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cleaning up rock piles around my house

18 posts in this topic

I want to clean up our rock trim around the house...where we have a few bushes planted up along the house.

Does any know of a screen tool or anything that will allow the dirt and debris to fall through and keep the rocks on top? The goal is to take the rocks out, clean them up, and put them back in with new plastic and maybe even pavers as the edging between the rocks and grass.

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Could use something like chicken wire fence and pressure washer, depends on size of rock. Otherwise, metal lath they use behind stone on fireplaces and house fronts would work also. Sell this about 3'X5' sheets at places like Menard's, pretty cheap also.

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One of my buddies had a trailer with the metal lath type floor. He loaded onto trailer, drove onto drivewway, sprayed them down, and then moved to a section with fresh fabric.

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Thanks guys. that trailer sounds amazing...does he still have it? would he consider renting it?

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It wasn't his, so he does not have it it anymore. I just checked Northern Tool & Equip's HSOforum and it can be yours for $550. I'm sure there are places that rent trailers with that type of floor. Uhaul maybe?

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I made something with "hardware cloth" it is a wire fence material that I used fence staples to attach to a 2x4 frame that is maybe 2' square.

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I made something with "hardware cloth" it is a wire fence material that I used fence staples to attach to a 2x4 frame that is maybe 2' square.

I did this a few years back. It worked well, but it is alot of work. On the bright side you will have ripped abs, and arms like Charles Atlas when you are done. (I think the trailer idea is a definite winner!!)

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"I made something with "hardware cloth" it is a wire fence material that I used fence staples to attach to a 2x4 frame that is maybe 2' square."

I'd go this route as well. A dirt sifter. Normally your saving the fine material as the the larger stuff rolls off or sits on the screen, then dumped. Since your saving the rock you won't need much agitation. Make the frame large enough to sit in a wheel borrow. Hose it down, all the dirt will fall out and into the wheel burrow. If you have wood or leave debris, bring the water level in the wheel burrow high enough so the wood can float. Skim it off.

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I just bought some stuff to make a sifter type box...I figure I will prop it up diagonal on something so the rocks roll off to the bottom and the debris goes though onto a tarp or something...

Thanks for all the help and advice. Can't wit ot show off my abs and huge guns afterward!

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This is an evil, evil job and I wish you well. We had a house where we decided to do this project and built a frame, and started to move rock. We discovered the previous owners had put black plastic and rock down over a layer of plastic and rock that the owners before them had placed. This this turned into an all summer project. We did have enough extra rock to do a parking pad for the boat trailer along side the garage however.

Try to not use water, and set your frame up so you can shake it. Worked best for us.

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Does anyone have a solution for getting pine needles out of the rock? We have a retaining wall system at the lake and wish we would have never put rock into it because of all the pine needles that keep falling into it. Every year, I try to get off the top layer by gently using a yard rake, but over the years they keep building up as they fall between the cracks. Now it is about 50% rock and 50% pine needles.

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You could maybe try a leaf blower to get the pine needles out of the rock?

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Yep, go to town with a leaf blower, you might need somebody to rake the rocks around a little to help the process along.

I just put in almost three hundred feet of edging, and used the leaf blower to help clear the trench at times.

I landscaped to put me through college, hand shoveled hundreds of tons of rock, so the idea of digging out that rock and cleaning it up makes me shudder. Might also be the main reason I'm mulching over the old river rock beds at my place right now. wink

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Most advice is that rock is the worst thing you can do for any plants you have. Maybe it's worth a reconsider on this project and just take it out and put down some mulch. Rock sounds like a PITA.

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Thanks guys, for helping me decide NOT to take rock from bro-in-law, clean it up, and put in my place. Sounds like lots of work for more work ini the future. I guess he is getting rid of it for some reason wink

Mulch it is.

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Rocks are a PITA, removed the rock from the edge of the drive way and replaced with pavers. Mowing is so much easier now, can not wait to remove snow this winter with the snow blower NO ROCKS flying across the yard.

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Does anyone have a solution for getting pine needles out of the rock? We have a retaining wall system at the lake and wish we would have never put rock into it because of all the pine needles that keep falling into it. Every year, I try to get off the top layer by gently using a yard rake, but over the years they keep building up as they fall between the cracks. Now it is about 50% rock and 50% pine needles.

You could rent a backpack leaf blower, or this fall, hire a lawn contractor to do a fall cleanup, with the understanding that you want all of the pine needles out of the rock.

If you rent a blower, make sure it's a backpack blower, not a handheld. Have a second person with a rake, slowly raking the rock around so the blower can blow everything out.

I run an Echo 755 and it's strong enough I can blow the rock out of the bed if I'm not careful.

I'm not sure why anyone would go through the hassle of pulling the rock out, washing and putting back in.

If you think you're going to buy a big blower, they're about $550 on a large internet auction site.

You can then use it for blowing light snow off of the drive (up to 3" of fluff) or blowing debris off the drive, etc.

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