Need tool for digging in hard, rocky soil

ms_minnamouse(7a)April 19, 2009

What's a good type of shovel or other tool (besides KBC bars) for digging in really hard and rocky soil? It also should be able to slice through roots.

I'm really light and I can't always get the shovel very deep.


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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

What about berming or mounding? If you are carving holes out of compacted ground and planting in those the plants probably won't like the still-hard ground around the holes either.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 12:29PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

I use a pickaxe with the other end having a thick point. Don't swing it in rocky soil, just drop it.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 12:53PM
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ROFLOL - if you only knew.

I don't know what its' called, but the best "tool" I have purchased in the last couple of years is about 8 feet long and is a heavy bar. One end is shaped like a pencil point and the other has a wedge end.

After shaking like a bowl of jello trying to drill holes in some of our rocks to try to pry them out, a friend told me about this pry bar thingie, and it has saved me literally hundreds of hours of digging!

The other best digging tool I have is a 2 or 3' piece of steel rebar that I ground to a rounded point and a small baltene hammer to break through the ground enough to pry.

Then to plant, I dig the hole as about 3 times the size of my root ball or container and fill with topsoil and composted material. Eventually the roots make it around the remaining rocks and I don't know what the long term holds, but the plants and tree's I have put in the last couple of years are doing well.

Keeping my fingers crossed!

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 9:24AM
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Oooops, left out the easiest part. As I am digging the holes out, I fill will water and leave it overnight to see if it will:

1) drain out (so I know whether the roots will have a way and place to go) and

2) to soften whatever soil there might be to make the digging easier.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 9:27AM
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