Most home gardeners hope to have great soil and will even spend years developing and improving the quality of the soil. After all, high-quality soil makes it easier to grow the best flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
Unfortunately, most gardeners don’t find perfect soil at home. Alongside having to improve the soil quality they will often find that just below the surface is rock. This can make it much more difficult to successfully garden. But, it’s not impossible. Many plants can thrive in a rocky base, you simply need to learn how to drill into rock successfully.
The Right Tool
You can use a shovel to uncover the rock and then a pickaxe to try and break into and through the rock. It’s time-consuming and hard work but it can be done. However, there is an easier way to drill into rock, whether you’re looking to make plant holes, post holes, or even a borehole.
You need to invest in an auger. There are a number of different rock augers on the market, allowing you to find one that gives you the length and width of the hole you need.
It’s worth noting that smaller rock augers can be used with a standard drill while the larger ones come with their own powerhead.
If you’re drilling into rock regularly it is worth investing in a rock auger as they can be used over and over again. However, if you need a larger rock auger for one use it may be better to rent the auger.
Take Your Time
Rock augers are similar to drill pieces, they have a point on the end to cut into the rock and a spirical appearance to push the drilled rock up to the surface. It’s an effective technique. But, drilling into rock creates heat. This is a result of the spinning auger and the resistance of the rock.
As the heat builds up it is likely to weaken the auger and create a glaze on the rock. The result is the rock becomes harder to drill and the auger may even break.
You can avoid this by taking it slow, not forcing the auger, and taking regular breaks to allow the auger to cool.
A great way to help prevent overheating and damage is to add a little water to the drilling site periodically. This will help to keep the auger cool and you’ll know when it’s getting hot as steam is likely to come out of the hole. That tells you it’s time to take a break.
Pull Out Often
It is also important to bring the rock auger out of the hole frequently. This will allow air and dust to escape instead of creating a build-up of pressure and a puff of dusty air. While you should be wearing the appropriate safety equipment this is still dangerous and best avoided.
If you’ve never used a rock auger before it’s a good idea to have a test run first, to prepare you for the real hole.