How To Remove Rocks From The Yard

Too many rocks in your yard can create a lot of problems. 

You may accidentally get hurt by tripping over them or by hitting against them unconsciously while walking. In addition to this, rocks can obstruct the growth of plants with deep roots and may damage gardening or lawn equipment. So, getting rid of such hindrances is essential. 

In this guide, we break down the ways in which you can deal with this problem. We have included all the information that you need to know before proceeding. 

So, without further ado, let’s get going. 

How To Remove Rocks From The Yard

Tools You Will Need

Shovel with a handle. Isolated

Separating and then removing different types of rocks from the yard needs the right approach. First of all, you will need a couple of tools based on the rocks you’re dealing with. So let’s have a look at each of the tools required. 

  1. Pointed Shovel

For scooping up the gravel along with other smaller rocks, you will require a shovel. If you don’t have one at home, you’ll just have to spend an additional amount for buying a new one. 

  1. Wheelbarrow

To take the rocks out of the yard, you have to use a wheelbarrow, the price of which varies depending on the capacity and desired brand. Note that while working in an uneven or steep area, you can transport the smaller rocks with the help of buckets. 

  1. Garden Rake

You can use a garden rake to gather all the gravel in the area. Now, this tool is available at a relatively affordable price. But the exact price will depend on the size you require. 

  1. Soil Sifter

A net or screen placed over the wheelbarrow will allow you to sift the rocks easily from the soil. Generally, you can easily get soil sifters at cheap rates or may choose to make one on your own. 

  1. Rototiller

This is a crucial tool as it helps break the dirt up so that the soil loosens and exposes the large rocks therein. However, if you have a smaller garden to look after, you can use a cultivator for the purpose. 

Both these tools can even be rented from all hardware stores. And the rental charge can vary for each day, depending on the size you choose to get. 

  1. Gardening Gloves

These gloves will be helpful in preventing blisters while raking the rocks and a good-quality pair is easily available at affordable rates. 

Now that we have discussed the tools that have to be used, let’s move over to the process of removing different types of rocks from yards. 

How Will You Remove Small Rocks?

Lawnmowers and other equipment may suffer damage due to the smaller rocks in the garden area, so it is essential to get rid of such rocks. You can get the work done using a garden rake, a wheelbarrow, and a rototiller. So, here’s how to go about it. 

  1. First, use a rototiller to loosen the soil slowly and break up the dirt. And once that happens, the large rocks will be exposed. 
  2. If you spot large rocks, keep them on the wheelbarrow to ensure that they don’t come in the way. 
  3. After you rototill the yard, remove the small rocks using the rake from the loose soil. Finally, make a pile of the rocks on one side and then put them into your wheelbarrow to transport them. 

However, if this seems too challenging, you can remove the rocks using a plow, a screen, and a tractor. But do note that renting a plow and tractor will cost you more even though it is labor-intensive. 

And if you want to go ahead with this method, you will need to attach the tractor to the plow so that the topsoil can be loosened. Following this, collect the rocks and use a sifter to separate them from the soil. Lastly, spread the soil back in place to bring back the original look of your yard.

How Will You Remove Large Rocks?

The process of removing larger rocks is more complicated and tricky than raking and loosening the soil. You will require a digging bar or pointed shovel, a wheelbarrow, a pick, and elbow grease for the purpose. Here’s how you can get the job done. 

  1. Dig out the boulder from the yard with enough force using a digging bar or a shovel. 
  2. If you think you’ll be able to carry the boulder, place it on the wheelbarrow. However, if it is too hefty to remove, split the rock into small pieces using a pick before transporting it using the wheelbarrow. 
  3. Another alternative is to use a wood piece with dimensions of 6’ x 6’ as a fulcrum and a 4’ pry bar. You can then pull or push big rocks out from the ground and over a level terrain through the yard. 
  4. Remove boulders from your yard using heavy machines like “bobcats” or skid loaders. These machines can be rented online to get the job done. 

How Will You Remove Gravel?

If debris is present in large amounts in your yard or there is an old gravel path that you need to remove, it will be best to use a leaf rake. With this tool, you can segregate the pebbles from the soil. And since these pebbles can facilitate proper drainage, leaving them in a landscaped area or a newly formed garden will be beneficial. 

However, removing all the pebbles will let the soil pack down, which may create risks of flooding in the future, so do keep a few of them. 

Another way you can get rid of excess pebbles from the yard is by using the compact “bobcat” or skid loader machine. You’ll be able to scoop the unwanted gravel easily and quickly with these power tools and then put it in the hauling vehicle or in another location on site. 

Also, note that gravel can be removed manually if you have a smaller yard to take care of. As such, you won’t need to move it very far. 

How To Create A Sieve For The Wheelbarrow?

If you are working on a yard that is larger, raking will take more time. Building a sieve that would fit onto the wheelbarrow will let you sift out the larger stones with minimum effort. 

Now, to make a sieve, you will require:

  • Four two-by-four treated lumber pieces
  • Four one-by-four treated lumber pieces
  • Four 1.5-inch thick treated lumber strips
  • A staple gun
  • A hardware cloth

Here are the steps to follow while making a sieve for your wheelbarrow. Do measure the wheelbarrow to ascertain its dimensions before you begin. 

Step 1 

Cut two two-by-fours to make them match the width of the hardware cloth or the length of the wheelbarrow. Cut the other two pieces to three inches shorter. If your wheelbarrow tapers by any chance, you will require using the larger width. 

Step 2 

Drive screws or nails to create a box-shaped frame. They should be driven through the end of the boards on the side into the tips of the boards that are shorter. 

Step 3 

One side of the hardware cloth should be stapled down to the bottom of the frame, starting from one corner. Then, you can drive a nail or screw on the opposite corner to make the cloth fit tightly. This way, you can keep the cloth taught when you staple the corner down. 

Step 4 

Fit the 1.5-inch lumber piece to the bottom for securing the hardware cloth further and to help prevent any breakage. 

Step 5 

Ultimately, nail the one-by-four pieces along the sides to let them overhang on the bottom for holding the sieve in place. Then place the sieve on the wheelbarrow and shovel the dirt, letting the hardware cloth catch the larger stones while the smaller pebbles and the soil are deposited in the wheelbarrow.

Gardener man cultivate ground soil with tiller tractor or rototiller, cutivator, miiling machine, prepare for planting crop in spring. Modern farming, technology agriculture.


So, that’s all the time we had for you today! We hope you’ll find this article helpful in getting rid of all the rocks in your yard. 

This process may have seemed very strenuous and complicated to you earlier, but it won’t be the same if you keep things organized. Furthermore, here’s a tip for you to keep safe while working in the yard for quite a few days. 

You can keep the smaller logs surrounding the area where you are working. This will prevent kids or visitors from accidentally stepping into that area and hurting themselves. Also, do remember to always wear gloves while at work. 

Now that you are well aware of how to go about with the task, go ahead and bring back your yard to its original form! With that, we’ll sign off. Till next time, take care.

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