I went through the process of removing, bucket by bucket, the river rock that has caused me much trouble over the past several months. I am replacing it with something called beechwood pebbles that I am getting from a local landscape supply for $90 per yard. My system took almost one full yard to fill but the good news is that this new stone is much lighter! I will be adjusting my system pH in the coming weeks and planting out some new crops.
The river rock that has been in my system keeps the pH locked at 8.2 and there is nothing I could do to bring it down lower than that. The limestone and other fossils mixed in with the rock I purchased at Home Depot were the cause. I later learned that this was a source or calcium carbonate and that it would constantly bring the system pH up and out of the preferred range of 6.5-7.
Over the past several months, I have been slowly switching out the four grow beds and it has been quite a process. All of the new rock has to be washed and sorted (to get out the smallest pieces) and then hauled downstairs to our basement in a bucket. Prior to that, the old rock has to be hauled up and out of the basement bucket by bucket and then the grow beds cleaned up.
I am excited for the upcoming winter growing season and look forward to bring you all along, thanks for stopping by and watching!