself, an expert landscaper will ultimately make sure your landscaping project turns out perfectly. 

Whether you’re looking for a helping hand to design a front yard landscape, or need some minimalist landscape design ideas, our team can help. At Michaelangelo’s, we offer landscape design in Alpharetta GA, helping you transform your yard into a stunning oasis, creating outdoor spaces you won’t be able to get enough of. 

From giving you contemporary landscape design ideas to keeping your landscape in pristine condition with our full service landscaping maintenance services, our team will make sure your outdoor spaces elevate your home. 

Final Thoughts on How Much Landscape Rock You Need

So, how much landscape rock do you need? While you can do the calculations yourself, there’s a good chance you’ll over or under-estimate your needs, which can increase costs and slow down your project. 

On the other hand, hiring a landscaping professional not only saves you huge amounts of time and effort, but also almost always leads to better results. If you want to create a breathtaking landscape in your front or backyard, or truly learn how to design a low maintenance landscape, working with an experienced landscaping professional is a must. 

At Michaelangelo’s, we have 20 years of landscaping experience, specializing in premium residential and commercial design and installs, maintenance services, and turf care. Let us bring our experience to your next landscaping project - contact us to get started!