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What Are The Cheapest Rocks to Use for Landscaping


Landscaping is a significant aspect of home decor that accentuates the outdoor space, making it appealing and functional. It involves the use of various elements such as plants, water features, and rocks to create a picturesque environment. However, the cost of landscaping materials can quickly add up, making it a concern for budget-conscious homeowners. Among the various materials, rocks are a perennial favorite due to their natural appearance, durability, and low maintenance requirement. This article delves into the most affordable rocks for landscaping, their benefits, and how to choose the right one for your project.


Cheapest Rocks to Use For Landscaping
Cheapest Rocks to Use For Landscaping


Benefits of Using Rocks for Landscaping

Rocks bring a rustic yet elegant touch to any landscape. Their benefits extend beyond aesthetics, providing practical solutions for several landscaping challenges. Here are some key benefits of incorporating rocks into your landscaping design:

  • Natural Appearance: Rocks blend seamlessly with other natural elements in the garden, enhancing the overall aesthetics with their varied shapes, sizes, and colors.
  • Erosion Control: They act as a barrier to soil erosion, especially on slopes and areas prone to water runoff, ensuring the soil remains intact.
  • Low Maintenance: Unlike plants that require regular watering, pruning, and fertilizing, rocks require minimal maintenance, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.
  • Weed Control: Rocks act as a natural weed barrier, reducing the need for frequent weeding and use of herbicides.
Rock TypeNatural AppearanceErosion ControlLow MaintenanceWeed Control
Pea GravelYesYesYesYes
River RocksYesYesYesYes
Crushed ConcreteYesYesYesYes


Types of Affordable Rocks for Landscaping

Landscaping rocks not only add a decorative touch but also come with practical benefits such as weed control and erosion prevention. However, the cost of these rocks can be a deterrent for some homeowners. Here are some affordable rock options you may consider for your landscaping project:

Pea Gravel

Pea gravel is a popular choice for landscaping due to its aesthetic appeal and affordability. It consists of small, rounded stones that are easy to spread and require no special installation process.

  • Description and Use Cases: Pea gravel is excellent for creating walkways, driveways, or used as a base for patios. Its varied colors and shapes add a decorative touch to any landscape.
  • Cost and Where to Buy: On average, pea gravel costs between $30 to $55 per ton. It’s widely available at local landscaping supply stores or online vendors.

River Rocks

River rocks are larger and more polished compared to pea gravel. Their smooth and rounded appearance makes them an attractive choice for various landscaping applications.

  • Description and Use Cases: Ideal for creating walkways, river beds, or around garden features like ponds or fountains. Their natural look enhances the beauty of outdoor spaces.
  • Cost and Where to Buy: Prices for river rocks range from $50 to $160 per cubic yard, available at local stone yards or online landscaping suppliers.

Crushed Concrete

Crushed concrete is an eco-friendly and affordable option. It’s made from recycled concrete and comes in different sizes and shapes.

  • Description and Use Cases: It’s suitable for constructing driveways, walkways, or as a base for other landscaping features.
  • Cost and Where to Buy: The cost is comparable to pea gravel and river rocks but may vary based on the region and where it’s purchased.
Rock TypePrice per TonPrice per Cubic Yard
Pea Gravel$30 to $55N/A
River RocksN/A$50 to $160
Crushed ConcreteComparableComparable


Other Cost-effective Landscaping Solutions

While rocks are a timeless choice for landscaping, there are other cost-effective solutions to consider. These alternatives not only save money but also provide a unique aesthetic appeal to your outdoor space.

Artificial Rocks

Artificial rocks are a cost-effective and lightweight alternative to natural rocks. They can mimic the appearance of natural rocks closely, providing a realistic yet affordable landscaping solution.

  • Description: Artificial rocks are made from materials like resin, fiberglass, or concrete, and come in various shapes, sizes, and colors.
  • Use Cases: They can be used to cover unsightly yard fixtures, create rock gardens, or accentuate other landscaping features.


Mulching is an inexpensive way to improve the soil quality, retain soil moisture, and prevent weed growth.

  • Description: Mulch can be made from organic materials like straw, leaves, or wood chips, or from inorganic materials like rubber or plastic.
  • Use Cases: Ideal for flower beds, around trees, or in garden paths to provide a clean and finished look.

Creative and Imaginative Ideas

Embracing creativity can lead to stunning landscaping designs without breaking the bank.

  • Description: Utilizing existing materials, repurposing old items, or exploring DIY landscaping projects can yield beautiful results.
  • Use Cases: Creating garden paths with a mix of rocks and pavers, building a rock garden with found stones, or designing a water feature using reclaimed materials.


Factors to Consider When Choosing Rocks for Landscaping

Choosing the right rock for your landscaping project is crucial to achieving the desired outcome. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Size and Shape

The size and shape of the rocks should complement the overall design of your landscape.

2. Color

The color of the rocks can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space, whether you prefer a natural or a more polished look.

3. Regional Availability

The availability of certain rocks may vary based on your region, which can also affect the cost.

4. Project Requirements

Understanding the specific requirements of your project will help in selecting the right rock that meets your needs and budget.

Tips for Saving on Landscaping Rocks

Landscaping rocks can be a cost-effective choice with a long-term value, especially if you know where to look and when to buy. Here are some tips to save on your landscaping rock purchases:

Bulk Purchases

Buying in bulk can significantly reduce the cost per unit of landscaping rocks. Look for suppliers who offer bulk discounts or wholesale prices.

Local Sourcing

Locally sourced rocks can be more affordable as they eliminate the costs associated with transportation and import taxes.

Seasonal Buying

Some suppliers may offer discounts during off-season periods. Keep an eye out for sales and promotions to get the best deals on landscaping rocks.


FAQ Section


1. What are the most affordable types of rocks for landscaping?

Pea gravel, river rocks, and crushed concrete are among the cheapest options for landscaping rocks, with other affordable alternatives including crushed granite and gravel.

2. What are the average costs of these cheap landscaping rocks?

The prices can vary, but on average, pea gravel costs between $30 to $55 per ton, river rocks range from $50 to $160 per cubic yard, and crushed granite is priced between $50 to $70 per yard.

3. Are there other cost-effective materials for landscaping apart from rocks?

Yes, other cost-effective materials include artificial rocks, mulch, and utilizing creative and imaginative ideas to enhance landscaping on a budget.

4. What factors should be considered when choosing rocks for landscaping?

Factors to consider include the size, shape, and color of the rocks, as well as their regional availability and the specific requirements of your project.

5. How can the choice of rock affect the maintenance of the landscape?

Rocks like pea gravel and river rocks are low maintenance, help with weed control, and provide erosion control which can be beneficial in reducing the long-term maintenance needs of the landscape.



Landscaping with rocks is a timeless choice that can significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your outdoor space. Whether you opt for pea gravel, river rocks, or crushed concrete, each of these affordable options brings a unique charm to your landscape. By considering the tips and factors discussed in this article, you can achieve a beautiful, cost-effective landscape that doesn’t compromise on quality. For expert lawn care help in the Grand Prairie, Dallas, and surrounding areas, contact The Friends Lawn Care Services

Arnold Henderson

Arnold Henderson is an avid lawn, garden, and outdoor enthusiast who just so happens to be very passionate about having a well-kept and welcoming outdoor space for himself and his family to enjoy. He's not just passionate about tending to his own garden; he loves sharing his knowledge with others in his free time. Whether it's through practical tips or innovative gardening hacks, Andy is always eager to help others bring their gardening dreams to life. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them!

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