Texas Gardening forum→Rocks in Texas a problem?

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Name: Ed
Georgetown, Tx (Zone 8b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Sempervivums Houseplants Region: Texas Garden Ideas: Level 1
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herrwood
Jun 6, 2019 8:44 PM CST
Dug down about 8" and keep hitting rock shelf, white rock.
New to Texas so not use to this.
Plan on planting some bushes & shrubs so is about 8" of soil enough for the plants.
Georgetown near Austin
Plants are like that little ray of sunshine on a rainy day.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 7, 2019 7:40 AM CST
A limestone shelf, maybe. Perhaps relocate further southeast toward Manor and find a spot with deeper soil. Just kidding. I used to live west of Austin and run into that. I poked around until I found a crevice in the rocks, but that's not going to work all the time. I'm not sure how the landscapers handle the problem. 8" isn't going to be enough for a lot of plants though many are adept at finding those crevices on their own.

Maybe I can get @Esperanza to chime in here with a more valid answer. I think she might deal with the same situation a lot in her location.
Donald
Name: Ed
Georgetown, Tx (Zone 8b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Sempervivums Houseplants Region: Texas Garden Ideas: Level 1
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herrwood
Jun 7, 2019 8:50 AM CST
I could raise beds but prefer everything ground level. I dug 3 test holes and found the same condition. I was thinking it was limestone as you said. I chipped some of it out with a digging bar but seems fairly thick .
Plants are like that little ray of sunshine on a rainy day.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 7, 2019 11:43 AM CST
Sure sounds like you have a limestone shelf under the topsoil. They can be huge and thick. How do your neighbors plants look?
Donald
Name: Bread Baker
Central Texas Hill Country (Zone 8b)
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Iluvtobake
Jun 9, 2019 4:50 PM CST
I'm on a limestone hill. I buy things in 4 inch pots whenever possible. For one gallons, when it is dry, try watering the area well every day for a few days before digging. That will soften it just a touch but it helps.

I've never tried bigger than a one gallon pot. If I can't dig deep enough, I mound storebought dirt around the base of the top, same level as the original soil in the pot - where it sticks up above soil level) then mound an outer circle further out - creating a donut shape. I do the donut no matter what to catch water around the plant, but away from the base or trunk.

It's amazing, but things will grow in the stuff. Be sure when you dig a hole to chip the interior sides of it. Sometimes when you dig, it creates slick inner walls. If you can create little breaks in those walls it supposedly makes it easier for the roots to venture out.

Also, it's always a good idea to plant droughty, alkaline loving things.

And you can always rent a jack hammer.
[Last edited by Iluvtobake - Jun 9, 2019 5:10 PM (+)]
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Name: Audrey
Central Texas (Zone 8a)
Organic Gardener Adeniums Hummingbirder Butterflies Keeps Horses Keeper of Poultry
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Esperanza
Jun 9, 2019 8:50 PM CST
I agree with Iluvtobake on choosing hardy native type plants and starting out with smaller sized plants. For your shrubs you can cut the root ball into four sections and splay them out. A lot of the times the roots in the pot are mostly circling the sides of the pot and the inner area dirt can be removed. I live on top of a huge rock and the only soil is what I have brought in. I use mostly native and adaptive plants for my garden and use containers on my deck for my fun plants that require better care than my rocky hillside offers.
Welcome to Texas. Welcome!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Jun 12, 2019 3:31 PM CST

Moderator

We live in west Austin and like Esperanza, we're on limestone. You learn what will grow there and what will slip away when your potting soil seeps into the rock crevices.


Thumb of 2019-06-12/Bubbles/76af6e

Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
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plantmanager
Jun 12, 2019 5:43 PM CST
Wow!
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Jun 12, 2019 6:57 PM CST

Moderator

This photo was from the highway, Loop 360, but our "cliff" is nearly the same.
Name: Audrey
Central Texas (Zone 8a)
Organic Gardener Adeniums Hummingbirder Butterflies Keeps Horses Keeper of Poultry
Cactus and Succulents Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Photo Contest Winner 2018
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Esperanza
Jun 12, 2019 7:32 PM CST
Great example photo Sandi! Is that off of 360?
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Jun 12, 2019 8:30 PM CST

Moderator

Yes, the cliff behind us was "created" with dynamite. Actually, so were the cliffs along 360 on the other side of the lake.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Jun 12, 2019 8:33 PM CST
Awesome wall of rock! I'm amazed the rock climbers aren't scaling it.
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Jun 12, 2019 8:56 PM CST

Moderator

@pod When we have a lot of rain, some of those rocks loosen and fall onto the highway...and the occasional car.

Name: Ed
Georgetown, Tx (Zone 8b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Sempervivums Houseplants Region: Texas Garden Ideas: Level 1
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herrwood
Jun 13, 2019 1:00 AM CST
Thanks for the advice, just moved here so the limestone is a surprise.
Plants are like that little ray of sunshine on a rainy day.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Jun 13, 2019 6:13 AM CST
Bubbles said:@pod When we have a lot of rain, some of those rocks loosen and fall onto the highway...and the occasional car.



Ouch... Not a wall to rock climb I guess. Big Grin Not that I would anyway...

@herrwood, the limestone would be an adjustment for me also. I do hope you are able to work around it.
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Jun 13, 2019 6:47 AM CST

Moderator

@herrwood Not to discourage you, I just wanted you to know that the limestone may be deeper than you expected.




Name: Sue
Bexar County, South Texas
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Butterflies Dragonflies Bee Lover
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Never_Ending_Quest
Jun 16, 2019 9:45 PM CST
I can't put a shovel anywhere in my yard without hitting limestone rocks of various sizes. Most 2-5 inches, but some nearly 20" inches.

I think the builders just put a thin layer of fill dirt over the rock and clay and then planted lawn. I'm trying to add organic matter to add to the soil, and If I could, I would have a truckload of topsoil brought in. Confused

Came as a huge surprise to me as well, since I came from the Sacramento valley and we had clay, but also a lot of old river bottom soil from floods before the dams were built.

Definitely an adjustment, but "one wheel barrow at a time" and eventually my lawn will be healthier.
On a Never Ending Quest: First to learn...then to teach.
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Jun 17, 2019 6:32 PM CST
I might have a little limestone. Why not? I've got everything else. Not long after I bought my house I started to notice little shards of glass here and there. Asked a neighbor about it and he laughed. Said the builders used all kinds of junk as fill. I've actually got a bottle collection of small, intact bottles that have surfaced after heavy rains. Just got another itty bitty one from our recent storm.

Was going to post a picture of my collection but maybe I deleted it. Still waiting for a magic lantern or a pot of gold.
Name: Sue
Bexar County, South Texas
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Butterflies Dragonflies Bee Lover
Moon Gardener Organic Gardener Ferns
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Never_Ending_Quest
Jun 17, 2019 7:16 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing

My neighbor just dug up a part of their front yard to expand their sidewalk. They found lots of beer cans.
On a Never Ending Quest: First to learn...then to teach.
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Jun 17, 2019 10:45 PM CST
Found it.

Here's the collection minus the 'new' bottle:

Thumb of 2019-06-18/tx_flower_child/a14313

Here's my new find:

Thumb of 2019-06-18/tx_flower_child/d0686f

And size comparison, for what it's worth:

Thumb of 2019-06-18/tx_flower_child/d86487

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