Landscaping ideas?

Newbie here. We just setup our pool. It's awesome. We have a 2 ft trench around it with tarp.

Wondering what we should do with tarp and what is best to fill in the trench? Dirt, rocks or mulch? We have little kids don't really nwant to use mulch because of splinters...

What do guys suggest?



Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 29, 2016
Tampa, FL
Ok, so I have white beach pebbles around mine (no jagged edges). I was thinking that or river rock, and then rather than planting something, do large clay or pottery pots with succulents or something suited to your climate, that you can move around. The kids might enjoy gardening in containers.
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Bronze Supporter
Feb 18, 2018
Northwest GA
I like river rock, or any smooth pebble. I have mulch from the back of my pool to my house and river pebble from my deck steps to the pool. I hate walking in the mulch. My filter/pump are on pavers in the mulch. Mulch sticks to your feet and it can hurt when you get a splinter in your foot. The pebble is softer on the feet and doesn't track into the pool. When a float is thrown out of the pool and lands on the mulch, I tend to get mulch in my pool. And stone, imo, is pretty around a pool.


Well-known member
Aug 14, 2012
Mid Missouri
I would use rubber mulch (chunks not shredded) or smooth rock. I had shredded rubber mulch around my pool previously, and it tended to migrate out of the ring more than I preferred, great other than that. I personally wouldn’t use regular wood mulch. I’m trying to pick between rubber mulch or rock now myself for my new install.
Thank you everyone! One more question .. we had to get an extra big tarp is was the only one they had... what should I do with it? Should i roll up the tarp around the base of the pool to protect it, leave it on ground and just cut the extra?

Thank you


Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 29, 2016
Tampa, FL
I don’t take it down, wouldn’t even if I lived somewhere cold. Too much work!

However, I don’t get in until about April when the water hits 85 degrees or more, and then stop around October when water gets too cold for me. I like it in the high 80s, even 90 or 91!
Wow. Your water gets warm! Do you have a heater? We got solar mats but haven't hooked it up yet...

Yeah I think we are realizing it's going to be too much work too. I'm guessing we won't use it October to April too.

Thank you for your help!


Jun 9, 2020
ofallon, mo
I do not have an updated picture of my complete landscape, but I went with rubber mulch and basic landscape edging. I love it. It looks nice. Keeps the kids away from the outside of the pool with their bikes and other toys. And keeps the lawnmower far enough away! I am super over protective about the liner of the pool. Here is a picture from before the landscaping was complete :)