Asked on Jun 15, 2018

Tips for Tilling under small landscape rocks?

by Victoria
We are looking at updating part of our backyard. Previous owners had a larger planted area there with small landscaping rocks/gravel rather than mulch. Now it's mostly just weeds that come back yrar after year. We are wanting to till the whole area and plant limited items there while evening out for a gazebo/covered area. Can we just till the whole area, rocks included, with a rear tine tiller or do we need to remove the small rocks first?

  3 answers
  • Rockyroad Rockyroad on Jun 15, 2018
    Might be kind of a pain in the neck , but best to remove the stone . Make sure you remove weeds first or they'll just get tilled in and come right back . If the tiller is beefy enough , and you don't care about the soil , you could till in SMALL stones , create large pockets of nice soil to plant in , but might regret this in the future .

  • Joy30150932 Joy30150932 on Jun 15, 2018
    To get a much better growing area you should remove as much of the stone as you can. Place some fresh top soil and maybe a couple of bags of sheep or cow manure, Put down some garden fabric, and if you have any extra newspaper, place that down first, wet it and then put down the garden fabric. Put your plants in after cutting slits in the fabric and then mulch with cedar around the plants.

  • Amanda Amanda on Jun 15, 2018
    Hi Victoria. If the stones are like pea stones and very small you should be fine to till them into the soil. If it is a very deep layer of stone I would remove them. Adding smaller stones to the soil can help with drainage. My thought is that the stones won't harm the plants if tilled into the soil. I live in an area where the soil is very rocky. It makes it harder to dig but is good for the plants and trees.