This subforum seems like a suitabe place for this question
I saw a 6 acre rocky plot for sale in northwestern ireland. assume money is no issue. could i buy tonnes upon tonnes of excavated soil/dirt and place it on top of the original topsoil to essentially make a ginormous raised bed/land? we're probably talking adding an extra 2 feet of depth to the original ground layer. maybe less depending if i could excavate some of the original rocky layer.
I know it would cost enormous amounts of cash but im just wondering from a scientific point of view would it work? or would the soil just erode away after a few years?
Are the rocks loose or are we talking bedrock? If loose, smallish rocks like one sees made into the famous stone walls of Ireland, the rocks can be excavated and replaced with organic material or new soil. My kitchen garden is in a very rocky spot, so I dug out the rocks and replaced them with logs for buried "hugelkultur".
I am with Tyler, if you could just "harvest" the rocks and make walls or buildings out of them you should end up with some sort of soil. Unless the place is just one big boulder?
Take a look at some of the pictures from Pauls lab, where the "ants" have been digging swales and building hugels. They have lots of rocks but they end up with dirt which can then be planted with pioneer species to build the organic layer.
It would be cheaper to just use wood chips......find a company that cuts tree and offer to take their wood chips....usually they give them away for free.....the wood chips will break down in time and give you some real nice soil.
Traditionally Irish used the stone for house and fence, then would build soil on top by hand, often with seaweed when near the shore ( seaweed is a great compost ratio alone) and bring in different materials when inland. Problem is if you stop, the soil falls through the rocks cracks and crevases, and just decomposes and erodes. So it is a labor of love to keep a field going while fighting against that rain load....It was done for centuries so you know it will work!
Man of Aran is a1932 documentary about this technique and the lifestyle, I had to go look for the name of it but here was a quote from someone writing about the film...
Aran Islands, where life was so primitive that the islanders had to make soil by hauling seaweed up the cliffs and mixing it with sand to form a top-soil,
Kind of a one liner, but.....
The documentary played a role in ruining this lifestyle, and then then years later lead into a protest and fight to save a schoolhouse that was inland, and the children attended. As far as I know the schoolhouse is still there and has a statue of Mary that was originally on the islands. There are a few children in that film still alive now and are in a new documentary by tg4 about that schoolhouse and the events from the 1932 documentary forward.......