So we’ve begun the rock removal process. There is no easy way to say it: it sucks and it takes for fricking ever. About an hour per four feet. I’m loading the moving boxes with rocks (very convenient), and handsome and very helpful boyfriend (HHB) is helping me literally remove the rocks by the handful. There really is no other way, since they settle next to each other so hard, you can’t shovel them, or rake them or really transport them in any other way except manually removing them.
Have I mentioned it’s a pain in the neck?
The soil underneath these rocks has been so compacted it’s like cement… the roots can’t root deeply enough, so they are running right along the surface under the black plastic landscape “fabric”… it’s terrible.
So- we got all the rocks out, and then I started on the horrible plastic edging.
Once we had the rocks out, it went fairly quickly. The key to removing the edging is to start in the easy spot first (no grass)– and it would be ideal if the ground was a wee bit softer.
Then we rototilled the front to make a much larger garden bed. And by we, I mean HHB. It was fun to watch. Practice pointer: as my former sister-in-law once noted, always remove the grass from the beds after you rototill, or you will end up with really nice grass growing in the beds you just spent time rototilling.
And for those folks who say rototilling ruins the soil structure: shut up. It’s a 10 year old house with compacted heavy clay. “Soil structure” is a ridiculous idea at this point.
Anyway– today, we’ll spread compost on the bed, and plant it up. I’ll have to make a path to the hose, which is conveniently located at the exact front center of the house, but that is easily doable… and there are quite a number of random bricks around here, I might be able to make it work without too much money spent!
The whole project (just the front garden bed) took the entire afternoon–so far– with two hardworking, strong adults. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Maybe I would… he could use a little backbreaking labor.
(p.s. if you are looking to get rid of your rocks, may I humbly suggest craigslist? It only took three hours and they are gone, baby gone.)