Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Grow Grass Where It Once Was Cement

Grass grows in many climates and in various soil conditions. Green grass provides a soft, living alternative to areas previously occupied by concrete driveways, patios and sidewalks. Although many types of grass exist, all require certain conditions to thrive. In order to ensure healthy lawns, you must provide the necessary nutrients before planting and during the maintenance period. Areas that previously contained concrete require special considerations when planting new grass.

Remove all traces of the previous concrete structure. Use a shovel or garden hoe to eliminate all debris from the planting site. Scrape off chipped concrete pieces and pull out any underlying rebar and metal ties left from the concrete. Check for layers of gravel beneath the old concrete. Remove gravel to provide a smooth surface of bare soil.

Loosen the packed surface with a garden tiller. Repeat numerous passes with the tiller in order to loosen the top few inches of compressed soil. Toss out any rocks, roots or other debris uprooted by the tiller’s blades. Many constructions activities, including concrete work, remove topsoil from the surface. Replace topsoil if your planting site contains less than 5 to 7 inches of topsoil.

Test the soil with a soil-test kit. Follow the directions included with the kit to remove soil samples from your planting site. The test results include instructions on adding soil nutrients to improve the quality of your existing soil. Purchase the recommended soil additives and incorporate into your existing soil with your garden tiller.

Smooth the loosened soil with a garden rake and distribute grass seed according to the instructions on your package of seed. Provide enough water during the first few weeks to keep the soil slightly moist. Avoid walking on the grass during this early period.


Water your new lawn to the depth of the roots. Check by inserting a finger into the soil near the grass blades. The soil at this level should be slightly cool and damp.


Make sure the grade of your lawn slopes away from your home and other structures after removing the concrete. Correct any grade problems before planting your new grass.

Garden Guides