How to Create a Dry Creek

This dry stream bed looks so natural, you'd think it had always been part of the landscape. But it can be created by nearly any DIY-savvy homeowner. Here's how.


A dry creek bed offers a soothing, natural look in a garden.

Design yours with a few gentle curves and a mix of rock sizes for a garden feature you'll love year-round.

Find our step-by-step instructions below.

STEP 1

After determining the size and shape of the dry stream bed, excavate 12-15 inches of soil. This can be done with a backhoe or a shovel.

STEP 2

Tamp the ground firm to create a flat surface with angled sides. Then place landscape fabric over the entire surface, including the angled sides, to prevent weeds from popping through.

STEP 3

Cover the bottom and the sloping sides of the stream bed with 1/2 inch of crushed pea gravel. The sharp edges of the gravel will keep it from migrating when it rains or when someone walks on it.

STEP 4

For a natural look, add river rock along the edges of the dry steam bed. Use various sizes, from 2 to 8 inches in length.

STEP 5

Position four large flat-top rocks so they can support a flagstone bridge. Anchor the rocks in place with cement so they won't move with freezing and thawing.

Learn how to make a rain garden!


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