I have been searching for the correct process for creating a "rock garden", but I have been finding mixed instructions.

Some say to create a foundation of small gravel and then build on top of it so that drainage will work properly.

Other guides say to lay down plastic lining then lay small gravel. Since the plastic lining will prevent unwanted grass and other plants from growing within the rocks.

What is the correct process for creating a rock garden that avoids plants growing through while allowing drainage?

By "rock garden", I mean something like this enter image description here

  • I am not sure why my question was closed for being "opinion based". A comment telling me specifically why its considered "opinion-based" would be very helpful. I do not consider this question "opinion based" since I am asking for the correct process of creating a rock garden to prevent unwanted vegetation while allowing drainage. I am not asking for the 'best' way, There are many ways to solve a problem so there will always be different answers and the community will decide which answer has the most value.
    – Spectrem
    Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 2:29
  • Asking for the "best way" and the "correct" way are very similar. It's not a bad question and it has gotten a couple of good answers, but there is no way to decide which answer should be accepted as the definitive answer to the question, so it's not the best "fit" for this site which places emphasis on that.
    – gnicko
    Commented Dec 2, 2022 at 2:34
  • Almost every question asked on any stack exchange site is going to have multiple solutions. The community determines with upvotes which answer has the most merit and the person who asked the question will mark the solution that worked for them. So I still dont understand how my question is "opinion based". Example: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/178961/… This is another question I asked on another stack site which I think is much more "opinion based" , yet it wasnt closed.
    – Spectrem
    Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 0:43

2 Answers 2


It is quite simple process. Instead of plastic, you lay down the special fabric designed for such projects. The fabric allows water to go through and keeps the weeds from coming out.

Simply google: Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric. Make sure to purchase heavy duty version.

And there you have it.

Take care

landscape fabric


I would suggest that the best process would be place a thin layer of gravel (base gravel #3 is likely the best option here), then use a landscape fabric/weed barrier, then place the desired level of stone on top of that barrier.

Why? The base layer of gravel is cheap insurance to help with drainage and reduce the likelihood of the barrier from becoming plugged with soil from underneath.

  • You should be clear about what "gravel" is here. Class 5 will not result in improved drainage, for example.
    – isherwood
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 14:01

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