Digging in very rocky soil

Old 05-05-03, 10:18 AM
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Question Digging in very rocky soil

We recently bought a house in semi-rural Connecticut, beautiful but with some serious soil problems! The soil is such dense clay and filled with SO many rocks that it took me 5 hours just to dig holes for 8 smallish rhodedhendron.

The thought of trying to dig up enough for foundation plantings or digging the trench for a much-needed front walk has me nearly in tears. I'm used to nice, already-worked soil that just needs a little turning!

Any help or pointers on where to start would be *greatly* appreciated. It's clear that my little spade isn't going to do the job, but I really don't have a clue what will. The books and sites I've found all seem to start with instructions like "Dig a trench 10in deep" with no ideas about how to do that in adverse soil conditions.

Thanks in advance!
Old 05-05-03, 10:40 AM
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Location: Taylors, SC
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I suggest a good mattock:


A link in case the term is too colloquial.

A good long handled shovel (spade) and a digging fork.

Or my favorite, a backhoe..


Seriously, you have a lot of work ahead of you. It may be worth while to hire someone to turn it all over for you the first time.

Hope this helps.
Old 05-05-03, 10:51 AM
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A backhoe that's what I was afraid of!

I'll get myself a mattock and see how that does with a small patch. Then I'll probably get myself a Yellow pages and start "digging" there for someone to do it for me.

Thanks a bunch

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