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How to Keep Landscape Rocks in Place the Right Way

You can transform any garden into a work of art by adding a few decorative landscape rocks. These rocks work under any weather condition or climate, making them universally useful in your backyard. Despite this benefit, they can get loose and move around. Therefore, you need a way to keep them in place.

Keep landscape rocks in place by using rock anchors or rock weights, landscaping rock glue, other forms of landscaping like plants and different sized rocks. Other options include using a form of drainage system to keep rocks from shifting.

However, moving rocks is not the only issue you have to worry about. Under certain conditions, the rocks can sink into the ground, ruining your garden in the process. Therefore, by reading further, you will also learn how to keep your rocks on the surface where you put them.

How do You Keep Decorative Rocks in Place?

Decorative rocks add a bit of pizzazz to your garden while they keep it free of weeds and other unwanted plants. They are easy to use as well. In most cases, you just need to sprinkle them all over your garden. They are even environmentally friendly.

However, their size and weight can cause problems if you do not prepare for them. Depending on the soil conditions, your rocks can move around, sink into the ground, or otherwise blow away. This is especially true if your garden is on a slope or an uneven surface, which is the case for most people.

Therefore, you will need something to keep your rocks in place regardless of your situation. Luckily, there are a few popular methods that can work. Some of these ways may require more work than others, but each one has its benefits.

Here’s a cool video showing the Victorian trench method, with many more ideas below:

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Landscaping Fabric

The best way to keep your rocks in place is to stabilize the ground, and landscaping fabric is a great way to do it while keeping your garden free of weeds. After clearing the area, you just place the fabric on the ground. You can then put your rocks and other landscaping on top of it.

The only downside is that fabric has a weight limit. Friction will keep most small rocks stuck to the fabric, but large ones can easily rip through it.

Low-Maintenance Plants

If you need something stronger than fabric, you can supplement it with low-maintenance landscaping perennial plants. Just place the plants between the rocks. These plans will stabilize the soil without requiring constant watering or replacement.

Just note that you will get the best results if you:

  • Place the plants in a location prone to slippage
  • Lay the plants in a pattern to control water flow
  • Use different-sized plants

Sand or Concrete

If the plants are not an option, you can use a sand or concrete bed for your garden. These surfaces can withstand the heaviest of rocks, letting you be free to customize your garden as you see fit. Concrete provides the most support, but sand will allow your long-rooted plants to grow.


Mulch is a great alternative to sand. You can use it for both soil control and general landscaping, making it extremely versatile. It is also less expensive to obtain as you can just use leaves, straw, grass clippings, and other organic materials you may have around your home. Mulch will work even in winter conditions.

Add a Walking Path or Stairs

If you want to get more creative, you can add a path through your garden, including stairs if necessary. The path would alleviate the stress on the soil while providing improved access to your garden. You can then sprinkle your rocks along the sides of the path to achieve your desired look and feel.

Landscaping Edging

Landscaping edging will hold your rocks in place regardless of how much the terrain slopes. Although, they are a great idea for any garden as they reduce erosion and soil movement while remaining discrete and out of the way. You just have to install them sideways to achieve the best results.

Use Rocks of Different Sizes and Shapes

If you need something quick and easy, you can try alternating the sizes and shapes of the rocks. If you arrange them properly, the smaller rocks can easily support the larger ones. You can even add a design or pattern while you place the rocks to create focal points around your garden.


If nothing else works, you can use anchors to keep your decorative rocks in place. Any type of anchor will do including sandbags and boulders. You can place your landscaping rocks within the gaps between the anchors.

How do You Keep Rocks from Sinking into the Ground?

When placing decorative rocks on loose soil, sliding rocks is not your only problem. Depending on the size and weight of your rocks, they might just sink into the ground instead. Surface solutions will not work in these cases. You must strengthen the ground to keep your rocks where you want them.

Use a Solid Base

As such, everything begins and ends with your base material. A strong base will keep your rocks from sinking and damaging your plants. Any solid base will do, though you must consider the needs of your plants. For instance, you must ensure that you have proper drainage and air penetration.

Popular bases include concrete, gravel, river pebbles, and landscaping fabric. All of these bases provide decent hard surfaces for your rocks. They also stabilize the soil, keeping erosion at management levels.

You can also use newspapers or cardboard. However, they decompose quickly, increasing the carbon level in the soil. As such, you must use good fertilizer along with them. They are also very porous. Weeds can easily grow through them if you do not overlap the sheets properly.

Use Rock Lining

Another popular way to prevent rocks from sinking is to line their bottoms. Lining the rocks keeps the soil underneath them from washing away during rainstorms. It also helps control weeds and other unwanted plants.

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Landscaping rocks are a great way to add beauty to your garden while keeping your plants happy. However, they can move around or sink when placed on loose or slanted ground. Luckily, there are ways you can keep your rocks in place without ruining their look.

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