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Rocks and Stones in the Garden

user profile picture Phil Williams Apr 06, 2015
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Rocks & stone can be a great addition to a garden or an orchard. Most gardeners will take the rocks out of their garden, but many times that is a mistake. In “Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture”, Sepp Holzer tells a story from his childhood about how he had the earliest, sweetest, biggest strawberries that he grew in a rocky area. He noticed his best strawberries were closest to the stones.

Waterfall

Benefits & Uses of Rocks & Stones

  • Rocks provide mineral nutrients to the soil through gradual erosion and leaching

Herb Spiral
(Rosemary, thyme, lavender, marjoram, calendula, sage, oregano, tomato volunteer, basil, onions, chives, parsley, dill, daikon)

  • Rocks can provide valuable habitat to insect predators
  • Rocks placed in front of fruit trees soak up sunlight during the day releasing the heat at night providing a more favorable microclimate.

Stones in front of Pear Trees

  • Rocks placed near plants help to even out the temperature around the plants

  • The soil under rocks will remain moist with many earthworms

  • Rocks can be arranged in such a way that moisture will run off the surface of the rocks to enhance the irrigation of your plants.

  • Smaller rocks can be used as mulch, with many advantages. In cool climates, rock mulch can extend the growing season by holding the days sun. In warm dry climates, condensation can form during the daytime as the shaded rocks are cooler then the ambient temperature. This can greatly enhance irrigation.

Stone Edging

  • Stone can be used for pathways, edging, water features, and walls.

I love to use stone in the garden. The work is heavy, but the stone last forever, and it looks great. So next time you’re removing stone from your property, start a rock pile. You’ll eventually find a good place for those beneficial stones.

Mandala Garden Edged with Stone

~ Phil Williams

Phil Williams is a permaculture consultant and designer and creator of the website foodproduction101.com.  His website provides useful, timely information for the experienced or beginning gardener, landscaper, or permaculturalist. Phil's personal goals are to build soil, restore and regenerate degraded landscapes, grow and raise an abundance of healthy food of great variety, design and install resilient permaculture gardens in the most efficient manner possible, and teach others along the way.