building a rockery

21 Sep 2016
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United Kingdom
I have a largish wooden frame made of railway sleepers. I could either use it as a raised shrubbery and flower bed in the lawn, or as a low rockery. And i have enough smallish rocks for that.

If I go for the rockery, what would be the best base? Would I have to cut out the existing grass? Should I lay a plastic sheet to prevent weeds from coming up from below?

The rockery plants would be situated among properly arranged rocks in a mix of horticultural grit and good compost. Their roots would reach the base in a year or two and it is this which has me pondering. Some advice would be welcome, please.

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You don't need plastic tbh as laying something won't stop weeds - they'll soon grow from seeds blowing in the wind. If you've any weeds underneath, just get rid of them before building your rockery. You also need good drainage for a rockery afaik.

I would take the grass out, some grasses will die off under a few inches of soil but others are a bit more sturdy. If it's not a huge area, so I'd just play safe if it were up to me. And lastly, think about which sort of plants that you fancy planting before adding too much grit. Some plants will do great in it, others not so.

Good luck, hope all goes well :)

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