How Big is Too Big? Choosing the Right Size Rock for Your Landscape

Written by Builders Sand & Gravel Inc. on . Posted in Blog

rockery rocksRockery rocks come in all shapes and sizes to serve a variety of purposes. From smooth pebbles and washed gravel to boulder-sized landscaping rocks, the huge range of size options allows builders to find the right rock for nearly any outdoor project.

With variety, however, comes difficult choices. To the inexperienced landscaper, it can be tough to know which size and variety of rockery rocks to use in a project.

If you’re planning a project and are unsure which size rock is best, read on. Here’s our quick guide to common rock sizing options and their applications:

Large Boulders and Landscape Rocks

Larger rocks create beautiful centerpieces for different landscapes, and are also commonly used in retainer walls. These large rocks can be anywhere from half-man to 4 or 5 man in size, making them incredibly heavy. These sturdy giants are useful for supporting decorative gardens, building bench rocks, and building outcroppings as well.

Two to Four-Inch Quarry Spalls

These larger, jagged, baseball-sized rockery rocks are often used in smaller retaining walls, or embedded in wet landscapes to provide greater stability for building other structures. Spalls can be compacted fairly well while still allowing water filtration.

3/4 Inch to 2 Inch River Rocks

River rock is a popular type of smooth gravel, typically one to two inches in diameter. This type of rock commonly comes in slightly larger diameters due to its application. Since smooth rocks are often used to mulch flowerbeds and line garden pathways, larger, heavier gravel is less likely to scatter. If you’re creating a pathway or other more decorative garden element, medium-sized river rocks might be the perfect choice!

5/8 Inch Minus Crushed Gravel

This type of gravel includes dust and chips that are all 5/8 of an inch or smaller. Due to its sharper edges and the inclusion of smaller pieces, this gravel compacts easily to create a smooth surface. As such, it is ideal for creating support beds for patios and driveways.

3/8 Inch Pea Gravel

One of the smaller gravel options available, these small round stones create excellent walking comfort when used in by a pool, a pathway, or playground. Pea gravel is ideal for decorative elements as well, like aquariums and fountains.

While this list provides a good introduction to different rock sizing options, there are many, many size alternatives beyond these to meet nearly any construction or landscaping need. To learn more, contact Builders Sand and Gravel Incorporated today!