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How to Grow Grass on Concrete

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017
Cover old concrete slabs and driveways with a lush lawn.

Transform your landscape by planting grass over concrete. Maybe you have a pesky old walkway or a graveled area that you hate the appearance of. Covering it with grass will give you a vibrant, green lawn the kids can safely play on. Concrete is definitely not an ideal base for grass, and it has led to some debates among gardeners. But, if you cannot remove the stone, growing grass over it is possible with the proper amount of topsoil. The main factor to take into consideration is the drainage. Large concrete areas may be too large and the water may pool. Smaller concrete pads and walkways are more likely to be successful.

Remove loose pieces of concrete. They will impede the planting of grass.

Spread topsoil over the concrete. You need at least 4 inches of soil to give the grass roots the space they need to grow and spread. If there are low-lying spots or dips, apply more topsoil to create a level planting surface. Dips will lead to the pooling of water when it rains, which can diminish the quality of your lawn.

Spread a starter seed fertilizer over the topsoil. This will encourage the grass to germinate quickly and successfully. Use the application guidelines on the package. Compost will also work well.

Combine the fertilizer with the topsoil. Till it together with a garden hoe. Work the soil until you are sure they are mixed well.

Plant a grass seed that is hardy and low maintenance. Creeping red fescue, for instance, is a type that will grow almost everywhere. Mixing it with other types like St. Augustine or centipede grass will also improve the growth.

Broadcast the grass seed with a hand or mechanical spreader, depending on the size of the lawn. Follow the seed rate guidelines that are specified on the package of seed. Make sure to apply an even amount of seed. Too much will cause competition for nutrients and too little will leave gaps.

Rake the seed gently to mix it with the top 1/4 inch of soil. The soil will hold it in place, keep birds at bay and promote germination.

Water the grass seed with a sprinkler set to an oscillating setting. This will disperse the water evenly without pooling. Watch carefully to make sure you don't water it too much. The concrete doesn't allow for the best drainage, and the seed will get too saturated to grow. Keep the soil lightly moist as the seeds develop roots.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Topsoil
  • Fertilizer or compost
  • Garden hoe
  • Grass seed
  • Hand or mechanical spreader
  • Rake
  • Sprinkler
  • Water

Tip

  • Look for grass varieties that claim to "grow anywhere." Consider using Scotts EZ Seed Turf Builder, which reviews claim will grow on stone and brick.

About the Author

 

Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.