Gardening in Rocky Soil

Q: I have very rocky soil making any digging with a shovel very difficult. Any suggestions? I've been here a year and already have two large piles of roundish river rock of various sizes. I don't know if I should try to use them to build a short stone wall for a raised bed garden because I have no experience doing anything like that. My other idea is to use a concrete or morter mix in a box or other container, add in the stones and make my own "blocks" for raising a bed. Any suggestions?
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Hardiness Zone: 7a

Debbie in the Draft from Stuarts Draft, VA

A: Debbie,

Both ideas sound like winners to me-and yes, don't forget to save some of your rocks for a rock garden. Strategically placed piles of rock can become a great design element and will also provide a safe haven for a multitude of beneficial insects and small animals. It certainly sounds like creating raised beds is a good option for you. Framing your beds doesn't need to be complicated. How you use the rocks for a border isn't that important. You're just trying to keep soil from eroding and keep things looking neat and tidy. My advice would be to dig up and mound your beds first, and then lug the rocks (or blocks) around the edges to create you border. Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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March 16, 20060 found this helpful

I think that a form built to the size you prefer and add the rocks with concrete mix is a wonderful Idea and then have good soil hauled in to place in it ... be sure its drainable like low to the ground maybe fix in a short PVC pipe ....But I'd use black plastic in this container to stop unwanted things from growing in your new bed. wow how Lucky to have rocks to work with would love to see pictures of your project... Renda renda45 @ gmail.com (remove spaces)

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March 17, 20060 found this helpful

Make a rock garden...

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