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Keeping a White Rock Garden Clean

I have a white rock garden in my front yard. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to protect the stones to keep them white through the fall, winter, and early spring? Aside from shoveling the rocks in a tote bin and bringing them into the house.

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The garden is quite simple and it doesn't look that big, but it took a good 17 bags to cover the ground in a layer. (the bags were about the size of a burlap potato sack). I had the same garden layout last summer, but had to completely shovel out the old ones and replace them, because of the wet leaves in the fall, the dirty slushy snow, and rain in the spring.

The garden is situated right under the eaves, from the second story, so everything from the roof lands in it. It was not cheap to replace, and I don't have a lot of money to go out and buy tarps to cover it. Although if it were to be covered for 7-8 months, wouldn't it grow mold, fungus, and moss? Thanks for your help.

By She Drags from Ontario, CA

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October 15, 20100 found this helpful

Cover it with plastic. You can buy it on rolls.Keep with down with short stakes or put rocks on the corners.If it doesn't get wet nothing should grow on it. Take it up when you think the time is right.

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October 15, 20100 found this helpful

See if you can find old dry cleaning bags to use as tarps, many people throw those away and this would be a good way to recycle them. As long as you don't have plants growing underneath, you're fine.

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October 17, 20100 found this helpful

You could put up a section of gutter on that part of the roof and this would protect the area below it from anything that drips or falls from the roof.

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October 17, 20100 found this helpful

You want something dark to discourage growth of anything. 2-5 mil thick dark plastic is good. Come spring, let the stuff dry out, use a leave blower or a shop vac with a piece of nylon netting folded and fastened at the end to pull the dirt but not the rocks. Go to a discount store and buy some 4x6 foot tarps, they cost just a few bucks and worth the work they do. Also in the spring, if you have nothing growing there, you can use a sprayer and clean the rocks with soapy bleach water or soapy vinegar water. Not both.

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