When Life Gives You Rocks, Make Terraces!

If life presents you with a sticky situation, such as emergency excavation work, why not turn it into a gardening opportunity?!


When we recently arrived home from a much-needed break, to our horror we found a flooded lawn from a burst well pipe that necessitated excavation work to repair (see above). We watched, cringing, as a backhoe removed half our lawn, patio and stone wall to uncover the burst pipe.  However, much of what the backhoe removed was enormous rocks. A plan started to form….instead of paying the contractor to remove the rocks to “somewhere else”, why not use them to create new gardens?

I talked the contractor into dumping a truckload of the excess rocks at the top of an unused hill on our property, which he was happy to do. The area is rough and steep, and covered in  Asiatic Bittersweet (an exotic invasive that is choking out native plants all across New England).  Why not terrace this steep hill, smother the weeds with cardboard, fill the terraces with compost, and use it to grow vegetables? The area is nicely sheltered and receives full sun in summer. Perfect for vegetables!

Fast forward a few weeks. After carefully rolling some of the rocks down the hill into position, we were able to fill each level with a foot of good compost using our tractor, and plant immediately. As we have time, we’ll continue to build more terraces into this section of hill and refine their appearance, but in the meantime, potatoes are already thriving on the top terrace and I have just planted squash and beans in the lower levels. Marigolds and Sweet Peas will brighten the beds and attract beneficial insects and help repel pests.


When life gives you rocks, make gardens!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *