Mulch or drainage rock for gap between retaining wall and pool?


Gold Supporter
May 28, 2020
So I have started getting the pool ready for the warm weather to come and I want to address the gap I currently have in between the retaining wall and the pool. It varies but averages about a foot from the pool and is 6 inches deep. The retaining wall was put up during the winter so I didn't bother filling that area when it was put up. The pool company said they always recommend mulch, because I guess rock can put too much pressure on the pool wall. I don't understand because I am pretty sure the model of pool I have they also said could be buried up to 2 ft (which they didn't do even though I requested it, but I digress...) so I would think some pressure on the bottom of the wall is fine. I like the idea of rock better than mulch because of no maintenance but the pool company's suggestion has me hesitating.


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Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 29, 2016
Tampa, FL
Hi, Grumpy! Can we see a pic of the area?

Mulch breaks down, tracks all over the place and floats during heavy rain, so I’m not a big fan of mulch.
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Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
Kershaw, South Carolina
Yes to what Kelly said above, and if you get any big winds.. well you know.
Had mulch around my pool the first year, took it all out and put in rocks and no problems.
And a pic would be helpful.


Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
Central California
I like river rock. I think its colors and tones would work well with the pool's. Though they can be different depending on where they come from.


Not exactly my thing, but my neighbor added some water-colored glass beads, strewn across the mock-rock-creek in her front yard. I guess to simulate water running through it. I think she also varnished the rock some how. Maybe a stone sealer? It looks wet all the time. Point being... you can get creative if you're looking for something more than plain ol' hardscape...
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