Above Ground Pool Landscaping

by Debbie McLaney
(Geneva, Alabama )

Is it safe to plant border grass and elephant ears around vinyl above the ground pools?

Hi Debbie.

I am not a plant expert but I do know the damage roots can cause under a vinyl lined pool. I recommend about a three foot vegetation free area around the pool. This area should have landscaping plastic laid down and then covered with something. You could use landscape rocks, bark, patio pavers or any number of other things. All plants should be container plants.

landscaping for above ground pool

A lot can be done using decorative stone, or patio blocks, and potted plants. What ever you do it should start with something similar to the photo above.

More information about landscaping around an above ground pool can be found on this page.

Above Ground Swimming Pool Landscaping

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.

Back-fill On The Outside

by George
(Fortson, GA)

Ground Outside Above Ground Pool

Ground Outside Above Ground Pool

So we just installed a 24 ft AGP. Half of the pools bottom rail is about 4 inches below grade where I had to dig down to reach level ground with my low side.

I am wanting to place river rock around the perimeter and was wondering, do I need to back-fill with dirt before laying the stone or would it be okay to just back-fill with the stone?

Hi George.

I would use enough dirt to cover the bottom rail at least. This gives the pool just a little extra support and also helps to make sure nothing washes out from underneath it.

The river rock is an excellent way to landscape around the pool. It offers good runoff so hopefully the outside of the pool area can stay fairly dry, and not be sitting in water all the time.

Weeds and grass tend to grow wild around an above ground pool and this is not at all good for the pool liner if they happen to grow under and up through the liner. I recommend using black plastic around the pool before your landscape rock. If plastic is not used you may spend a lot of money spraying weed killer on the area. But do what it takes to keep the grass and weeds away from the pool.

Comments for Back-fill On The Outside

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 20, 2017
Best weed barrier to use around AGP
by: Kim

Hi,I just installed an AGP and I'm going to rock the landscape around the pool and want to know if I should use a woven or non woven weed barrier?

Thank you.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.

Backfill Around Above Ground Pool

by Chris
(Chalfontt, PA)

The pool is up and everything is great! 24' round steel wall with resin bottom rail. Now I'm looking at the finishing touches. I of course had to dig down one side to level the foundation so I am now left with a 5" deep, 1' wide trench around the backside of the pool. When it rains it becomes a muddy mess.

What do you recommend backfilling with? Should I simply use dirt and plant grass up to the pool or should I use a stone of some kind? If I do use stone, what would you recommend for type and size? I'm leaning towards stone but would appreciate your input.


Chris Moore


Hi Chris.

I don't like any vegetation near an above ground pool. There is always the chance of roots growing in and under the liner. There is also the chance of grass growing up through the liner. The best way to prevent this is by having a couple feet of grass free area around the pool.

I like to see a little bit of dirt up and over the bottom rails. This helps to prevent cove wash outs and ground settling.

I would clear all vegetation within two feet of the pool all the way around. I would then birm a little dirt over the bottom rail and pack it in. I would then spray the ground with weed and grass killer. Next I would lay landscaping plastic around the pool and cover it with decorative rock.

To me, that is the way an above ground pool should be landscaped.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.

Landscaping Around Pool With Sand

by Loretta

I just had a 24' round replacement pool installed and had way too much sand left over, so I used it to build up the area around the pool (especially where they cut deeper into the ground to keep it level) and to help keep out the weeds. I cut up and put the old liner under the sand to use as a plastic barrier for the weeds, about 18" out all around.

My old pool didn't have anything around it and the grass grew up to it and the water drainage was poor on the cut in side so I wanted to try this. (I have very hard clay soil.)

My question is I am wondering if I can use a thin layer of mulch to keep the sand down and to prevent it from getting on me when I walk around the pool to put in the chemicals. I thought of stone but the mulch will go farther and be less expensive and easier on my feet. Is the mulch over sand a bad combination? Any other ideas?

I thought of edging to finish it off and keeping in the sand but then I really can't get close enough to the pool when I need to walk around it.

Thanks, any ideas will be most appreciated!

Hi Loretta.

It sounds to me like you have done everything right. You put the plastic under the sand and you plan to put something over the sand. That's about all there is to it. The mulch should be fine.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.

Concrete Around Vinyl Pool

by lgroff
(York pa)

Our concrete deck around our vinyl pool is cracking and our pool company will jackhammer out and re-pour due to the lack of expansion joints, lack of tamping and settlement.

Should we drain the water and remove the liner due to flying concrete or it tearing when they clean the water afterwards? Also, do most pools have "aprons" that wrap 3-4 ft around the pool above the concrete posts below? Then have a secondary pour for the remaining deck?

What is the average size of each square between expansion joints? How do you think the pool company should compensate us for inconvenience of substantial cracking within six months of original install and not being able to use pool for first season due to delays? thank you for your help.

Hi lgroff.

Concrete is not really my expertise but I would think that if the concrete is cracking due to settling then something should surely be done to the ground underneath the concrete. I'm not sure a primary layer of concrete is the answer, but probably a gravel dirt mixture that can be packed solid would work.

Compensation will probably be what ever you can get out of them. Many companies feel all they are obligated to do are the repairs and nothing else. This might be the case and you would have to settle for that.

As for as the vinyl in the pool goes, if you drain the pool and remove it, it will never go back in the same. It may not even go back in at all due to shrinking. All vinyl liners will shrink when the pool is emptied, but not all of them will stretch back out. If it were me I would figure out a way to cover the pool and leave it full of water.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.