How to Landscape With Lava Rocks

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Lava rocks are very porous and attractive rocks that are used for landscaping purposes. Not only do they add color, but if used as mulch serve to keep weeds to a minimum. Unlike hardwood mulch that disintegrates in time, lava rocks remain a part of the landscape year after year. Just like other decorative stones, besides being used for mulch, they can be used to create pathways in a garden. Or they can serve as a focal point within your plantings whether they be evergreens, shrubs, flowers, or a water treatment within your landscape.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Lava rocks (either gravel size or large pieces depending upon your project)
  • Edging (if you are creating a pathway)
  • Decide how you are going to use the lava rocks in your landscape or garden. Will you use them as mulch, garden art or a pathway?

  • Determine what color lava rocks you are going to use in your landscaping project. They are usually available in red and black and can be purchased at big box home improvement stores or at the local nursery.

  • Clear the area that you are going to mulch of any debris or weeds (if you are using lava rocks to mulch). Pour the lava rocks (gravel size) in the cleared mulching area and spread them out evenly with a rake.

  • Purchase large lava rocks (if you are using them as ornamental art). These will be placed strategically and grouped within your landscaping to form a focal point or area of interest. If you have a pond, you may consider placing them near the water to give a Zen like feeling to your pond.

  • Dig your pathway (1 inch or 2 inches below grade level will do) and clear it of any grass, weeds and debris. If you are creating a pathway with the inclusion of lava rocks, make sure that it is level by raking the ground. Edge the path with a material of your choice (pavers, plastic edging or rocks) to keep the lava rocks in place. Pour the lava rocks in the pathway and spread the lava rocks evenly within the pathway by raking.

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