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Old 05-07-2014, 05:15 PM
 
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I live in Colorado, where xeriscaping and fire-resistant landscaping is "in". My house has several large beds of landscaping rock (mostly 2-3" size) that were put in when the house was built about 15 years ago. When I bought the house, they hadn't been maintained for years and were totally full of dirt, leaves, weeds, pine needles, etc.

I've been slowly going through each section, taking up the rock by hand, removing the dirt, replacing the landscaping cloth underneath as necessary, etc. and then putting the rock back in place. It looks nice, but it's a lot of work, and I can see that sections I did last year or the year before are filling up with dirt and leaves and stuff again.

How do other people deal with routine maintenance of landscaping rock? Leaf blower? Pressure washing? ??? Or is periodic digging up the rocks and replacing them, as I've been doing, the only way to keep the beds looking neat?
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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leaf blower and a bit of hand weeding before it gets unsightly I think. I don't think most would be willing to do something so labor intensive as remove all the rocks and replacing them. Why would they need replacing even? just take care of the mess in the beds and use the rocks forever.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:46 PM
 
547 posts, read 524,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
leaf blower and a bit of hand weeding before it gets unsightly I think. I don't think most would be willing to do something so labor intensive as remove all the rocks and replacing them. Why would they need replacing even? just take care of the mess in the beds and use the rocks forever.
Well, yes, "replacing" in the sense of putting the same rocks back where they came from, not buying new ones.

The rock beds I haven't fixed up yet are really a mess.... in some places the rocks are completely buried under the tree debris, and there are siberian elm sprouts, bindweed, and other weeds coming up through the landscape cloth. Rock is being promoted pretty heavily as a substitute for irrigated lawn here, but it clearly needs maintenance to avoid looking like that and it's been hard to find any recommendations for how to keep it looking neat.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:52 PM
 
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Leaf blower or landscape vacuum.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:16 AM
 
Location: CO
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I think you've hit on the problem - they haven't been maintained in years. Once you are done with the intensive maintenance you're now performing, some leaf blowing and weed-pulling will keep them looking nice for a long time.

Maintaining rocks is not much different than maintaining a flower bed, spring seaon brings some heavy-duty cleanup to remove last fall's debris and then periodic weeding. Sounds like you're on the right track!
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:02 PM
 
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Could you just Roundup it first? It will all be easier to pull up and blow away if it's dead. (Just be sure to do it on a day with no wind.)

My mom had this problem with a bed of rocks in front of her cabin. Mama wasn't at the cabin enough to keep it clear, and it was a pain in the butt.

But I would just clean it all out and then, like the others said, periodic maintenance should do the trick and not be too taxing.
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:54 PM
 
547 posts, read 524,092 times
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Originally Posted by Luvvarkansas View Post
Could you just Roundup it first? It will all be easier to pull up and blow away if it's dead. (Just be sure to do it on a day with no wind.)
Yes, there's one area that I know I'm not going to be able to dig up yet this year that I just Roundup'ed all over a few days ago because it was looking so weedy. I've also been using Roundup for spot treatment on those persistent siberian elm shoots that have come back up in the sections I already cleaned. I think other kinds of weeds are only getting established in the beds because there is so much dirt and rotted leaves between the rocks for them to take root in.

Thanks for all the other suggestions. I might hire a landscaping company to come in and do some cleanup and see what kind of equipment they use and how well it works, before buying a blower or vacuum myself.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.frog View Post
Well, yes, "replacing" in the sense of putting the same rocks back where they came from, not buying new ones.

The rock beds I haven't fixed up yet are really a mess.... in some places the rocks are completely buried under the tree debris, and there are siberian elm sprouts, bindweed, and other weeds coming up through the landscape cloth. Rock is being promoted pretty heavily as a substitute for irrigated lawn here, but it clearly needs maintenance to avoid looking like that and it's been hard to find any recommendations for how to keep it looking neat.

I have not yet finished reading through the rest of the replies that you have received and I realize that this is from last year but I was searching for an answer to the exact same question!! I have just moved into a house several months ago that has many rocks because we also have mostly all xeriscaped yards (I live in Albuquerque New Mexico) and it looks as though no one has ever cleaned it up..there are years of leaves, dirt, weeds and these little white disc shaped things that have blown off of some trees that are all around (I am not sure what these are called but I hate them!! They sprout into little weeds as soon as they get a little moisture..what a pain..they are everywhere). I too started removing the rocks by hand and cleaning out a little area and then replacing them...my goodness it is a lot of work...my neighbors think I am crazy and my husband just shakes his head..he has decided that I have OCD!! LOL. There is no way that I am going to be able to continue and do this with the whole yard..there is just too much. If you have come up with a better way then please let me know. The only other thing I could think of was to spray it with heavy spray of water from the hose and flood it out onto the sidewalk or driveway and cause some of the debris to wash out and float up and out of the rocks...this is not really effective and it makes a huge mess. Everbody's idea of using a leaf blower does not really work because so much of the mess is compacted down pretty tight under and between the rocks (along with a lot of dirt due to the wind that blows here so hard during the spring). I am at a complete loss as to what to do but it is driving me crazy!
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Old 05-23-2015, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,749 posts, read 3,266,138 times
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miss,
Go to a big box store, buy a big rake, plenty of paper trash bags, ask about the paper trash bags, I'm sure they sell them, and go to where you don't like the debris and start raking into a pile. Then rake it into the big paper trash bag.
You will have your work cut out for ya, but, you asked.
You don't have to move the rocks, unless you want grass, which I would advise against.
Or.....you could hire someone to do it.
If not, be careful raking, wear long sleeves and pants, don't touch weeds you don't know what they are.
Good luck.
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Old 05-23-2015, 06:56 PM
 
25,630 posts, read 26,958,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missinfwb View Post
I have not yet finished reading through the rest of the replies that you have received and I realize that this is from last year but I was searching for an answer to the exact same question!! I have just moved into a house several months ago that has many rocks because we also have mostly all xeriscaped yards (I live in Albuquerque New Mexico) and it looks as though no one has ever cleaned it up..there are years of leaves, dirt, weeds and these little white disc shaped things that have blown off of some trees that are all around (I am not sure what these are called but I hate them!! They sprout into little weeds as soon as they get a little moisture..what a pain..they are everywhere). I too started removing the rocks by hand and cleaning out a little area and then replacing them...my goodness it is a lot of work...my neighbors think I am crazy and my husband just shakes his head..he has decided that I have OCD!! LOL. There is no way that I am going to be able to continue and do this with the whole yard..there is just too much. If you have come up with a better way then please let me know. The only other thing I could think of was to spray it with heavy spray of water from the hose and flood it out onto the sidewalk or driveway and cause some of the debris to wash out and float up and out of the rocks...this is not really effective and it makes a huge mess. Everbody's idea of using a leaf blower does not really work because so much of the mess is compacted down pretty tight under and between the rocks (along with a lot of dirt due to the wind that blows here so hard during the spring). I am at a complete loss as to what to do but it is driving me crazy!
Oh you'll survive.

Once you get all the rocks moved and the years of neglect cleaned up the answer is very easy and straight forward.

Regular maintenance.
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