Using volcanic rock dust in your garden is a simple process, but … Conclusion Lava rock is best used in beds that feature shrubs and other tall plants, because of its thickness. I heard lava rock holds roots and mosses well since it is porous. Set out rocks in all one color for a unified effect, in contrasting colors -- such as black and red lava rocks -- for variety or use … If you MUST use gravel or rocks, do so outside the bottom part of the pot. Alternatively, you can place inside a decorative pot. Use eye protection if you are drilling or chiseling into the material. Additional Tips for Using Volcanic Rock Dust. Lay the lava rock in a layer around the base of the plants and throughout the flower bed. Make sure that it has contact with plant roots. Use thick gloves when handling feather rock or other lava rocks. Fill in bare areas with small stones. Create focal points with volcanic boulders. Gardeners and garden architects use lava rocks for decorative and water retaining purposes. If you don’t want to add weight, try some of the inexpensive or free suggestions above and skip the expense of lava rock. Smaller lava rocks are used as mulch to collect water and to avoid erosion. Nearly all plants prefer a natural wet-dry cycle, as that’s what they experience in nature. Once you have the hole or dimple you wish, press potting soil into the bottom and then add the plant. The best part is they can be rearranged unlike moss on a large piece of driftwood. Instead of using rocks to prevent the potting mix from escaping through the drainage holes, (which by the way is the other reason why gardeners add gravel at the bottom) use a landscaping fabric. The stones can be placed on pathways to give a colorful design effect, or used as border decorations. Would lava rock intended for the barbecue be ok to use … The more moisture retentive growing medium/potting mix available, the less often a plant will need to be watered, as long as the pot is not too big. Yes, you can use lava rock, however, remember it is very lightweight, and one of the reasons why you would want to add rocks or gravel if to ADD weight. This rock is lighter than other rocks used as mulch, so it is easier to work with. 2 If you plan to use them as fixtures, then you should try to purchase large-size rocks, as they are lighter in weight and easy to maintain. Lava rock is ideal for temperature moderation as the rocks release heat at night and this can be beneficial for plants in colder regions, says SFGate. How to Use Rocks in Your Landscape Natural stone is one of the most versatile elements available for a landscape makeover. To apply your rock dust, simply sprinkle it onto the top few inches of your garden bed and gently till it in. I have seen many great pictures of mosses covering rocks and making nice mounding forms. Do not allow the lava rock to rub the trunks and stems of the plants, as it could cut the plant… Succulents have shallow root bases and install easily in depressions in the rock. Landscaping with rocks adds texture and contrast, providing durable groundcover that requires little or no maintenance. Lava Rock for Plant Drainage? First of all, you need to decide whether you want to use lava rocks as fixtures among your plants or you will use them as mulch. Use rocks in home landscaping to protect plants, reduce erosion and add interest. Give plants as much space to spread their roots out, relative to what they can use or need. Remember, lava rock is lightweight so the odds of this happening are higher than with other gravel. Lava rocks do not decompose, only requiring replacement as they are blown, washed or kicked away. The edges are extremely sharp. 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