Asked on Feb 26, 2016

Rocks in my flower bed a 100 of them

by Barb
I have tried everything and can't get an plant to grow. There is just so many rocks. What can I do to have a flower bed of flowers and plants? I would appreciate any advice thank you.
  18 answers
  • Pam Pam on Feb 26, 2016
    You need to amend the soil. Try taking as many rocks out and add some topsoil on top. That is what I am going to have to do. or build a box above ground and plant there. Hope it helps.
  • Three Dogs in a Garden Three Dogs in a Garden on Feb 26, 2016
    Rocky soil is great for drainage, but there has to be some nourishment in the soil for plants to flourish. I'd suggest you enrich the soil with mature, compost or some other organic matter like leaf mold. Then I would try alpine or rock garden plants. Check out the post on rock garden in Nova Scotia for some plant suggestions.
  • Martha Martha on Feb 26, 2016
    A few rocks do help break up the soil, but it can be too rocky, which makes it hard to work. You didn't say how big the rocks are. If it is pebbles or gravel, you can screen them out. I have had good luck screening my compost or soil with a storage crate (milk crate). It is heavy plastic with openings in it. I shovel it full of soil, then shake, shake, shake. The soil or compost comes through except for the big chunks. If the soil has big rocks (about 2 inches or more diameter), I toss them to the back edge of the flower bed, against the fence. You can also make a screen with heavy woven wire fence material that you can set up at an angle so you can shovel the soil through. Buy a yard square piece of the fencing at a hardware store and make a wooden frame around it with some 2X4 legs to prop it up (or just lean it against a fence if you have one). The soil should go through and the rocks fall to the bottom edge of the screen. It is labor-intensive, so start with a small flower bed or border and extend it each year.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Feb 26, 2016
    Instead of battling the rocks get some colorful pots and plant them up based on your zone.Start in the back of the area and work to the front until you get your desired garden. Plant perennials as well as annuals and choose the plants based on the amount of light your garden gets on a daily basis. Just remember when planting in pots they will not retain moisture so will have to make sure you do not let them dry out.
  • Irene Irene on Feb 27, 2016
    In the front of my house there is a landscape using rocks only. A few "tipped on their side" pots with rocks pouring out of them. One has soil with a "Hen & Chicks" at the edge. My concern was our wind. Plants get the brunt of it. You could put special rocks there like colored ones in blocks of color, interspersed with pots of flowers.
  • Cathy Cathy on Feb 27, 2016
    Do you want the rocks to show? If not, you could always put a raised bed using either wood or bricks there---that way you can add potting soil in here and grow plants that like well drained soil as it sounds like the rocks would make a good drainage base. Otherwise, make it a rock garden and put in succulents for interest.
  • Connie Phillips Connie Phillips on Feb 27, 2016
  • Sbsb1005 Sbsb1005 on Feb 27, 2016
    Plant your flowers in cheap terra cotta pots of different sizes. Annuals do well in those. Space them around the area and see if maybe a hosta will grow. That will be a good spacer between the pots as well.
  • DORLIS DORLIS on Feb 27, 2016
    If you live on a ridge, you may never get rid of them. Each winter/spring, he ground freezes and thaws and pushes them up. We live on a river bluff and each spring would gather rocks from the flower beds. Each spring, more appeared. You give up and plant around them. I add bags of potting soil (sometimes garden soil contains weed seed) and hopefully will end up with enough soil to make the bed for flowers
  • Paula Brock Paula Brock on Feb 27, 2016
    Find several large pots (the number of pots depends on size of bed), place them in a pleasing arrangement, add a variety of plants, some trailing and others of varying heights. Mulch the flower bed with either pine straw or a colored mulch to complement your pots of flowers.
  • LindaK LindaK on Feb 27, 2016
    Burying pots is a good idea, or digging holes and filling them with potting soil then planting. If you plant perennials you'll only have to do it once.
  • Kathy Bitzan Kathy Bitzan on Feb 27, 2016
    I do mine in pots and they are easy to take care of. My whole yard is rocks for a low maintenance, not my idea..... so I have to have some color and it is my spring and summer project to put color in and make it better.
  • Ranger Ranger on Feb 27, 2016
    Succulents! They'd grow on a speck of dirt and provide beautiful flowers. They would love to be amongst rocks, soon covering them. You would need to seperate and replant every three years or so, but they have very minimal labour needs.
  • Moxie Moxie on Feb 27, 2016
    ...maybe add retaining pavers to raise up the outside edge a few courses, put down landscape fabric, about 6" of dirt and your rock become drainage : ) Ps I did this cause I'm too lazy to gather all my rocks lol
  • Madonna-Jerry Neal Madonna-Jerry Neal on Feb 28, 2016
    Ice Plant will grow right over rock. Pretty little pink flower too!
  • Lynn Palmatier Lynn Palmatier on Feb 28, 2016
    you could build raised beds and fill with soil. We built beds using castle blocks with some contour. gravel paths around the beds you build. In the vegetable garden we built a deck walkway between two beds. My yard is sloped and now I have access so my vegetables are accessed from 2 sides for both beds.
  • Chic tayao Chic tayao on Feb 28, 2016
    There are plants that thrive in a rocky environment i.e., cacti, succulents, agave, euphorbia etc. I remove the rocks to form natural "river stones" and dump soil to hold the plants.
  • Barb Barb on Feb 28, 2016
    I want to Thank everyone for allyour helpful advice i will be on it very soon