Where to Find Cheap/Free Rocks for Gardening

Daliah(zone 5)April 18, 2004

Does anyone know of the lowest economical way to get rocks for gardens? Where is the cheapest place to buy them from? Where (gasp) can you get them for free? I would like to create a rock garden... Thanks.

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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Where do you live? In my area of southern Ontario, I only need to dig a hole to find enough rocks for a rock garden! If there is a subdivision being built nearby, you may be able to get permission from the developer to remove rocks uncovered by excavation.

If you want a natural looking rock garden, you will likely need to buy rocks. Be sure to set them as they would be found in nature, ie sedimentary rocks should have the sediment lines parallel to the ground, set them on a gentle slope with back end imbedded in soil. Rock garden books from your public library will have details.

BTW, there is an enviromental concern about the harvest of rock from the Niagara escarpment and other natural areas of Ontario for landscaping use. Huge natural area are being damaged by large scale rock quarrying.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2004 at 2:22PM
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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

Around my neck of the woods, all you need is a couple of strong guys, a pick up truck and a drive out in the country. Lots of free rocks ;)


    Bookmark   April 19, 2004 at 12:47AM
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I live in Southern Ontario to but there are no rocks around here, where are you Judy? We are surrounded by clay and no rocks (well the odd rock that the farmer behind us throws up when he tills. So I would be interested in a local free source. I would like to make a small wall about 3 1/2 feet tall by about 8 ft long out of field stone.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2004 at 9:02AM
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sheryl_ontario(Muncho Lake, BC z2)

Deliah, in Barrie you can usually drive by construction sites and pick up big rocks left laying around. The are usually glad to get rid of them. Horseshoe valley has lots of rocks too. If you're going to be out that way, let me know. I have a friend with some horses near there that has tons of big rock that she'd love for someone to haul away.
But construction sites are the easiest and closest. There's always construction in Barrie!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2004 at 9:46AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

A couple of years ago, Gale got a load of rocks from a highway construction company that had been blasting. Every so often, you see a bunch of blasted rocks laying in the ditch - i wouldn't imagine that anyone would care if you grabbed them.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2004 at 9:59AM
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jancarkner(Ottawa CAN)

If you live anywhere in or south of Ottawa, you're welcome to take several tons from our rural property! The old fencelines are rocks (& cedar fences) and every shovel I dig brings rocks. I'm serious, just email me.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2004 at 8:54PM
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mitanoff(Z4b Ontario)

Hello Jan:

If you still have a supply of rocks that you would like to get rid of, I would be glad to take some. I live in Carleton Place (west of Ottawa). My husband and I just bought a house and I would love to put up a rock, raised bed in the back yard. I don't know much about gardening, but I have lots of seedlings (my first try at seeds!) waiting to be put outside and I love the look of rock instead of bricks. Ummm. . . my husband has a jeep. I don;t think he can put several tons back there, but at least a jeepful or two ! Maybe I can borrow a friend's truck.

:> Hope to hear from you!


    Bookmark   April 23, 2004 at 12:31PM
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I made a rock garden several years ago in southern Minnesota and contacted some farmers in the area and was able to get as many rocks as I needed as long as I had someone to load them into a truck and transport them. My son and a bunch of his football buddies did it for me. Farmers usually have lots of rock piles from clearing the fields and are usually more than happy to be rid of them.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2004 at 11:05PM
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anywhere in Newfoundland...!
Joe in Winnipeg, who lived for a while on 'the Rock'

    Bookmark   April 26, 2004 at 3:48PM
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chompersmama(ONT CANADA)

I am going to have our old fieldstone carriage house demolished this spring, it has 3 seven foot walls, way more stone than I can ever use, plus I need it cleared to make way for our addition. If anyone knows of anybody looking for free rock, please send me an email!The rocks are just beautiful and large.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 7:58PM
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gardengal106 Roses and Gardening In General

If you take a drive up the Minden way you could grab as much rock as you can haul away. They had been blasting all this past year. We would drive by tons of people stopped and filling up.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 12:01AM
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dan112(S Ontario z6)

If you happen to live anywhere along the escarpment in southern ontario you are in luck for free rocks. THat is, if you're looking for the flat kind. People are always stopping on the side of the mountain access roads and putting rocks into their cars.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 10:28AM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Stopping at the side of the road and stealing rocks is theft, unless you have permission from the landowner.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 1:20PM
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Why not try a novel solution. Many farmers hire stone pickers for their fields. Rocks are gathered and put in a pile in a waste area. Phone your agricultural office and see if they will line you up with a farmer who needs the service.
Heavy, hard work, but you might get your rocks and get paid for them too!
If that fails, farmers near me generally pile heaps and heaps of rocks somewhere near the field. They are usually free for the taking.
But please ask first. I use the heaps that were collected from our fields for various gardens, and dislike it when someone decides they can help themselves for free.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 3:38PM
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patchesgizmo(z4 MN)

I get free rocks, but they are all limestone. Here is MN when road construction is occurring I stop and pick up the rocks that are dug up and later being ground. I can't haul much but over time it adds up to some nice stones in my garden.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 11:45AM
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peatpod(Z5b Ontario)

I was able to get tons of flat rocks from my friend who had rocks on her property from an old demolished barn. After many trips back and forth to pick up the rocks I was able to get enought to make a stone walkway. I'm not quite finished and the picture was taken just at the beginning of my task :o) It was alot of digging and really intense work to do during the summer but I am almost done :o)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 9:59PM
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purple(z4b ontario)

Hello all
Nice to see everyone like rocks,but if for some reason they won't suit the place l'd like to make a suggestion.
I found out that at anyones local concrete manufactor when they do a new batch they never get it right,This being said "rejecks".They say people want perfect or nothing.They usally stack them way way back at the yard.
They call them seconds of different grades.Example of the size I picked up 17x7x4 , .50cents each,(or by the half load or better yet full load,same price)but these were perfect(no chiped corners).You can really bartar on price if your not picking on getting a mix instead.They were crayon grey with pink granet swirls through them.I thought they were prefect!Now if you can get a few people together for a full dump truck load,you can get it delivered.Don't forget to tell them that "your"helping them free up valuable yard space!The whole truck load for about 75.00.
Also if you tell them that it is just for fill it's even cheaper,Mind you it's mixed and there alot broken.My brother builds the foundation of his farm roads with the stuff.But picture this ,all types all colors,shapes and sizes.You can do mosaic patterns.Thought I'd give ya food for thought so go out there and brush up on you smooshing skills.
Now-go get a deal! Purple

    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 10:46PM
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Cadian(5A, Folly Lake)

I have a couple of acres that I am developing. The area is very rocky naturally and fortunately, I am only a couple of miles from a rock quarry. I see rock wall's, steps, and a rock garden in my future.
(still in the planning stages now... that is why I am here..)

Try calling you local Construction, landscaping, and concrete companies. When they put in a foundation or major site work, there can be chances to gain what you are looking for.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 9:02AM
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I live in Truckee, Ca. One of my neighbors has a beautiful slate deposit on her property. She told me I could take all the rocks I'd like, that was until I began to take some 3-5' long flat beauties. I'm only 5'4" tall and I don't think she could imagine someone my size depleating her stash quite as much as I had...she cut me off...but, I did get most of my paths done. She said I could still take the little ones, I guess I don't blame her...they are really, really beautiful.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 10:14PM
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Help...I am in Ottawa Ontario area and looking to find larger rocks various sizes 10- 60 lbs...Does anyone know where I can find these?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 8:26AM
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I live in the Jacksonville Fl area. Looking to find free or very low cost rocks to use as flower bed edging.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 11:50AM
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I have rocks and boulders for sale at almost FREE prices. If you need truck loades of Rocks and Boulders for the Southern California Area, please contact me for pictures and sizes. All 24 tons must be rid of by June 30, 2011. These rocks and boulders would make beautiful additions to large landscape projects or estate size landscaping. If you own a business of landscape supplies, this could be a great profit to your bottom line!
Regina Dang
El Segundo, CA
(310) 615-6344 T

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 4:15PM
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