help with digging holes in auger?

resist(z7 VA)July 14, 2007

I have arthritis and am looking for mechanical help to dig holes. I live in an extremely rocky area in Southwest VA so every hole I dig takes a mattox and other tools to bust through rock. Would an auger (that hooks to a found on ebay) work to bus through rock? I want to expand my flower beds but the rock is becoming more than I can manage. Any suggestions? HELP?

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machiem(Z8 WA)

How about raised beds?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 12:42PM
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resist(z7 VA)

Thanks for your response.

I have a hillside that I'm moving daylillies to. Raised beds
won't work. What I need is something to bust through rock when I'm digging holes. Currently I use a shovel and a mattox
and when I'm done I can barely walk for several days.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 2:19PM
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dannyboquet(z9 So Louisiana)

Are you talking about an auger on a tractor PTO and 3 pt hitch or an auger on a hand drill? Augers will only move small rocks, but it sounds like yours are relatively small. An auger will dig like a demon thru small rocks.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 3:08PM
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If you have the same Appalachian soil that I have, it's 60% rock. But I have drilled holes with a professional auger and tractor set-up with no problem.

I don't hold out too much hope for a hand-held drill.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 10:46PM
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maineman(z5a ME)


I have found that a digging bar is essential when digging in rocky soil.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 12:34AM
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turnage(z7a TX)

My dad had a homemade digging bar made from two truck axels welded end to end and one end sharpened to a point. Must have weighed 25 to 30 pounds. Worked real well on the sandstone rocks we hit digging post holes.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 6:24AM
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No, those augers they sell to use in a drill are virtually worthless if you have any serious amount of rock to go through. I suppose if you have a big enough drill, they might do. But that large of a drill will beat you up too. They will work on nice loamy soil.

I'd get a digging bar, and use it properly. Let it do all the work. Raise it up in the air, then just drop it. Its just a massive, sharpened steel rod. Buy one in a home center.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 7:16AM
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machiem(Z8 WA)

How about hiring the digging out and you can watch from a chair while you drink lemonade?

In the end it might be cheaper than the Dr's visits, recuperation time and the pain and suffering afterward as well as the cost of buying tools.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 1:07PM
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You can usually rent a jack hammer (breaker bar) for around $ 70.00 + all the usual accessory charges (insurance, taxes, etc) for 24 hours. Needs a generator, though.

This should get the job done well; I suggest you mark out everything you might possibly might want to do then knock it out all @ once.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 1:58PM
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while an auger will help, my father in law has been using an auger on a masey fergusan tractor that runs off the pto and the rocks he encounters put it to the test. He's in northern md & he's broken many a shear pin drilling holes at a farm he's helping to clear.
My only experience with rock & holes at my own place has been with a pick, shovel & digging bar. Their ain't no easy way to accomplish it as far as I know.
On the up side day lillies are forgiving & don't need the best soil to thrive.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 11:11PM
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aesanders(8b Alachua, FL)

Dynamite seems to work well on rock :)

If you are talking about the little hole augers for a hand dril, I have one and it works ok in soil if it is not too compacted. They are basically bulb planters. They wont budge a big rock. Again, doing it by hand requires a digging bar. They acrually wrok well unless you hit a large slab of rock. (Then you need the dynamite.)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 12:56AM
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resist(z7 VA)

Thanks so much for all the responses. The one that made me laugh out loud was hire the work done and watch from a chair while sipping lemonade. :)
Ok I suspected the auger would work on soft soil ...just like one of those garden tillers. I did not know about a digging bar. I'll check into that option. If I could hire out the work I would but 1) I can't afford that and 2) if I could I couldn't find anyone to do the work. There aren't a lot of willing workers in my area.

You all have given me some great advice. Thanks for your help!


    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 9:10AM
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