Remove pea gravel??

Hi all, I just moved into a new home that had a 20x26' section in the backyard that had a swing set on it and I'm trying to convert it into a garden. It has about 3" of Pea gravel covering the whole thing. I'm wondering how much of that is safe to leave in the soil and not hurt a vegatable garden. I live in Illinois and have pretty good soil so I'm worried that I'll be leaving too much in.I plan on Tilling in anything I can't get out, into the soil.
PS Any good ideas on how to get all that Gravel out "the easy way" and not with back breaking labor!!
Thanks for any help!!!
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a good bagless heavy duty vacuum cleaner and simply vacuum it up.
rob
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yup. a shop vac will suck it up. of course, then you gotta empty that shop vac. OTOH, the REALLY EASY way to solve this problem is...... make raised beds using 2x4s and some plastic lining it to keep the soil in, no plastic on the bottom for drainage. Leave the pea gravel to hold down the weeds. I started with the raised beds, added the gravel later. http://weloveteaching.com/landscape/gravel/gravel.htm Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at http://weloveteaching.com/puregold / sign up: http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregold website. I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregold site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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20' x 26' x 0.25' = 130 cubic feet = 975 gallons = 6.5 tons of pea gravel. Add more weight for the soil which will get vacuumed along with the gravel. That's a lot of vacuuming, a lot of weight, and a lot of emptying of a shop vac.
========================= George.com wrote a good bagless heavy duty vacuum cleaner and simply vacuum it up.
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I don't deny it may be some vacuuming. Clearing the bulk of it with a shovel and wheel barrow is obviously what needs to be done however the scrapings can be vacuumed up. I don't mean with a pissy little household vacuum. I was thinking industrial or at least a wet n dry. It is one part of a tool kit for removing the gravel.
rob
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Remove as much of the pea gravel as possible. Stones and gravel in garden soil are a waste of valuable space, assuming that they are not part of a well designed drainage system which is well below the cultivation zone of the garden. Ideally, the inorganic material in your garden should all be in the 0.1 to 2.0 mm range. Pea gravel (a loosely defined term!) is in the range of 4 to 18 mm (1/8" to 3/4"). Every piece that you remove improves your garden quality.
I need many tons of pea gravel for some projects and I am certain that there is somebody in your area who is like me: Willing to come out with a truck, some helpers, wheel barrels, screens and shovels. I'd gladly screen and haul away that much free pea gravel. Every summer. Forever.
You should find somebody who wants the free gravel. Then stand back and watch the other guy and his crew remove the problem gravel for free. If you are nice, offer them some of the lemonade that you are sipping.
After you gets rid of that 3" layer of pea gravel, you should import 3" or more of good organic matter and possibly some gypsum to augment the existing soil. I know that you said that you have "good soil", but it is extremely rare to find any soil that isn't worthy of improvement. Is there such as thing as soil which is "too good"?
Personally, I believe that one will almost always reap the benefit of any soil improvement in the very first year of gardening. If it were my garden plot, I'd add about 38 cf of Sphagnum, 100 cf (or more) of compost, and some gypsum if the soil has many fines (clay).
If money is an issue, then just add compost. Municipal compost is very adequate. Yes, I'll hear opposing views on that statement. :)
If money is a very big issue, then add a smaller quantity of compost and start producing your own today.
Of course, I'm a fanatic at times. I'd pull some random 1 foot deep plugs of soil and perform my own Emerson Test on each strata of existing soil to determine exactly what the soil composition is at each strata. And pH testing is equally important and easy to perform. Why guess?
Remember: Gardening is fun with good soil. Gardening is work with average soil. Gardening is a pain in the ass with poor soil.
Good luck, Gideon
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damned good advice Gideon, top stuff. Give it away to someone prepared to do the work
rob
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George.com wrote damned good advice Gideon, top stuff. Give it away to someone prepared to do the work
=============== Thanks.
It is amazing what you can get for free (or get rid of for free) when the right two people connect. Last summer my son and I obtained enough free 2' x 2' patio pavers to do a very large patio in our back yard. A neighbor tore out a patio and lamented that it was going to cost him a fortune to have the pavers hauled away. He lives a few hundred feet away from me and it is all downhill sidewalks from his home to mine. My son & I got a light workout, my neighbor got rid of a problem, and I got a free patio.
My son and I donate our help to several widows on our street. Two of those ladies purchase many large potted annuals each Spring. One of them buys at least 40 pots. Helping them haul out trash, we quickly became aware a few years ago that all of those dead plants and their potting soil were being tossed in the trash each fall. We quickly began hauling those dying plants, rootballs, and sphagnum- loaded potting soil, along with grass clippings & leaves, to our compost piles. Everybody is happy.
I'm so happy that I'm currently talking with the plant manager for a local store. This fall I may be showing up with a truck to help this retailer dispose of 100's of annuals which didn't sell. Free labor for the store; free blend of compost and potting soil for me.
Every autumn I have at least one neighbor who mows and bags a nice blend of grass and fallen leaves, and then thanks me profusely when I allow him or her to haul the stuff over to my yard and toss it on top of my compost pile. I'm such a nice neighbor. :)
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aye, a right charitable bastard aren't you. Or a miserable tight fisted scrooge always on the scrounge for free stuff. Definately a man after my own heart. I am getting a nice regular supply of coffee grounds from a local cafe. I score free horse poop out on my travels. I managed to dump several trailer loads of clay soil in someones back yard gully fill when digging a big hole. I have scored several loads of free fire wood over my time also. Getting it free feels so good. Trading reciprocating favours with neighbours helps build communities.
rob
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a snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

A screed made of hardware cloth and a wood frame does a good job of separating out dirt from stones. Breaks up the soil real nicely as well.
I've got one in each 1/4 and 1/8 inch mesh hardware cloth, makes reasonably short work of sifting dirt. Still have to dig it up, and dump it on the screed and shake it. Making your screed big enough to stand on your wheelbarrow and your set to go.
-- If I had something to say, this is where I'd say it.
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On 4 May 2006 17:28:13 -0700, a snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Could you advertise locally for someone who WANTS the pea gravel and can scoop it out for free rather than buying at homeowners' place. Just a thought...
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If you intend to double dig, you can certainly work that much pea gravel in, if you're not already on gravelly soil. (I'd guess clay-loam in a good part of IL.)
If you've got fenceline, just scoop it into buckets and add it along the fence to stop the need for most trimming. Or along the house.
Some good sized shopvacs can handle pea gravel if you're intent on getting it all out of there... shovel most out, follow up with the shopvac.
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shop vac.
Persephone wrote:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at http://weloveteaching.com/puregold / sign up: http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregold website. I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregold site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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Pay kids to remove it.
On Mon, 23 Oct 2006 14:23:17 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com wrote:

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