How to Cover Dirt with Rocks in Your Backyard

Typically, when you think of laying down a new yard, one thing you might think of is how much work it is to get rid of the dirt and lay rocks. There’s a process to doing this, and in this article, we’ll discuss cheaps ways to cover dirt with rocks in your backyard.

Dirt is always part of any landscape, and you can improve your backyard by getting some work done. Rocks are a big part of landscaping, and they can help make your yard look nice. 

How can you ensure that you get the nicest looking yard when using rocks? Let’s go over some ways how you can lay rocks on dirt to make your backyard look natural and beautiful.

Rocks are a great way to help improve your backyard in many ways. They add a little bit of color and can greatly impact the landscape’s overall appearance.

The General Process of Covering Dirt With Rocks

Here is a basic rundown of how to cover dirt areas with rocks. You can also cover the dirt with sod, concrete slabs, artificial turf, mulch, pavers, plants, and benches. 

1. Decide on the aesthetic that you’re looking for with your rocks. Do you want a natural look or a more polished look?

2. Choose the right rocks. Make sure they are small enough to be easily maneuverable and that they complement the aesthetics that you’re going for.

3. Begin covering the dirt with a layer of rocks. Start at one end and work your way across, evenly distributing the rocks.

4. Once the first layer is complete, add a second layer of rocks, again making sure to distribute them evenly.

5. Repeat until all the dirt is covered.

Top 5 Ways to Cover Dirt in Your Backyard

Rocks are a great way to cover the dirt in your backyard. But there are some more ways to cover them. 

Lay Sod

cover dirt with rocks

You can use different types of sod in your backyard. But you don’t need to use them in the entire yard. If you have dirt that needs to be covered, you can use lay sod.

Sod is meant to be used on areas smaller than the entire yard. The main reason for that is the cost of having to lay sod. Laying sod is a cheaper way of having sod in your backyard. But compared to ready-to-go sod, it is much more expensive, especially if you’re using it for a big area.

How to Cover the Dirt With Sod in Your Backyard?

1. Pull up a 6’ by 12’ section of sod and replace the soil with your desired mulch.

2. Line the perimeter of your sod with a row of A-frame garden stakes at least 18” apart.

3. Fill in gaps between stakes with more soil or organic matter.

4. Water well and keep mulching until new growth, typically in springtime.

5. When spring arrives, gently lift the stakes and move to a new spot. So that your laid sod can be further spaced out in rows 3’ apart (1 per stake).

There will likely be some gaps that still need filling with additional soil or mulch because not every plant needs to fill all available space. Some plants might prefer compacted mulching instead of its loose leafy composting nature.

Concrete Slab

There are a few ways to cover the dirt with concrete to keep your backyard looking great. You can mix mortar and concrete together to create a sealant that can be applied over the dirt.

contrete slab to cover dirt in backyard

You can also use a trowel to apply a thin layer of concrete over the dirt. This leaves the sides of the concrete protected from water or rain and looking neat and clean. 

You could use colored cement for this project so it will look classy instead of gray once it’s cured. 

Although colored cement is easier to apply, it still requires sanding, a charcoal trowel, or other porous surface tools like sandpaper. If you want a masonry aesthetic without the expense of stone, concrete covered with colored cement will achieve this look at a much lower price.

Also Read: Best Disc Golf Putter for Backyard

Build a Small Deck

Build a Small Deck

Building a small deck is another way to cover up dirt and grass in your backyard. This can be a simple wooden deck you set on top of some concrete footing, or it could be something more elaborate, like a deck with wrought iron railings and a staircase leading up to it.

Either way, the goal is to create an inviting space that you can use to enjoy nature while keeping the dirt and grass out of sight.

How to Cover Dirt With Paver Stone In Your Backyard?

Choice of Stones

Limestone or granite are both durable and environmentally friendly options for covering the dirt if you live in a warm climate. If you live in a colder climate, snow or ice may be more appropriate for covering the dirt.

Tools/equipment Needed

To cover the dirt with Paver Stone, you will need a trowel or spade to dig the hole. Also, sandpaper is used to smooth the stones, a chemical neutralizer to reduce the chance of possible cracking, and electrical tape is used to keep the stones in place.

Layer The Stones

First, build layer upon layer using stone 2 inches thick on top of soil or dirt up to 8 inches deep. Start at one end with a layer 4 inches high, move next directly above it another 3″ higher still; continue alternating until you have covered all areas desired (note 5 -6 layers 4 inches high).

Keep in mind that stones may show one face more so than another, and you will have to experiment (rich dark soil or dirt should be on the bottom layer; black stone showing is okay as well)

If it’s hot when laying stones, move fast because heat can damage them.

Add Weatherproofing and Durability

Dry pebbles can be used to fill in cracks. Rock wool is an excellent insulator. It’s also very easy to work with not only because you cannot tear pieces from the roll but if built over an inch or so of gravel on top of the stone layer, it will still act as an effective soil barrier. Molding stones over the top of your new turf is a good choice.

Care tips:  When placing stone back into the soil, always apply pressure in all directions to level it evenly and avoid pushing grooves where rainwater cannot drain through or out (for example, holes or puddles). 

Use wood shavings/ sandpaper on edges for leveling such difficult areas that don’t show up when you start putting bark mulch down next year or when you dig up the stone to service your irrigation system.

Cheap Plants or Free Plants

One way to cover the dirt in your backyard without spending a lot of money is to plant trees. You can buy cheap or free plants at a garden center or get them from a friend.

You can also plant ivy, which grows quickly and covers the ground with its leaves. Another option is African violet bushes, which grow slowly but provide attractive flowers for years. You can plant flowering bulbs, including daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths. 

Letting your plants die back in the winter will create a large open space when you begin to fill it with new plants in spring.

Some experts recommend covering dirt areas with plastic or fiberglass insulation to help keep weeds out of newly planted areas. Others may say that this isn’t necessary as long as there are deep layers of mulch around shrubs and trees instead of bare ground for at least six months after planting.

What Does The Ideal Dirt-to-Rock Ratio Look Like?

An ideal dirt-to-rock ratio is approximately equal parts of good quality topsoil, fine pebbles or gravel, and peat moss or leaf mold, according to Garden Know Hows.

Why is it Important to Cover Dirt with Rocks?

Having a captivating and clean backyard is something many homeowners yearn for. But, being able to get your yard to look this way can be challenging, especially when you have kids and pets. 

While many homeowners and landscape designers opt to cover their dirt with topsoil and rocks, this is also an excellent option for lawns and other areas that require a more natural texture.

How to Select the Right Tiller Size?

The size of the tiller depends on several factors, including the type of soil being worked, its rate of runoff, and the diameter of the rock quarry’s equipment. However, most soil types have a preferred size range for the tiller. Here’s some more information.

How to Choose the Type of Rock?

Different types of rocks can add unique features and textures to a backyard landscape. When choosing rocks for a backyard, some factors to consider include the climate where the backyard is located, the type of plants that will be growing there, and what aesthetic you are hoping to achieve.

Different rocks have different properties, where some may be more to your liking than others. For instance:


Quartz chips off easily when you twist them but its sanded down quickly by rainfall, making random swirls and delicate patterns that many enjoy looking at. It is also a great color for accents in the garden with its multitude of light, white and translucent tones. Many believe that quartz waters well, but they have a higher toxicity level than other types of stones.


Limestone rocks are heavy and roped together while they break down over time to form gravel- particles like sand or clay that don’t cling to themselves when placed in an area. Limestone is great for other rock sculptures and has a soft, gray grain that can be combined with other colors to create shiny effects both inside and outside the garden space.


Like limestone rocks but more effective or “harder” than sand, it will hold together when placed on harder surfaces like concrete slabs or dried-up grassy creek beds. How granite breaks down over time is especially interesting. 


This staple of backyard rock DIY projects can be found in various colors and mixes inside. But it is naturally porous, making it resistant to dust or dirt accumulating within its mass when put outdoors, meaning you don’t have to sweep out tiny dirt particles when they eventually form.

Tips for Covering Dirt With Rocks

When covering dirt with rocks, it is important to ensure that the rocks are of the right size and shape. Some basic tips for covering dirt with rocks include:

1. Look for rocks the same size as the dirt being covered. This will ensure that the rocks are evenly distributed over the surface and don’t obstruct sunlight or rain from reaching the soil beneath.

2. Choose rocks that have a smooth surface that isn’t sharp. Avoid rocks that have a rough edge and are “dug in,” as this will be difficult to roll, trowel, or shovel off later on when the soil is worked back into place by digging with hand tools.

3. Look for stones of different colors so that plenty of contrasting bands are showing through, giving it an attractive appearance once you cover the dirt layer.

Final Thoughts

Using plants and stones to cover dirt is a great way to give your landscaping a natural and gorgeous appearance. Adding rocks to your yard can make for stunning views. 

With these easy tips in mind, you’re well on your way to taking on your next landscaping project.

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