The Q&A Archives: Planting Grass

Question: Hi,
I have a patck of yard that has black top over it. It was an old drive way and I do not have the resourses to remove it. If I break it up, can I put 3or4 inches of top soil over it and than plant grass.

Answer: This type of situation can be partially successful in that the grass would really grow better with about six inches of soil under it, and the underlying soil will drain differently from the rest of the lawn areas. There is also a possibility of residues in the soil from the paving such as oil as well as the deep compaction done prior to paving may inhibit growth. This area will most likely require extra watering in order to "match" the rest of the lawn in terms of moisture retention, and due to the different soil beneath it may never match exactly. Knowing that, in my experience you may want to try either keeping it as driveway or recycling it as a patio area (possibly eventually resurface it for cosmetic purposes)or possibly creating a taller berm situation over top of it and planting something other than lawn grasses. You should also consider the implications of raising that area in terms of the overall drainage pattern of your property since often a driveway is used to channel excess runoff. Good luck with your project.

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