More Care of Rock Gardens

The soil surface should be covered with foliage, and the underside of the rock needs to have sufficient moisture for the rock plant to grow. If you have patches of bare soil, you should cover it with peat or course sand. If your plants become wilted during the summer months, then your soil preparation was not carefully done or the plants are not appropriate.

In autumn you will need to rebuild the pockets and shift the plants. Although watering with a hose is allowed, it is not a natural or beneficial means. If the hose water is too forceful it can cause the plants to uproot or the erosion of the soil. If your site is very desert like, and you would like plants other than Cacti and Sedums, you can add a leaking water pipe or tile during construction.

When the cool and moist season of autumn rolls in, you will see a stunning display of blooms and stem growth occur for the next year. The weeding of perennials need to take place after the frosts have finished the season. Every weed has a visible top, so there is no excuse for missing any. Plants will also need thinned out and pruned.

Using a big knife will give you a good cut. To create a better bloom the next year, you will want to make these cuts after the summer bloom.  This is also the time for replanting to occur, unless you are in a location with a bad winter, then you need to wait for spring. The use of mulch and peat or dry hay in large potted plants will survive the winter safely.

The final season is winter, where you must consider what protection to use to cover your plants. If the plants have good tops or a mulch of peat and sand about the crowns, and construction below is as it should have been, any rock plant will come through the winter safely, if at all hardy in that latitude. No covering at all is easiest and best. It is better to put the plants at the mercy of an open winter than to smother with blankets of hay, leaves, or manure.

Plants that grow in the Alps do not need these special coverings, showing they have become hardy and strong. Similarly, you need to trade less hardy plants for plants that thrive and endure. It is best to use coarse sand on exposed spots as hay and manure will bring in weed seeds and mice that will gnaw on your plants!