How do I Calculate Tonnage for Landscape Rock?

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Ordering the appropriate amount of rock for landscaping requires careful calculation
Ordering the appropriate amount of rock for landscaping requires careful calculation (Image: pebbles image by Dwight Davis from Fotolia.com)

Mature plantings and landscape features enhance a home's visual appeal and increase the property value. Homeowners find adding patios, walkways, ponds and other landscaping features further add to a home's aesthetic. Landscape rock is also used to enhance a home's exterior as a mulch, to line a driveway, and to cover low, damp spots. Homeowners can combine plantings with attractive landscape features to transform any yard from ordinary to phenomenal.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator

Determine the square footage of the area to be covered by rock. Use a tape measure to find the length and width of the area in feet.

Multiply the length of the area to be covered by rock times the width of the area. For example, an area 20 feet long and 40 feet wide would be 800 square feet.

Divide the total square footage by 100 to determine the number of cubic yards needed. One cubic yard of rock will cover approximately 100 square feet, 2 inches deep. For example, 800 square feet divided by 100 equals 8 cubic yards.

Tips & Warnings

  • Landscape rock provides the best coverage when spread 2 inches or more deep.
  • Apply weed killer and pesticide prior to spreading rock to ensure effective application.
  • A dump-truck bed typically holds 18 cubic yards.
  • Delivery charges for mined materials are often determined by weight and can vary greatly. Always confirm the delivery charge before placing an order for rock.
  • If a home is governed by a homeowner's assocation, check the rules regarding landscape rock and application before beginning the project.

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