Rocky soil - Knowledgebase Question

Dalls, Pe
Avatar for DougHertel
Question by DougHertel
July 24, 2010
New house, new property with no lawn -- just soil. However, the soil is very, very rocky. Rocks of all sizes. What is the best way to remove the rocks without paying a lawn service a ton of money? Is there a piece of equipment I can rent? I am concerned that a roto-tiller would be damaged by the quantity and size of the rocks.

Answer from NGA
July 24, 2010
Yours is a difficult situation! I've dealt with a similar piece of property. Even after picking most of them up, it seems like the rocks multiply overnight. Sometimes I think they invite their friends over from a neighboring lot. In any event, there are a few ways to tackle the problem. First, you can rent a bobcat and grade the soil, pushing the rocks into a corner. Or, you can rent a rototiller or power rake to pull them up out of the soil. A third approach is to cover over them with a good grade of screened top soil, about three inches deep. This way you'll cover them up and still have a few inches of good soil so your new lawn can root. If the rocks are firmly rooted in the soil you can add a thin layer of topsoil and choose a turfgrass that you can mow high. As the grass matures and produces a layer of thatch, the rocks will be covered and won't surface. Wish I had a better solution for you! Good luck with your project!

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