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Grass Seed That Grows on Soil or Rocks

By Jonathan Budzinski ; Updated September 21, 2017
Peat mosses are able to retain the water and nutrients gardeners apply to continuously feed grasses, as is done in hydroponics.

New lawns may have hard patches of dirt or may be fully covered in stone, making it impossible for grass roots to penetrate the surface. This is a moderately difficult challenge that requires time and patience from inexperienced gardeners. Preparation and constant maintenance are the keys to successfully growing grass seeds on hard surfaces.

Types of Seed

When properly prepared, most grasses will be able to grow on hard dirt, which is a combination of hard soil and rocks. Two recommended grasses are Bermuda grass and canary grass, which are good for inexperienced gardeners. Layer the grass with peat moss, which will help retain the nutrients and water.

Weed Removal

The first step is removing any and all weeds from the environment which may kill your grass before it gets a chance to root. Apply organic or chemical herbicides to the environment. It may take time for the weed killer to take effect before you can begin planting, but this will ensure the proper growth of vibrant, healthy grasses when the time comes.

Breaking up the Soil

If possible, use a rototiller to break up hard soil after watering it down. Once the soil is loosened, you can apply a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus and continue planting grass seeds as you normally would. Remember to remove large rock and other debris that you come across before seeding.


After seeds have begun to sprout and have formed a small network of roots, employ a liquid fertilizer. Fertilizers with high levels of phosphorus work well. Soils and peat moss must be kept moist in all climates, sometimes requiring multiple waterings every day until the blades have fully sprouted.


It can be difficult to evenly spread grass seed in areas with large stones within the soil. To ensure proper growth, remove as much debris as possible before planting. Because of the cost, it is impractical to place peat moss over large areas.


About the Author


Jonathan Budzinski started his writing career in 2007. His work appears on websites such as WordGigs. Budzinski specializes in nonprofit topics as he spent two years working with Basic Rights Oregon and WomanSpace. He has received recognition as a Shining Star Talent Scholar in English while studying English at the University of Oregon.