The Q&A Archives: Concrete

Question: We recently had our back area remodelled by removing old rocks, and concrete and laying sod to, hopefully, have a nice lawn. My husband went to stick a sprinkler spike into the ground and found that not all of the concrete underneath was removed. We were livid! Will my grass grow under 2-3 inches of soil over concrete and rocks?

Answer: How disappointing for you to find the work was not completed as expected! If you have the opportunity, you may want to have the contractors come back and do the job right. The key to a successful lawn is good soil preparation. This means rototilling to a depth of 8-10 inches and raking out all of the rocks, plant debris, etc., then leveling the area and compacting it so it remains flat and level after planting. Your sod may look nice now, but with rocks and concrete chunks just a few inches below the surface, the soil will settle into a lumpy field and the roots of the turfgrass will not be able to penetrate deeply enough to keep them moist during the summer months. This will result in browning and dying grass.

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