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How to stop weeds from growing in rocks

Creed beds and rockeries make a landscape look attractive. But that appearance can fade away when weeds start growing. These plants tend to grow anywhere. You will find them in gardens, farms, gravel, and even rocks.

When they grow in rock beds along a pathway, for example, they destroy the rock bed’s visual aspect and uniformity. If you have persistent weeds, you will have to figure out a way of eliminating them. Luckily, there are many methods you can use to stop weeds from growing through pebbles.

You can stop weeds from growing in rocks using both toxic and non-toxic methods. Also, manual techniques, such as uprooting the grass by hand, can be useful, albeit temporary.

But what you do before creating your rockeries can determine whether you will have a problem with unwanted plants growing in them in the future.

How to keep weeds out of a rock garden permanently

These are some of the best remedies for weeds in rocks. Make sure to follow the correct procedure when using any of these methods to ensure that all weeds and grass are gone for good.

1. Use vinegar to kill weeds and grass

Vinegar is a natural solution for killing weeds and grass in rocks. It contains acetic acid that attacks the plants from the leaves to the roots. But for this to be practical, the concentration of acetic acid must be higher.

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Green Gobler

In other words, the 5% acetic acid in household vinegar may not be the best. Instead, go for the commercial option that has a higher concentration of 20%. An excellent example is the Green Gobbler vinegar weed & grass killer.

For this method, you will need 10ml dish soap, 4 liters of vinegar, and a garden sprayer. Next:

  • Mix the Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer with dish soap.
  • Stir the mixture in a bucket or bowl.
  • Pour the solution into the garden sprayer.
  • Spray the solution onto the weeds directly.

You can use the Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer without dish soap. But the advantage of adding the detergent is that it will help the vinegar to stick to the plants and not run off, hence making it easier to stop weeds growing through gravel.

2. Use chemical herbicides

You can use chemical herbicides in two ways. First, use them to control weeds before laying your rockeries. Second, use them to kill unwanted plants when they sprout.

Preen extended control

An example of a chemical solution you can use is the Preen 2464092 weed preventer. It is an application that can block weeds from growing for up to six months. To use this product:

  • Pour 10ml of the Preen 2464092 Extended Control Weed Preventer into a sprayer.
  • Mix it with one liter of water.
  • Swish the solution in the sprayer.
  • Spray it to the weeds.
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Chemical herbicides provide different results when used. Use them as directed when removing weeds from a rocky landscape. Also, ensure to use herbicides that contain benefin, isoxaben, or trifluralin as the active ingredient.

3. Uproot the weeds by hand

Weeds removal

Uprooting the weeds by hand is also another practical solution for your rockeries. The advantage of this method is that you will pull out the root system of the plants. As a result, it will prevent them from growing sooner or returning.

Pulling weeds is easier when you are dealing with wet ground. Consider doing it after it rains. Otherwise, follow the directions below:

  • Wear gardening gloves to avoid injuring your hands.
  • Kneel or squat and prepare yourself to pull up the weed.
  • If the ground is hard, loosen the soil using a weeding tool to break up any large clumps.
  • Alternatively, pour some water on the rocks to loosen the soil.
  • Grab the plant’s taproot using your hand or weeding tool.
  • Pull it up to remove it from the rocks.

It is advisable to grab the entire taproot to prevent the weed from growing back. Since pulling by hand takes time and effort, use gardening tools to uproot stubborn weeds.

4. Lay a garden membrane when landscaping

weed barrier

Garden membranes provide a useful solution for preventing weeds and unwanted growth from interrupting a gravel path. It can also keep the gravel clean by protecting it from the soil beneath.

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When using this method in landscaping rock to prevent weeds, start by laying a weed-resistant fabric on the ground. I prefer Goasis lawn weed barrier for this case. Newspapers and cardboard can also suppress plant growth.


You can make a rock garden without weeds by laying a membrane using weed-resistant fabric, newspapers, or cardboard. If the plants grow and make your rockeries unsightly, you can remove them by using either toxic or non-toxic methods.

Some of these include uprooting the taproot by hand or gardening tool, spraying chemical herbicides, or using 20% concentrated vinegar. Hopefully, you can now stop weeds from growing in rocks.