How to Remove Rocks From the Yard

It’s essential to know how to remove stones from the yard, especially if you are planning to garden or plant a new lawn.

Rocky soil can cause you a lot of issues in the long run. They prevent plants from growing deep into the ground, damage garden equipment, and interfere when you build a new structure in your yard.

With the right garden tools on hand, there are plenty of ways to remove rocks from the yard. You can also use excess stones to design your garden afterward.

Here’s your list of tools to prepare for the task:

How to Remove Rocks From the Yard

Ways to Remove Rocks from Yard

Tools You’ll Need


It is handy for finding stones within the soil. It can break up and loosen the ground where you placed it to expose rocks hiding inside.

Garden Rake

Help removes materials combined in soil, including rocks. It is simple to use, the same as when you are gathering leaves using a rake. You can use this to create a pile of stones you picked as well.

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Pointed Shovel

This tool can dig, scoop, and remove gravel from the yard. It is ideal for dealing with small rocks that you can’t remove using garden tools like a rake.


Digging bars are best for removing medium-sized stones and rubble. It’s simple to use by placing it under the rock and maneuvering to lift it from the ground.


Some rocks are too heavy to be removed. Using a pick, you can break large-sized stones and remove them from the yard piece by piece.

Soil Sifter

When you are dealing with small rocks, using a soil sifter will be handy when trying to remove it from the soil.


You need a wheelbarrow when transporting heavy and large rocks or stones out of your yard. Use a shovel to put the pile into the wheelbarrow.

Gardening Gloves

Help to prevent hand blisters. It can also provide protection when handling sharp tools and pointed rocks.

How to Remove Rocks From the Yard

Removing Small Rocks

The best way to remove small stones from the yard is by using a rototiller, rake, and a wheelbarrow.

Step 1: Use the rototiller to loosen the ground surface slowly. Use a small amount of force and push it in the area where you intended to remove rocks. Once the dirt breaks up, it will expose large stones.

Step 2: Every time you find large rocks, put it in the wheelbarrow, so they don’t get in the way.

Step 3: After rototilling the yard, use the rake to remove smaller rocks from the loose soil. Put them in a pile and into the wheelbarrow for transport.

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Removing Large Rocks

Removing boulders or large rocks is more tricky. For this, you need either a pointed shovel or a digging bar, a pick, and a wheelbarrow.

Step 1: Using a pointed shovel or a digging bar, use enough force to excavate the boulder from the ground.

Step 2: If you can carry the boulder, put it in the wheelbarrow. Otherwise, if it’s too large for you to remove, use a pick to split the rock into smaller pieces before transporting it using a wheelbarrow.

Remove Excess Pebble or Gravel

If there were excess pebbles or gravel when you removed rocks in the yard, you could use a garden rake to separate the stones from the soil. Pile them before putting in the wheelbarrow for transport.

Creative Ways to Use Excess Rock for Garden Decoration

When you finished removing stones from the yard, use them to decorate your garden. Here are some ideas:

1. Design a Garden Walkways

Arrange the rocks to design a garden walkway. Stepping stones or a gravel path made of larger stones or excess pebbles is a project you can finish in a day or two.

2. Build a Fire Pit

Find a spot in your backyard at least 25 meters away from trees or structures and dig a hole several inches deep. Arrange and pile the boulders until they are around 12 inches in height.

Don’t forget to fill the pit with a couple of inches of gravel or sand.

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3. Create Retaining Walls for Flower Beds

Clean the rocks and start piling them in an interlocking design to keep them secured. Cement the stones together to get a more durable retaining wall for your flower beds.

How to Remove Rocks From the Yard


There’s no reason for you to get stuck between a stone and a tricky manual work with the current landscaping style of your yard. Learn to prepare your yard for gardening or planting a new lawn.

Whether you are dealing with small stones or large boulders, there are effective ways on how to remove rocks from the yard with the right tools.

Last update on 2024-05-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Jill Sandy

I am a sustainable focus gardener. I love decorating my home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques I develop myself.