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Rocks: My Gardening Nemesis

April 22nd, 2010

I’ve talked about our rocky soil before. Everywhere I dig I find rocks of all sizes. From tiny pebbles to boulders I have to get Mr Chiots to help me dig out, they’re everywhere! I spend more time removing rocks from the garden areas than I do on any other garden task, even weeding. It’s especially bad in new garden areas that haven’t been worked before.

Last spring I worked up this new area in the garden and I picked out tons of big rocks while preparing the area. This spring we reworked the soil with some amendments and I picked out several bucketfuls of smaller rocks, only a few large ones.

Next year I’ll still pick out a several bucketfuls of smaller rocks and probably the year after that as well. I still get a bucketful of rocks from the front foundation bed when I weed and I’ve been picking rocks out of it for the last 9 years!

I’ve always got a bucket by my side to throw the smaller rocks into. I make piles of the bigger rocks around the property and we use those for rock walls and for stepping stones in the garden.

I’m currently saving them to edge the driveway in my efforts to keep the driveway gravel out of the garden on the lower side garden. (yes I have to pick those out of the garden as well *sigh*)

What’s your gardening nemesis?

21 Comments to “Rocks: My Gardening Nemesis”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile. mark mile said: Rocks: My Gardening Nemesis: I’ve talked about our rocky soil before. Everywhere I dig I find rocks of all sizes…. […]

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  2. Rose on April 22, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Hm….the whole garden? Wiltshire is pretty much comprised of clay, flint, and chalk. The soil is so poor here if I spent time picking the rocks out like you’re doing I could probably build a house with the stuff. It is nothing BUT flint and clay, and a foot down from that, bedrock. So “amending the soil” here means “build a raised bed and put some proper dirt in it” – there’s no other way, really.
    .-= Rose´s last blog ..Crossroads =-.

    Reply to Rose's comment

    • Kelly on April 22, 2010 at 9:01 am

      Ours is exactly the same way! We’ve got clay, slate and granite. And the woods are 90% oak so it’s wicket acidic. Raised beds indeed!

      Reply to Kelly's comment

      • Susy on April 22, 2010 at 9:05 am

        We’ve got lots of clay, lots of sand in the front foundation borders where the original owners just got a load of sand instead of dirt to put in there. And the soil is super acidic, which makes my ‘Nikko Blue’ hydrangeas very very blue and quite lovely.

        to Susy's comment

  3. Kirsten on April 22, 2010 at 8:17 am

    My nemesis, at the present moment, is a groundhog. We thought it was awesome last year when we watched him wobble around fattening up for winter until this spring when we built 12 raised beds. He hasn’t done damage much yet, a few heads of lettuce, but I am sure he will. I am going to give him some old potatoes to divert his attention from my teeny, tiny little pea seedlings, then I fear I may have to trap him. Any ideas? I have critter ridder on the way and a fence he digs under.

    Reply to Kirsten's comment

    • Susy on April 22, 2010 at 9:03 am

      Trapping is really the best option for a groundhog. They can eat a whole garden in one day the little voracious critters!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Dave on April 22, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I’ve had very few rock issues – I wouldn’t mind digging up a few good sized ones every now and then! My garden’s nemesis would probably be Johnson Grass. It’s an invasive weed grass that spreads on underground roots that can cover acres of land very quickly. It’s especially a pain in a garden bed!
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..Plant Propagation: This Week’s Cuttings =-.

    Reply to Dave's comment

  5. marcyincny on April 22, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Always and forever I fear: chipmunks.
    .-= marcyincny´s last blog ..The Angry Sister =-.

    Reply to marcyincny's comment

  6. warren on April 22, 2010 at 10:13 am

    I hate to mention it but the garden we now work has been turning out rocks since 1946 (when wife’s grandpa started it)…I can’t believe it but year after year we find more…
    .-= warren´s last blog ..The first swarm of bees in 2010 =-.

    Reply to warren's comment

    • Susy on April 22, 2010 at 10:16 am

      It is amazing isn’t it, if I could grow vegetables as easily as I grow rocks I’d never have to buy any at the farmer’s market!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Rebecca @RootsAndWingsCo on April 22, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Mine is the heat. I live in Phoenix. Thankfully because of the heat we don’t have many of the other problems everyone else has. But still, getting anything to grow when it’s 110 or more degrees out…and I don’t want to be outside during the summer either! Well, I would love to be, just not where it’s so hot! ;) We do have birds that will take one bite out of each of your tomatoes..darn things!
    Rebecca of the R&W Gals
    .-= Rebecca @RootsAndWingsCo´s last blog ..Earth Day-Come See My New Garden! =-.

    Reply to Rebecca @RootsAndWingsCo's comment

  8. Michelle on April 22, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Earwigs. Hands down.
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Wednesday in the Word =-.

    Reply to Michelle's comment

  9. Blake @ Salt, Teak & Fog on April 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Invasive blackberries. They are mean, thorny, tenacious–and pop up EVERYWHERE. But I do get to eat my nemesis, so it’s not all that bad :)
    .-= Blake @ Salt, Teak & Fog´s last blog ..simple soup tip =-.

    Reply to Blake @ Salt, Teak & Fog's comment

  10. Ben on April 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    As a child our job was to pick up the rocks out of the garden after dad tilled it up. I think we grew more rocks than tomatoes.

    Reply to Ben's comment

  11. tj on April 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    …Weeds! Gack! :o/

    …Blessings… :o)

    Reply to tj's comment

  12. MAYBELLINE on April 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Clay soil.
    Zoiks. It used to be so tough years ago. I’ve broken many tool handles working in the beastly stuff. Over the years, with amendments, the soil has improved.
    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..Crossing Paths =-.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  13. mamaraby on April 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Clay. Yuck!
    .-= mamaraby´s last blog ..Memory Lane =-.

    Reply to mamaraby's comment

  14. Mr Sky on April 23, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Hi Mrs Chiots,

    I’ve been checking out your blog for a while now. I love the photography and the positivity your writings exude. Your’s is one of a small handful of gardening/smallholding blogs I regularly take a look at and have inspired me to start up my own in Norfolk, England.

    I’m new at this so not sure about the blogging etiquette so thought I’d best ask first whether you would mind if I pop a link to your blog on mine.

    All the best – those rocks look tiresome, but useful, where I am our problem is clay which can be quite solid about 12 inches down. Mind you it helped build a house so we shouldn’t complain!

    Reply to Mr Sky's comment

    • Susy on April 23, 2010 at 8:07 am

      Sure, feel free to put a link on your blog, I’d much appreciate it!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  15. Sadge on April 23, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    California quail. Sure, they’re cute, with those little head feathers bobbing about. I love seeing them scurry across the yard in their covey, and the babies are just precious – growing from quarter-sized puffballs on legs, to half dollar-sized within a week or so. But they can fly, flit through fencing, and gobble up anything green as soon as it pops out of the ground. I’ve had to net my entire early bed to get any spring greens or peas started at all.
    .-= Sadge´s last blog ..Unmaking the Bed =-.

    Reply to Sadge's comment

  16. Sue Nugent on July 15, 2011 at 6:36 am

    It’s strange to see the kind of rocks you have at your place. They are nothing like ours. Ours are mostly ,slick, and white, super hard, and many of them have a slick smooth surface. I use a lot of them around my flower beds.Some I even white wash.I use a lot of the flat rocks for walkways.I have gone to using more store bought border rocks lately and they are expensive, so I bought myself a cement mixer to make my own shapes to suit my purpose.

    Reply to Sue Nugent's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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