Landscaping Question-Cleaning Rocks

homeimprovementdivaMarch 14, 2010

Not sure where to post this. Did a search and saw the Landscape Forum (couldn't find) had people that weren't so helpful or nice.

We have some large rocks on our hill in backyard (the kind you'd see on side of highway in CT). The previous owners covered alot of it with wood chips and plants probably to soften the look but we are trying to clean it up b/c we enjoy the beautiful rock. We would like to use it as a backdrop since it's behind our pool area and has beautiful pine trees on it.

Anyway it has some moss and green stuff (not sure if's mold or algae) that we are trying to get off. the moss is easy (but time consuming) to remove but how do we get the other green stuff off. My husband wanted to sandblast it but after reading about the gear you have to wear and health concerns we are looking for another alternative.

I have read about a product 30 Seconds that's supposed to be good but I worry about it getting into ground since we have a well.

So we are looking for somewhat easy way to remove moss/green stuff that won't harm us or our well.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and sorry for the rambling post. :0)

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Full disclosure: this might be a terrible idea, but it is what I would try.

I would dilute some bleach in a bucket of water and take a wide shop broom with stiff bristles and just scrubs the rocks. Too much and you might actually bleach the rocks (again complete conjecture), so go easy at first.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 9:48PM
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Sophie Wheeler

It'll just grow back. You can't win the fight against Mother Nature. Your efforts are futile wheel spinning and would best be spent elsewhere.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 10:21PM
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A friend of mine cleaned the bulk of it off (pine needles, leaves, etc.) and then used a hose, and then a pressure washer. He replanted in some crevasses. From what I've seen it has stayed very "clean". His lot must have been more wooded, and now that the lot has been cleared the area is more sunny and open.

I would spray it with a 5-1 water/bleach mixture (using a regular pump sprayer, like what you use to spray plants), let it sit an hour, and then pressure wash (wear eye protection!).

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 5:48PM
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I second the power washing vote now that it's mentioned. And don't worry about nay-sayers, the whole point of landscaping is to coerce mother nature into doing what we want. We're not fighting, just using forceful negotiation tactics.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 10:12PM
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Thanks everyone we'll give those a try. :0)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 10:21AM
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The guy who built our stone retaining wall and put random small boulders around the lot told me what to clean them with (bleach maybe, not sure) and then said they could be sealed (deck sealer???). I've got it written down somewhere, but things are too disorganized right now to find it. I realize this is little help, but my purpose in mentioning that it's possible, is that if you call a place that sells boulders, they may be able to tell you specifically what to do.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 3:24PM
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The Landscape Forum is notorious for being unfriendly--there seem to be a lot of professionals that don't want free advice given out since it takes away business for local landscapers, or they expect you to have read a lot about landscape design (their books?) before you ask a question, or something!

Try the link below. Don't know if they can answer your question, but I've occasionally been on several of the other gardening forums, and people over there are, for the most part, very helpful. Just stay away from Landscape!


Here is a link that might be useful: Gardening with Stone

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 3:33PM
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You're kidding, right???? The moss doubles the value of the rocks, at least, and most people adore the look--hence the rock-robbers who used to come into my old neighborhood to try to steal genuinely lichenous (too dry for moss) rocks from our yards.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 3:30AM
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Yes, they pay big money in our area of the country for "moss rock"

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 7:37AM
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No I'm not kidding. Some people like moss and some don't. I'm not worried about the value of the rocks, we want to enjoy the beauty of them. We like to see the veins and colors of the rocks. The rock has been cut thru (like when they make a road/highway) when they built the house I guess to make some what of a backyard so you can see the different layers within the rocks which is interesting and beautiful.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 9:33AM
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