Landscaping Around my Above Ground Pool

by Mrs. Matlack

What can I put around my above the ground pool that will not cause the wall to deteriorate? I would like to put down stones with rounded edges that would cover the bottom four inches of the pool wall. The pool was sunk four inches to meet the old deck height.

Hi Mrs. Matlack

It is very unlikely that anything you put around your pool would hurt the sidewall. I do, however, recommend that you put down landscaping plastic before you spread out the rock. Weeds, grass and other growth need to be kept away from the pool so the roots do not grow under it and come up through the liner. The plastic around the pool will help to prevent growth and would also protect the sidewall.

This page might also be helpful.

Above Ground Swimming Pool Landscaping

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Landscape Rock Around Pool

(York, pa)

I was going to use crushed red rock as a border around my above ground pool but when I called to order it they said they did not recommend using this because it would deteriorate my pool. Has anyone heard of this?

We wanted to use this because of a color scheme in our landscape, but do not want to chance ruining a new pool. Our dealer just told us he has never heard this. Need answers. Thanks


I have seen this happen. Apparently there are some corrosive properties in the red rock. There is no reason for not using it, just keep it from touching the pool.

Rock landscaping around a pool should be on top of landscape plastic. This plastic should extend up the wall preventing the rock from touching the pool. You could also use a bender board up against the pool and put your rock up against it. The small space between the board and the pool wall could be filled in with granite or dirt.

The reason for using plastic around the pool is for weed control. There should never be vegetation within a couple feet of the pool as it tends to grow under the pool and up through the liner. As soon as the pool is full, and the water starts splashing out, everything will want to grow next to the pool. In most cases you either use plastic or you spray weed and grass killer every month.

Red Rock

by: Phil

Ok...I have red "lava" rock around my SoCal above ground pool. It does have plastic down but not so much against the pool wall, but I haven't had any problems of it deteriorating the pool walls either. My main problem is when it rains, silt from the other side of my covered chain link fence seeps into the pool area and covers the rock. Or at least makes enough of a mess. This is sticky/slimy kind of muddy stuff.

I'm thinking I need to shovel the rock and mud up, put it into buckets to hose off/clean then return the rock to it's bed,etc. Maybe after I get rid of the silt/mud add another layer of red lava rock? Meantime I'd been putting 1x8 boards down a couple inches on the other side of the fence securing em with stakes to try to block any more silt,etc.

Comments for Landscape Rock Around Pool

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Jun 16, 2015
White Stone Caution
by: Gary Evans

You never want to put white stone at the base of your above ground pool. White stone has calcium in it, the white greasy film on the inside of the plastic bag. That white stuff is calcium, and calcium eats away at the metal ring and the aluminum sidewalls down at the base of your pool. It will weaken the base with little holes until the pool wall fails.

If you want the white stone look, use marble chips in bags at the big box stores. They are safe to use and do not contain calcium. There is more to consider than doing what ever you want!

Hi Gary

Excellent comment, thanks for taking the time to share it.

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Limestone Around Pool

by David
(Montville, Ohio)

I have a 54" high 27'round above ground pool. It has resin supports with aluminum walls. After the install of the pool I decided to put a perimeter around it.

I came out about 32 inches and installed a level 4x4 around the entire pool. I then installed a 8 mill visqueen about 8 inches high around the entire pool against the pool wall and secured it with duct tape. After all of that I filled the 8" high x 32" wide area with limestone gravel (57 fines) I chose this material because it packs very tightly after being rained on a few times and my plan was to top it off with more expensive decorative washed gravel.

Finally my question: Should I be concerned with the limestone gravel against the pool walls even though I installed the visqueen barrier? I am concerned about a possible chemical reaction from the limestone dust.

Hi David

I would not undo all of that hard work without having hard facts that the limestone could damage the pool wall.

You could keep a close eye on it by spot checking areas around the pool. Do this every few months for a few years. If you see no signs of corrosion then I would forget about it.

If it is bothering you a second and possibly third layer of plastic could be installed between the landscaping and the pool wall.

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Rocks Around Above Ground Pool

by Robert

I dug and leveled ground for 24ft round above ground pool. Highest side of ground is 1ft above the bottom ring and about 13 inches from pool side. This gradually decreases until the side opposite the highest side is level with the ground.

We plan to place cloth (waterproof) against the pool wall and the dirt wall and fill with gravel. Will this cause the pool wall to lose strength from side to side and if so any ideas instead?

Hi Robert

Placing gravel next to the pool will not cause it to loose strength., it's a good idea. The only suggestion I would have would be to make sure the bottom rail is well covered with dirt before using your plastic and rocks. This will make sure that nothing under the pool ever gets washed out.

landscape rock around above ground pool

The rocks around the pool should do a good job of getting rid of any rainwater without it sitting around the pool causing constantly wet ground that could eventually corrode the pool wall.

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