Should rocks/pebbles be removed from garden soil?

ptwonlineMay 12, 2014

I've always wondered about this: since "soil" is compromised of various things (organic matter, minerals, etc), should rocks/pebbled be left in the soil so that they can continue to be eroded and add bits to the soil?

I realize the erosion process is so slow that it may not make much difference either way, but the thought came to mind after I removed lawn grass to make a garden bed, and found so many pebbles that had been thrust towards the surface of the soil. Thousands.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

I would leave them be unless you are creating a fine tilth for a seed bed.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 5:02PM
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Hi ptwonline,

I like rocks in my soil. They retain moisture. They probably help with soil compression.

for big rocks, I have other likes:

One year, I found a large boulder about six inches deep in my plot so I cleared the top, laid a tomato plant on it, and covered it up. The tomato plant did fine, the roots spread all over the top of the boulder.

When I plant sweet potatos I lay a ring of stones around the plant in a twenty four inch circle. The moisture under those stones attracts the potato roots and spreads out my sweet potatoes.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 8:34PM
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leave them unless they get in the way of tilling or digging holes.

You'll NEVER get rid of them all.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 10:12PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

"You'll NEVER get rid of them all."

Ditto! I have been using the same garden spot for 30+ years.

I have removed the bigger rocks every year, you know the size, the ones that make my tiller lock up and bigger.

I am better at growing rocks than veggies!

I get more than a pickup truck load every year! I have a pile that is approximately 30'X30'X4' deep out on the "back 40"..

It would be bigger if I hadn't given them to people to haul away and use for their home projects! I also used them as a bed to make a 400' loop to extend my driveway.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 3:20PM
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How do you use rocks for a driveway?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:58PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

The same way that anyone would use gravel Slimy! :)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:53AM
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