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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?

Chiot’s Run Labor Camp

April 13th, 2009

Well, that’s what Mr Chiot’s wanted me to name this post after spending the weekend gather rocks for some new garden beds and to line the driveway.
Mr Chiots spent some time each day this weekend gathering rocks for some hardscaping in our garden. We have tons of rocks everywhere, especially in the back woods. They threw all the rocks out there when the built the house, so there are piles of lovely big rocks that are beautifully aged with moss. The best part is that they’re FREE (just a little manual labor needed).
These rocks sure come in handy when we want to define garden beds or terrace our sloping lot (see What to do With an Abundance of Rocks). Every year we add more and more of the to the garden.
I love the look of the natural native stone in the garden, you just can’t beat the look. They blend right in and look like they’ve always been there. Especially when it’s got alyssum or thyme cascading over it, or is being overtaken with some sedum.
I much prefer it to the square retaining wall stones many people use, although I realize some people don’t have easy access to free rocks like we do.

Are you a rock wall lover? What do you use for hardscaping?

What to do with an abundance of rocks

June 26th, 2008

Everywhere we dig in our gardens reveal rocks by the dozens.

I used to cast them aside and there are still many piles along the edges of the woods to attest to this. About 4 years ago, we decided to start using the rocks for walls to contain our gardens.

We have a severely sloped front hillside out by the road and we have used mountains of rocks to terrace it. It’s such hard work, we only finished a third of it the first year.

This year we started working on the right side of the front hillside, this is what it looked like in April when we started.

This is it’s current state, we still have a lot of work to do, but it looks better than it did last summer!

We also have used rock walls to edge our driveway.

Now finding a rock while digging is like finding a treasure, and we are constantly using the piles along the edges of the woods that were made during our first 2 summers here. We now have rock walls all around the property and rocks edge almost every flower bed we have. Plants always look so lovely cascading over a wall of rocks.

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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.