What You Need for a Rock Garden

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What You Need for a Rock Garden

Staff Writer · Oct 30, 2009

Building a rock garden can spruce up any apartment, and give it a natural look that you’ll enjoy. It’s a great choice for apartment dwellers because it can be cheap to put together if you gather the right materials. Here’s what you need for a rock garden:

Rocks

You need to select a combination of large, medium and small rocks for your rock garden. This will help give it an authentic look, but you’ll also need it to grow your plants. Rocks with moss on them are fine to use, but you might want to avoid them if you have young children around. You can also use lime stones.

Top Soil and Mulch

Digging up your landlord’s soil may not be an option, or you may not have a yard. You’ll need to buy top soil then to grow your rock garden on the balcony or deck. If you live in a colder climate, you’ll need to cover it with mulch before winter starts.

Compost

You can add your favorite compost to the soil to help your plants grow. It has to be able to retain moisture, and you may have to add peat and grit. Ask your local greenhouse for advice on the best mixture of compost, peat and grit for the plants you buy.

Annuals and Perennials

Visit your local greenhouse, farmer’s market or supermarket’s gardening department to collect a variety of plants for your rock garden. Planting a selection of plants is best if you want to design a great looking garden. Some plants that do well in rock gardens are:

  • Mountain Avens
  • Fleabane
  • Sea Pink
  • Rockcress

If you you can’t have a lot of soil in your rock garden, you should plant Hens and Chicks as a perrinial, because it requires very little soil.

Garden Fork & Clippers

One must-have tool for your rock garden is a garden fork. You’ll need one to loosen the soil to help promote the growth of your plants. If you don’t do this from time to time, you may not have much growing success. You’ll need to check the soil every once in while to make sure that it’s loose enough. You’ll also need garden clippers to clip foliage and dead stems on a routine basis as part of caring for your rock garden.

Lots of Time

Rock gardens require more time and care than a container garden. You have to be willing to invest extra time to nurture the soil and plants. This isn’t a problem if you enjoy gardening in your balcony. Use the time for relaxation, or to reflect on the day. It also takes more time to prepare a rock garden, so be sure to keep this in mind as you get ready to find materials and build the garden.

If you’re willing to spend the time to take care of your rock garden, and get the advice you need, the end results can be amazing. The peace and serenity of the atmosphere you’ll create will be a breath of fresh air every time you look outside.

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