Inexpensive rock patio

January 31, 2018

Two years ago I noticed our back yard would flood on the alley side of our back yard. This area became a mud pit in the rainy winter and our dog who guards are fence against the dangerous trash truck would run along this mud pit and then run into the house.

This is in summer, but in winter the fence line became a mud pit.

To fix this we dug about a foot into the ground and dumped some rock into it. The goal was to allow water run off and keep costs as low as possible.

When we did this we heard a lot have slack from people. ‘You should dig down to the bedrock and then fill it in.’ Or ‘you should build a deck over this area.’ Yes these would have been the better way to go but time and money are valuable to me and those options required a lot of both.

With the rock I was thinking of how most back roads are maintained. You put large rocks down first then drive over it until the rocks start to work themselves into the ground then you do another layer of medium sized rocks again waiting until they start going into the ground then you fill in everything with smaller rocks and it starts to compact and you have a decent road. The draw back is that every few years you have to replace the top fill rock because of pot holes and just normal absorption into the ground.

Well that was my goal with our rock patio, but then I found out that without cars compaction takes forever! And weeds grow way faster than rocks work themselves into the ground.

Now, I learned a few weeks ago at our soil class that one of the best ways to keep out weeds is to bury cardboard. The cardboard inhibits any sunlight from germinating the weed seeds. Viola! If I put cardboard under the rocks I may have a chance at keeping out weeds.

But then it comes back to time. Basically, I will be doing this in stages. The rock patio is way to big for me to go full bore. But laying out a few pieces of cardboard when I have a day off might not be to hard.

using cardboard to block weeds
Cleared the rocks and placed the cardboard down.
Using cardboard to block weeds
Then I piled the rocks onto the cardboard. I used some broken scrap bricks I have laying around too.

And the whole time Skipper was watching me work from his rabbit run, of course when I get my camera he jumps off the bucket and hides behind it.

Angora Rabbit in the rabbit run
Skipper trying to hide behind the bucket so I don’t get a million pictures of him.

Happy Crafting!

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