How to get rid of Rocky dirt?

I have a decent size backyard (about 6,000 square feet) that is full of Rocky dirt. I ve managed to get rid of the big rocks by raking with a steel rake but there s still a ton of rocks an inch or smaller. Any ideas? (I live in Phoenix az, which is notorious for hard Rocky soil)

Girlie Electrics

There are machines which can sieve them out. Comes in modest to large capacities (here is a UK example)


a handful of rocks a day....what other way?

paul h

The fast way would be to hire a Bobcat and dump truck and dig up as much of the old rocky dirt as you can and haul it away and bring in fresh topsoil and reseed a lawn. Or just topsoil over the rocky dirt and reseed. The slower way would be to sieve/sift the dirt a section at a time to remove all the smaller stones and pebbles. Rig up a 1 X 4 wood box frame perhaps 3' X 5' and staple some 1/4" hardware cloth to one edge to make a sieve ...then dig up a section/layer of dirt and sprinkle it into the frame/box and shake the box to sort out the pebbles/rocks and drop the clean dirt below the sieve. Make sure to do this when the ground/soil is dry. Periodically remove the buildup of stones/pebbles from the sieve and shovel the sifted dirt back into the lawn area that has had the stones/ rocks removed. With 6000sf, it will take a long time to sieve it all but I've done that method on smaller areas (800sf) with good results ....just takes patience and time. Spread the work over a couple/few years if need be.

Spock (rhp)

other than replacing the soil, there's not much more you can do other than rake, rake, rake