know your rocks

some common rock questions


What is ‘Rip-Rap’?

Think of rip rap as large stones with angular shapes, larger than gravel but smaller than boulders. Rip rap can  vary in size from about the size of a softball to as large as approximately 10″  to 12″ in diameter. The average is usually from about 3″ to 8″ in size. One ton of rip rap will usually cover an area of 35 to 40 linear feet, spread 3′ wide.

What are ‘Fines’?

Fines is the term used to describe the crushed rock and very small miscellaneous dirt and debris found in any gravel or decorative rock.
All gravel contains Fines

What do the terms ‘sized’, ‘screened’ and ‘minus’ mean?

These terms refer to the size of the decorative rock, as defined by the largest piece which would fit through a screen of a pre-determined size. The terms also help to denote the approximate amount of fines present in a product. For instance, the term ‘sized’ can signify up to 1-15% fines in the product, whereas ‘screened’ can mean 20% to 40% fines in the product, and when we visualize a product described by the term ‘minus’  we know it will have 60% to 70% fines.

Can I match my existing granite color?

Due to the nature of mined substances such as granite, colors and consistencies of granites may vary. Color change will occur with aging, and therefore matching your existing granite may not be possible.

What is Pea Gravel?

Otherwise known as 3/8″ and 1/4″ natural, this is crushed river rock. River rock described by simply the term ‘natural’ will mean it is natural river stone, not crushed.

What’s the difference between a surface boulder and a regular boulder?

A surface boulder is just that, it is picked up off the surface of the earth, whereas a custom boulder is quarried from the earth.

Grass Kids 1

ROCK one

  • It has wide leaf blades, much like the turf grass in which it may grow.
  • The base of the leaves has fine hairs and the stem rises from a collar at the base of the leaf. Stems bear three- to ten-inch long spikes of flowers, which yield to seeds at the end of the season.
  • When the needle-like seed heads on foxtails grasp onto an animal’s fur, they can burrow inside their nose, mouth, paws, eyes, armpits, and/or tails. This is particularly true of longhaired dog and cat breeds. Once they become ingested or embedded in your pet, the hooking design that allows them to drill into soil to germinate, will also keep them plowing forward inside your pet. This can cause pain, infection, perforated lungs, abscesses, and even death.
Grass Kids 2

ROCK two

  • It is an annual weed typically found in sunny, dry areas. Usually flat, the stems can be nearly erect where growing in competition for light.
  • The spiny seedpods often lie hidden under the plant. Mature seedpods break apart into 5 burs, each containing 2–4 seeds, which are viable for up to 7 years.
  • The mature puncturevine weed is a matlike plant up to 10 feet in diameter with stems radiating from the crown. There are 1/4 inch, 5-petaled, yellow flowers and multipointed sharp burs.
  • Look for small yellow flowers, open in the morning, between April and October. Each leaf, comprised of 4 to 8 pairs of opposite leaflets, is 1/4 to 1/2 inch long and is covered with fine hairs.  Puncturevine burs embed themselves in tires, shoes, feet, fur, and clothing to travel to new locations where the cycle begins again.
Synthetic Grass Dog

Rock three

  • It has square stems (often woody near the base) densely covered with white hairs with leaves opposite each other. Leaves are hairy above, very hairy to woolly underneath, rounded with a crinkled surface and sharply aromatic when crushed.
  • It has small white flowers in dense clusters above the nodes (where the leaves join the stem) around the upper sections of the stems.
  • Clusters of flowers dry to form brown burrs with small hooked spines. Each burr contains up to 4 small (1-2 mm long) spear-shaped seeds.

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