How to Remove Rocks from Yard? | Lawn Mowing Prep 

How to Remove Rocks from Yard

When it comes to mowing a lawn, one has to take care of each and everything that comes along with it. Right from getting the right equipment to getting the desired finish, all need to be considered. 

A house with a lawn out front is a dream house. But that dream house looks appealing only if the yard out front is maintained and taken care of from time to time. A freshly cut lawn will only add to the overall appeal, whereas an uneven or dried lawn will take away the look.

There are many hurdles to mowing a lawn. Right from the terrain to the weather, everything contributes to putting an obstacle when mowing the lawn. One of the primary hurdles everyone goes through is rocks. If you don’t prime a rocky lawn before mowing it, you may end up ruining your lawn mower’s blades leading to a subsequent need of sharpening your mower’s blades.

You need to carefully pick out the rocks before you run a mower through your lawn. And this could involve an immense amount of physical handiwork that can leave you exhausted. Not only do rocks damage your gardening equipment, but they also tend to hamper the growth of additional plants due to their presence. 

But to make things easier for you, we have laid down this lawn mowing prep guide for you. Here, we will walk you through stone removal from the yard while simultaneously guiding you on how to remove rocks from yard.

Why Is My Yard Full Of Rocks?

Irrespective of the terrain you live in, rocks will always be a part of your lawn. While some rocks are designed explicitly for decorative purposes, the unexpected ones can put you in a spot of bother. 

This is because rocky soil is capable of creating a multitude of problems. Not only do they damage your equipment, but they are very well capable of damaging the deep-rooted plants. If you were wondering why your yard is full of rocks, we’ve got you covered.

Every time you water your garden, the water beneath the soil freezes over time. When the water freezes, it expands, thus pushing the rocks up to the surface. And every time the ground above thaws a space, a rock from beneath the surface occupies that space. 

The space beneath the rock fills up with dirt over time and thus pushes up the stone. So, now you know exactly why there are so many rocks in your yard. As we said above, irrespective of the type of soil you have in your backyard, they all tend to have a biologically produced element (rock). 

Why Should You Get Rid Of Rocks And Gravels In A Yard Before Moving?

Why Should You Get Rid Of Rocks And Gravels In A Yard Before Moving

Before we get to the part where you tell you the best way to remove rocks from the yard, it is important to underline the issues that can occur if you don’t get rid of rocks and gravel in a yard before mowing. 

NOTE: It is extremely vital to remove rocks from the soil before mowing your lawn. 

1. Mowing A Rocky Terrain Can Cause Injuries

Call us crazy but mowing a rocky terrain is associated with causing several injuries. This is because when mowing a rocky terrain, rocks, gravels, pebbles, or gravels can shoot out from your equipment. These shot-out elements can hit anything at an excruciating pace, resulting in bodily harm. 

In addition to the injuries caused, these shot-out rocks or gravels can also break down a windowpane or any other glass in your vicinity. So, always remove rocks from soil if you don’t want any physical and financial pain. 

2. Could Damage The Blades Of Your Lawn Mower

The majority of the modern-day lawn mowers come equipped with dozens of features that make them withstand all kinds of terrain. However, irrespective of their impeccable design, the mower blades are made of stainless steel and are prone to damage by rocks or gravel. If fast-moving mower blades come in contact with rocks, it might seriously damage your mower’s blades. In worst case, your lawn mower might catch fire.

Every time your machine catches a rock or gravel within its blade, you’ll hear a loud clang. This is the sound of the stones bouncing through the blades. Ultimately, the stone is sent into the engine, resulting in dents or permanent damage to the blades. 

3. Could Lead To Unevenly Mowed lawn

A house with a lawn out front is only as good as the condition of the lawn. A freshly cut and evenly laid out lawn only adds to the aesthetics of your overall house. But this won’t be possible if you subject your mower to go through rocks and gravels. Too many collisions with the rocks and gravels will ultimately reduce the sharpness of the blades. This will lead to your mower tearing out the grass disproportionately, thus leaving you with an unevenly mowed lawn. 

How To Get Rid Of Rocks In A Yard? A Guide To Gravel Removal

As we said, it is extremely vital to remove rocks from soil before mowing the lawn. Not doing so can result in injuries, unevenness, or leave you with a damaged mower. It is time we take a look at ways on how to remove rocks from soil and how to remove gravel from yard. 

1. Removing Small Sized Rocks

Removing Small Sized Rocks

Irrespective of their size, mowing grass laid out on rocky soil always has its risks. So, you can use the following equipment to remove the small-sized rocks in your yard.

A. Powerful Leaf Blower

As the name indicates, leaf blowers are primarily used to get rid of dried leaves, grass cuttings, or other debris that’s left behind. The machine does this by propelling fast-paced air through the nozzle. But you can implement the same principle to remove rocks from soil. If you have picked out a powerful leaf blower, then the blower is more than capable enough to get rid of small-sized rocks in your yard. Although running this leaf blower can be loud, you won’t be left unsatisfied once you use it. 

B. Leaf Rake

A leaf rake is a highly underrated piece of gardening equipment. For starters, going over your lawn with a leaf rake after you have used a leaf blower on it tends to get rid of all the smaller rocks the blower missed in the first place. Alternatively, if you are removing an old gravel path or a large amount of debris, simply running a leaf rake through that will help segregate the small rocks, pebbles, or gravels. You may use the segregated pebbles to mix with compost and make yourself a mulch bed that’s rather immune to erosion. In simple words, a leaf rake is nothing but a broom for gardens that takes care of all the debris within.

C. Shovel

To remove rocks from soil, you should be prepared enough to do a fair bit of handiwork by yourself. One such piece of equipment that will need you to use all your strength is a shovel. Although there is some physical work involved, using a shovel helps you scoop up all the gravel and other small rocks. For best results, we suggest you use a shovel after you’ve used a leaf rake through your lawn.

D. Wheel Barrow

A wheelbarrow is designed explicitly to get rocks out of the yard. While this is a costly piece of gardening equipment, it is known to deliver exceptional results in removing rocks from soil. Once you have gathered all the small rocks within the vicinity, you will need a sturdy transportation tool to move the rocks from one place to another. This is where the wheelbarrow comes in. 

2. Removing Medium-Sized Rocks And Gravels

Removing Medium-Sized Rocks And Gravels

These are the kind of rocks that you are likely to encounter the most when mowing your lawn. You can cater to these medium-sized rocks and gravels by using the tools given.

A. Pickaxe

Although this entry might be weird, a pickaxe is perhaps one of the most vital tools required to get rid of medium-sized rocks and gravels. The pickaxe is primarily used to break apart and split rock, concrete, and hard earth. Meanwhile, you can use the chiseled end to break apart broken rocks. Hence, in simple words, you can use a pickaxe to break the medium-sized stones into smaller ones and then get rid of them using the tools mentioned above.

B. Backhoe Attachment

If you have a digging bar, you can use it to pull out medium-sized rocks from the ground. But if you are planning to move a large boulder, then it would be unwise to do it manually. In such cases, you can opt for a tractor with a backhoe attachment, providing you with the much-needed efficiency and flexibility for removing medium to large-sized boulders. You can remove big stones with a backhoe attachment without inuring your arms and shoulders or running your back out. 

3. Removing Large Boulders From Yard

Removing Large Boulders From Yard

This is where the fun lies. If you have large-sized boulders in your yard, then we already feel sorry for you. But if you are looking at how to remove rocks from yard especially large boulders, then you can make use of the given equipment.

A. Feather And Wedge

Large boulders are extremely heavy to carry around. It can lead to injuries to your arms, shoulders, or back if done manually. A healthy solution to all this is to start drilling holes through the boulders and separating them. Once you have drilled holes into the rocks, you can insert equipment called the feather and wedges inside the holes. Now that you have inserted the feather and wedges, you can simply hammer it to split the boulders into several small pieces. 

B. Sledgehammer

If you have had little luck with the equipment mentioned so far, you can always move on to exhausting the last straw by using a sledgehammer. A sledgehammer is designed explicitly to break up the biggest of boulders. Although it will consume a significant among of human energy, it will leave you with the desired results. If you have large boulders in your front yard, you can simply use a sledgehammer on all of them to break them into smaller pieces.

NOTE: A sledgehammer can cause rocks to shoot out. Therefore, always ensure that there is no one in the vicinity when you operate a sledgehammer. Always wear protective gear like safety goggles and hand gloves when wielding a sledgehammer.

C. Chemical Components Like Dexpan

If you lack the physical strength to wield a sledgehammer, you can always opt for explosive solutions, literally. If there are extremely oversized rocks in your backyard, you can use chemical components like dexpan that breaks apart any sized rocks into pieces within hours. To use Dexpan, drill a 1.5-inch diameter hole into the boulder. Take a bucket and mix 1.5 liters of water with one 11 lbs bag of Dexpan. Once mixed, pour the mixture into the holes. After 24 hours, the rocks would have been broken into pieces. 


We hope our article could guide you successfully on how to remove rocks from yard. Leaving the rocks, stones, or gravels in your lawn unattended can cause problems when you mow the lawn. Mowing a rocky terrain always risks injuring someone or damaging the equipment. So, if you always find rocks in your backyard, you can use this guide to remove rocks from the soil and then proceed to mow the lawn. 

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