Rocky soil can be a pain for Midwest gardeners. It lacks the nutrients plants need, is not good at holding water, and is difficult to till. Thankfully, amending rocky soil is not overly difficult but expect to do some work!
When amending rocky soil, keep in mind that you may have to repeat the process a few times to create a good soil for planting.
Remove Large Stones
The first step to amending rocky soil is to remove any large stones present. Starting in a small area will help keep the task manageable, as you can always expand the garden slowly over time.
Use A Straight Rake To Remove Surface Rocks And Debris
Next, you will want to use a straight rake to remove smaller surface rocks and debris. If you don’t get every single little stone, don’t worry—it won’t hurt your plant’s chances of growing strong and healthy!
Use A Shovel To Break Up The Soil
After rocks have been removed, it is time to till the soil. Tilling the soil makes it easier to mix organic matter like compost into your soil and loosen up the soil for planting.
Taking a shovel or a tiller, carefully turn over the soil, being sure to move rocks off to the side. Go slowly and be on the lookout for large stones to prevent damage to your tools.
Work In Organic Compost
Laying down organic compost is essential in amending the soil and helping replace lost or lacking nutrients. Compost is excellent at fighting off weeds, preventing disease, and helping your soil retain moister longer, giving your sprinklers a break.
Use a rake or tiller to work in the compost, making sure to get at least a good three inches into the soil.
Rake A Layer Of Top Soil Onto Your Chosen Area
Top soil is a combination of soil and compost and is the perfect way to naturally suppress weeds and level your garden prior to seeding. Before using topsoil, choose the right kind for your needs and only apply where needed, distributing evenly.