The Q&A Archives: Grass where there is none

Question: I just moved to Alabama a year ago. I from Florida where everything grows. Well my house is on a huge rock and I have a very rocky base for my grass. I have thrown down Winter Rye Grass seed and it is green but I know it will die as soon as it turns warm. What can I do to plant a summer lawn. Seed Sod Plugs? Help!

Answer: The only way to fix rocky soil is to add huge amounts of organic matter and pick up the rocks as they surface over the years. To have a nice lawn with a minimal output of labor, you can break the soil up with a shovel (or rototiller) and then bring in topsoil to make a bed for the turf. Sod will provide an almost instant lawn with the added advantage of an existing root system. Laying it on top of top soil will provide a good place for the roots to penetrate. Your lawn should remain healthy and green for many years to come. Or, instead of laying sod after preparing the area with topsoil, you can broadcast grass seeds. I would vote for the nearly instant result from sod because the root system is already established and the grass is thick enough to keep weeds from sprouting while you concentrate on landscaping the rest of your yard.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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