The Q&A Archives: Rocks Reappear Each Spring

Question: Every year I loosen the soil in my garden, and every year, in the same places I dug the year before, I find huge rocks. Where are these rocks coming from? Should I have some topsoil delivered and build the area up?

Answer: Cold-climate gardeners have to deal with the dynamic effects of frost that heave rocks to the soil surface every spring. "Picking stone" is a never-ending job in some places. You might consider using raised beds and planting intensively in them rather than continuing to fight the rocks. This can be done using a frame of boards or other materials to raise the soil, or by simply piling the soil with a steep side to it. Importing topsoil is an option, but not really necessary. And often the soil it is a poor match to the existing soil and can cause a whole new set of problems with drainage, etc.

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