Rocks can be part of your landscape. Homeowners love to surround their home with beautiful rocks. You can use rocks as a focal point or build pathways with rocks. There are dozens of ways to use rocks in your landscape.
However, chances are you don’t want sporadic rocks throughout your garden beds or yard. They look unsightly. Also, rocks in your yard can become a hazard, being thrown by your lawn mower. A rock could easily hurt someone or break a window. It is best to get rid of them, but you are probably wondering how to remove rocks from yard. Removing all of the rocks from your yard requires a few tools to make it a little bit easier.
Tools You May Need
6 Ways To Remove Rocks From Yard
There is no one perfect way to remove rocks from yard. The method you use is going to depend on what type of rocks and the amount. You must then select the process that works the best for you.
1. Use Hand Tools
The first method you will want to try is to use simple hand tools to remove the rocks. A rake can be used to move gravel from one part of your yard to the other side. It also is great at spreading the gravel evenly in the area that you do want it. Rakes will miss the smaller stones. Shovels are also an essential tool to use to dig out medium-sized rocks that are buried in your yard.
2. Know What Type Of Gravel
If you have gravel in your yard, it is important to know what type of gravel you are dealing with to make the process easier. The two most common choices are the screened gravel, which could be 3/8 inch wide or pea gravel which is typically ¾ inches. These types of gravel are usually used as a decorative ground cover or as a substitute for paving. Some types of gravel, such as screen gravel, don’t pack down as easily, allowing you to use the rake as we mentioned above.
3. Check If There Is Landscape Fabric
Sometimes you luck out, and the homeowners before you used a landscape fabric or geotextile cloth underneath of their decorative gravel. In these circumstances, the best way to remove the rocks from your yard is by hand or by machine. So long as it isn’t compactible gravel, you can use the hand tools mentioned above. Shovel it into a wheelbarrow and haul it away as you can. If there is a cloth underneath, you can often lift it up and remove large portions of the gravel at one time.
4. Dealing With Compactible Gravel
Compactible gravel is more difficult to remove by hand. You are going to need to use a pick and shovel if you want to work by hand. However, it is only suggested to use the manual method if you just a small area of rocks to remove.
If you are faced with a big project of compactible gravel, you need to move to a compact machine, such as a skid steer loader or a bobcat. Typically, you rent these machines per hour unless you happen to have a friend with one in his backyard. These machines allow you to scoop up all the unwanted rocks and gravel and dump them into the bed of a truck to be hauled away.
5. Machinery Or Not
The idea of using a bobcat or other machinery can seem intimidating at first. If you’ve never used something like this, it is best to ask for a lesson or to find someone to do it for you. Another factor to consider is the cost. You need to rent the machine, and you might need to pay someone to do it for you. However, a bobcat can accomplish a complex job that would take hours by hand in just a few hours. Gravel is heavy and hard to move. It also allows you to prepare the surface underneath after removing the gravel.
6. Dealing With Large Rocks
The rocks in your yard may not be gravel. You could be dealing with large rocks. Here are some tips to getting them out without losing your sanity.
- Use a shovel to dig around the sides of the rock until you reach the bottom. Doing so allows some wiggle room, making it easy to get a loose rock from the ground. After that, you might be able to lift it into a wheelbarrow.
- If the rock is too big to lift, dig a gradual slope to the side of the rock, allowing you to roll the rock out of its location.
- Think back to your days in school and create a fulcrum with a rock or brick and a piece of plywood. Use them together to help pry the rock from its location. Then, you can use the process to remove it from its location.
- Break larger rocks. Most rocks have a stress point or large crack somewhere. Use a drill and dig into the cracks, making them even larger and weakened. Then, take a sledgehammer to break the rock right in half, making it easier to remove two rocks rather than one big rock. You may need to do this more than one time if you have a rather large boulder on your property.
Learning how to remove rocks from yard isn’t a hard process to understand, but it does involve a lot of manual labor. If you have a lot of gravel in your yard, you either will need to shovel it or use a bobcat to lift all the gravel to be hauled away. If you just have sporadic rocks throughout your yard, you could just use hand tools to remove them. Boulders can be lifted with a fulcrum or broken into multiple rocks to make the process easier. Whatever method you pick, expect to be working hard that day!
Have you removed rocks from your yard before? What method worked best for you? Let us know in the comments!