Create a rock garden by following these steps

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In West Texas, we have access to rocks. Rock gardens can be made of any size rock and the garden itself can be any shape or size. With all these different possibilities, how do you know where to start?

There are some wonderful gardens in our area that use rocks as well as hardscapes and a variety of native plants, resulting in landscapes that are pleasing to the eye.

Here are the steps to get you in the right direction.

  1. Garden design. If you are starting your first rock garden, try a test area first. If you like it, you can expand later. Try a 5 foot by 10 foot spot. Avoid areas near trees. You don’t want to damage the roots when digging to put plants.
  2. Need inspiration. The best way to get ideas is to look at existing gardens that you like. Use those that are local, online or in magazines. You are looking for things you like and things you really want to avoid. Talk to people who have a rock garden or maybe can refer you to someone who does.
  3. To plan. Draw whatever you want. You probably already have an idea, and it’s important to put it down on paper. Sometimes just drawing it can let you see if your placement is correct and what pitfalls you might encounter. Remember that you will need access to water. Even if you plant drought-tolerant plants, they still need some water. Look into drip irrigation for this job. Be sure to check and make sure there are no utilities under your new bed.
  4. Choose the rocks. Pick the bigger ones first so you can walk around them with your plants. They come in different colors so be aware of that. When choosing the small rocks, make sure the colors work well together.
  5. Plants. Place your pots of native flowering plants before planting them. Their location should make you want to come in and take a closer look. Tall grasses around the edges of large rocks will soften the landscape.
  6. Creation of the garden. First place a base of pebbles and then cover with sand. As this will help prevent weeds, the thicker the layers the better. Cover it with topsoil. Plants that might need more care should be placed in an easily accessible area. Adding seating to your garden gives you a place to relax and enjoy.
  7. Maintenance. The advantage of rockeries is that they require little maintenance.

If you have any questions, call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700.


For more information and to access our blog for previous articles, visit westtexasgarding.org. Click Resources.

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