Asked on May 15, 2017

How to put in a pea gravel or rounded stone area in a sloped yard?

by Che10919495
My sister-in-law and I want to put in an area with rounded stone that goes from the bottom of the steps off the deck in a half moon design, including to the left of the steps and back to the right. Grass does not really grow well in the back yard and when it rains, the dogs get that area mucky. The yard slopes, but not towards the house, but from one side of the yard to the other. From what I have read, the best way to do it is to spray pain the edge of the area you want and take the dirt out a couple of inches, lay down landscaping fabric and put edging in and then stone. This is a big undertaking for us and not sure, but we may pay someone to dig the dirt out. Anyway, my questions are do we need sand below the stone and does it need to be leveled? That would be so very difficult. I can see leveling whatever edge we use, but not the entire stone area. I added some pictures to show you the area. We have had a lot of rain (and a backup of water in the basement which made the area worse), so there are rubber stones, a tarp and grass clippings where all of the muck was. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  4 answers
  • Sherry Sherry on May 15, 2017

    I have pea gravel in an area that slopes slightly. In my ignorance I did not do any of the steps you have mentioned here, I simply put the gravel down on the bare dirt. Every four years or so I replenish the gravel because it does get pushed into the earth where we walk on it, but it doesn't take as much as I originally put down, just fills in a few spots here and there. Weeds have not been an issue because I don't get much sun in that area. The few weeds that do come up I simply pull them up and move the gravel around with the rake to cover that spot more completely. On the slopes the rocks occasionally move, especially after a heavy rain, but I just get the leaf blower out and blow them back into their space. It is the best surface for an area where grass doesn't grow as far as I'm concerned. Easy care. I have a lot of leaves in this space and if you hold the leaf blower at the right angle, you can blow the leaves off without any trouble at all.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on May 15, 2017

    Putting something under it would slow down there sinking into the ground. Sand probably would not be needed. You might want to put some kind of edging around the area to keep the stones in. As far as leveling, just flatten out obvious areas since you aren't putting down any kind of pavers. Enjoy your area. It sounds like it will look nice and solve any problems in that area.

  • Che10919495 Che10919495 on May 15, 2017

    Thank you, Sherry. Even though you didn't do those steps, it is reassuring to know that it works in those types of areas. What a mess it is when you can't grow grass well and you have dogs! Thank you again.

  • Che10919495 Che10919495 on May 15, 2017

    Thanks. I thought maybe the sand would do that as well. Maybe the stones wouldn't sink as much as what Sherry said hers did. I was going to use edgers, but found 20 ft. lengths of hard plastic (rubber?) edging that can be rounded for the edge. It is narrow at the bottom and has a bigger rounded top. It seems as if as long as the edge sticking up is about the same height, it would not have to be leveled.

    Thank you.