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Thread: Berm or no Berm

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    Berm or no Berm

    I am at the middle stages of getting a pool built in my yard. (pictures are on another forum for pool depths in construction) I have a back section that I didnt want decking on it. this will be around the waterfall thats being put in. I want to add a bunch of plants to this section. So my big question is for people that have plants around your pool. I am thinking of putting in a berm (mound). Originally thinking it will make smaller plants look bigger and block wind and leafs from coming into the pool easily. I have atleast 1/2 acre open behind the pool. But afraid when it rains it may wash into the pool.

    Last question what type of mulch to use around pools? I was thinking wood mulch would blow easier into the pool but would be easy to get out. Or I could use Pea gravel but that would be a pain to get out.

    Please any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    33x24 gunite pool, hayward4.0 LED light, vs-3050 pentair pump, clean and clear plus 520, rainbow 320 chlorinator

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    Join Date
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    Re: Berm or no Berm

    Do yourself a favor...no pea gravel. Ever.

    I regret the day I decided "no, the bigger rocks are way more expensive, lets just use pea gravel".
    Judy

    Designated "pool girl" for 18' x 40' in-ground vinyl pool built in 2006

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    Re: Berm or no Berm

    Beware of watering issues. Mounded up soil requires more water. Water flows downhill. Water carries dirt and leaves. Water that runs across property lines creates issues between neighbors.

    I am constantly fighting the leaves and dirt that slide into the pool after a rain or when the watering system runs. The "berm" is about 2' higher than the rough rock that edges the waterfall and the pool at the back side. It falls to regular yard level before the fence.

    At some point someone put HUGE river cobble along that edge to try to keep the dirt and leaves from falling into the pool. I have added monkey grass. Nothing helps. I am ready to call someone, ANYONE, who can take some extra sandstone rocks and mortar them into place so that all the dirt and junk stays in the landscape and NOT in the pool.

    Dirt MUST slope AWAY from the pool. Always.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Berm or no Berm

    Thanks for the responses. This is why I asked. It sounds like I should just do normal landscaping around the pool and not bother to build it up and make a berm. I just wondered if it would help keep leafs out by blocking them.

    What kind of mulch do you guys use around your pools? Rock, Bark, etc..?
    33x24 gunite pool, hayward4.0 LED light, vs-3050 pentair pump, clean and clear plus 520, rainbow 320 chlorinator

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Berm or no Berm

    I think any kind of mulch would be light enough to blow into the pool, or at least stick to wet feet and get tracked in the pool. I would recommend river rock, about 2" size.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Berm or no Berm

    tkutch, where are you located? While rocks make sense in Arizona, I hate having rocks here in Houston. Weeds grow right through rock mulch; weeds, maple and oak and pine seedlings. I most prefer pine straw. It locks together and does not wash away, it does not pack down to shed water like many bark mulches and it decays slowly so you are not reapplying every 4 -6 months.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Berm or no Berm

    I am in Dallas
    33x24 gunite pool, hayward4.0 LED light, vs-3050 pentair pump, clean and clear plus 520, rainbow 320 chlorinator

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    Re: Berm or no Berm

    I'll guess that you cannot find pine straw there. Then you will probably have to choose between shredded bark mulch and rock. Depending on how the area gets watered, maybe you can manage rocks without stuff growing in it. A drip watering system instead of spray heads will help keep down weeds by keeping the in-between areas dry.

    But I just hate the rocks here, leaves get stuck in between no matter how hard you try to blow them away, then that decomposes and eventually you get enough dirt to grow weeds. Really only takes about 6 months here for weeds to reappear. Spraying rocks with Roundup is an expensive proposition since you are drenching the rocks and the dang weeds are growing from below the rocks not on top of the rocks. And after we found that two-headed frog... well, no more Round Up anywhere I have to do yard work!
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: Berm or no Berm

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    And after we found that two-headed frog... well, no more Round Up anywhere I have to do yard work!
    Hey, I like having those extra fingers on my left hand... makes me feel special, and the extra eyes in my head keep me alert.
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    FinsUp's Avatar
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    Re: Berm or no Berm

    We put our pool in last year and I struggled with the decision to use rock mulch (washed 2" river rock) or bark mulch like the other planting beds around our home. I had a list of pros and cons for each (some of which have already been listed above) and finally decided to go with the rock mulch. So far I'm quite happy with my decision. I don't mind picking a few leaves out of the stone, and yes, eventually weeds will sprout here and there - but I have the same situation with my areas that have bark mulch. You can always spot apply a topical herbicide as mentioned above if needed. Rocks are a one time expense - bark mulch is continuous. I guess what finally made my decision for me though was based on two main factors. 1. We have a young, active family and as a result have a lot of friends and their children over to swim all season long. 2. I knew (based on my personality type) that I would want our pool to be as clean as possible at all times. I envisioned gusty winds blowing wood chips into our pool. I saw kids running into the planting bed areas to retrieve wayward pool toys and then jumping back into the pool with their prize - feet and toy now covered with bits of bark and dirt. I cringed. I bought stone. I installed it. I'm happy.
    32.6K Gallon 16x41x24 L-Shape Vinyl Inground by Fort Wayne Pools
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  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Berm or no Berm

    I called a local mulch dealer and he said they only have 1.5 inch washed river rock for 49 a yard. Should I wait tillI find 2" or get it?
    33x24 gunite pool, hayward4.0 LED light, vs-3050 pentair pump, clean and clear plus 520, rainbow 320 chlorinator

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Berm or no Berm

    I think 1.5" would be good. Ours is ~3" and is a little too big.

    If you are worried about weeds, you could get some pre-emergence herbicide granules. They are water-activated and poison the soil just enough to prevent new seedlings from surviving, but without hurting established plants.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Berm or no Berm

    Stay away from pine straw and pine bark--------unless you wanna fight bugs, i.e. roaches. They will infest it. Cypress no float mulch kinda guy here. Redwood mulch if you have deep pockets and like the color.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    FinsUp's Avatar
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    Re: Berm or no Berm

    I think you'll be fine with the 1.5" stone. My stone is a mixture of everything from approximately 3/4" up to 2" in size. Different places probably grade it slightly different, so my guess is that you will end up with exactly what I have, which has worked wonderfully well for me. I installed a good quality weed fabric before putting the stone down. Do you have any gravel pits or wholesalers in your area that you could call? Remember, your mulch guy had to buy it from someone first. I called a gravel pit that's about 15 miles from my house and they delivered 5 yards for $135.00. Hopefully you can save yourself some cash.
    32.6K Gallon 16x41x24 L-Shape Vinyl Inground by Fort Wayne Pools
    DE Filter, 1HP Pump, Sta-Rite 400,000 Btu Propane Heater, Pentair IC40 SWG
    One Wife - Three Kids - Two Dogs

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Berm or no Berm

    Put landscape fabric down before the stone. This will help prevent weeds.
    16 x 32 15300 gal. IG Vinyl Jandy pump, Jandy sand filter, Paramount circulation system, Automatic pool cover.

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Berm or no Berm

    My vote is for stone, 1.5" should be ok. As Melt in the Sun posted a pre-emergent program is the key to keeping weeds and unwanted grasses out of your rocks, pathways or anywhere for that matter. It's cheap and way better than dealing with weeds. A good pre-emergent is really all you need.
    11,872 Gallon IG Shotcrete play pool
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