According to Handy, it’s crucial to remove unwanted rocks and gravels from your garden since they prevent plant roots from reaching their nutrient sources and water. Plus, they restrict the growing space of plants and ultimately, make the soil stiff over time. Not to mention, large rocks and boulders can become safety hazards and damage equipment such as lawnmowers if you are not careful.

Tips & Tricks

Here are a few tips you can follow to remove rocks from your yard:

  1. Get the required rock removal tools – To remove rocks of different sizes and types efficiently, you need to use the correct tools. Here is a list of tools that you need:
  • Garden rake – It helps to gather gravel together.
  • Pointed shovel – It helps to scoop up small rocks and gravel.
  • Wheelbarrow – It helps to carry and get the rocks out of your yard.
  • Soil sifter – It helps to sift rocks out of the soil.
  • Rototiller – It helps to break up dirt and loosen the soil so that you can easily expose large rocks.
  • Gardening gloves – It helps to prevent blisters while you are raking the rocks.
  1. Removing rocks from soil – Begin by using a rototiller to till the soil and loosen it up. Pick up any large rocks that get exposed and place them in the wheelbarrow for easy removal later. Next, use a garden rake to rake through the soil and use a soil sifter to separate the smaller rocks. Gather up the small rocks and gravel together and put them in the wheelbarrow using your shovel.

Continue the process with a leaf rake when the gravel starts to pop up less often. If the process seems too labor-intensive for you, using a tractor to plow through the topsoil can reduce the workload. However, it would increase the expenses.

  1. Removing gravel from your yard – Removing gravel from a driveway is easier than removing rocks from the soil. You can start by shoveling the gravel into the wheelbarrow and then proceed to rake the smaller gravels that the shovel couldn’t pick up.

And, if you are lucky enough to place a geotextile cloth underneath the decorative gravel, the gravel removal process becomes much easier since you simply need to lift it up. In fact, it’s much faster since you can pick up large quantities of gravel if you have a geotextile cloth underneath the decorative gravel.

  1. Removing large rocks and boulders – Start by loosening the soil around the large rocks as much as you can and dig as far as you can go to uncover the whole rock. Once the uncovered rock loosens appropriately, lift the rock into the wheelbarrow to remove it from your yard. Some rocks can become heavy enough to strain your back if you attempt to lift them alone. So, it’s recommended that you have at least one person to assist you with the pick, especially if you suffer from back pain or the large is very big. Alternatively, you may use a 4-inch pry bar as a fulcrum to reduce the load.


Handy suggests you create a fire pit or build a new retaining wall using the large boulders that you have gathered instead of simply throwing them away.