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Old rockery needs updating!


we have bought a house which has a lot of rockery area to it but as it was rented out before we bought it, it hasn’t really been looked after for 10 years, it’s just been stopped from over growing. 

I want to keep the rockery, but I want to know the best way of turning over the soil and weeding as it seems like all the nooks and crannies are going to be a problem! Any advice gratefully received as even YouTube hasn’t helped me on this one! 

Thank you!


  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    Hi, Beccy. I'm afraid I think this is a hands and knees job, unless you want to demolish the whole thing and start again. Do a section at a time, digging out weeds, getting into all the little nooks and crannies but watching out for legit alpines, hiding among the weeds. You could blitz the area with weed killer and some would recommend this, but I would advise against harsh chemicals myself.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,853
    You'll have to be really careful if you do it at this time of year as there might be dormant plants that aren't showing yet. I'd start by removing any obvious weeds by hand and just stick to manual removal a little at a time until you know what is growing where. Give any plants you want to keep a boost with a feed of half-strength tomato feed or similar low nitrogen liquid fertiliser in the spring. Most alpines don't need much feeding but the minerals help give them strong growth.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 BirminghamPosts: 766
    Rockeries re notoriously difficult to weed because of all the nooks and crannies. I would follow Wild Edges advice for this year. Come the Autumn, when you know what plants you have, I would weed as thoroughly as you can, ideally dismantling and moving rocks so you can get all the perennial weed roots out. Also temporarily take out the plants you want to keep so you can disentangle them from any weeds (they will be fine temporarily homed in pots whilst you work on the rockery). You will know by then what weeds you have and can work out the best strategy for getting rid of them and what plants you want to save or are happy to sacrifice.

    it really is worth doing as thorough a job as you can or you will forever be fighting a losing battle (voice of experience) x
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
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