can you grow grass on concrete?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i guy i know, he made some changes to his property. one area that was originally a blacktop driveway, he tore up, and laid sod. here is the problem: the driveway was like 3 layers thick! it looks like there was a walkway there many years ago. somebody paved blacktop over top of it. somebody then paved another blacktop driveway over top of that. so, most of the blacktop was removed, this still leaves a layer of concrete, or blacktop, but now there is enough room to put in like 6-8" of topsoil. will the sod live? i don't think so. what do u think?
  2. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    It really depends on the type of grass. But, I would say yes! If you were to take an average commercial property that is being constructed and curbs are being poured, then backfilled and sodded, you are effectively talking about the same thing (@ 8" of topsoil on top of a crushed gravel hardpan, then sod). To answer you question... I think it would work, but of course there may be an issue of where the water will run to. We actually created a holding area for sod once by just laying bermuda sod on top of gravel. We watered it everyday and it ended up staying there all summer before we could use it on another job. It actually rooted into the 6-8" of crush-n-run parking lot we had! Why doesn't this guy just break up the concreate and get rid of it like he did the asphalt?
  3. Shawns Lawns

    Shawns Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 638

    The Scotts company did a promo back some time ago and that is exactly what they did, if i can remember correctly i think it was only 3-4 inchs of soil over the concrete and then they seeded, maybe sod not sure. :waving:
  4. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,151

    I can grow grass in the bed of my truck!

    When I was a kid we discovered an old brick sidewalk in our backyard where grass had grown for years. It was only buried about 2 inches down. Grass grew fine over that.
  5. OP

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    ok, was it a good looking turf, or half weeds? and tscapes, he didn't realize he would have that much to ger rid of. he thought it was one layer, he rented a jackhammer and a day laborer for $7 an hour. then realized it was 3 layers. he wanted me to do the job over top 2 layers, with only like 3-4" of topsoil, i told him sure, i'll do it, no garentee. he then removed the 2nd layer, and realized there was still more. i told him again, i would do it, but no garentee. he then got someone else to do it, he didn't want to keep jack hammering. so the job was done with roughly 6-8" of topsoil over the concrete.
  6. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    The grass will grow just fine, but during heavy rains that area will stay wet and the top soil may erode over time. Just depends on how well the area drains.
  7. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,525

    As wet as the last 2 years have been in the Mid- Atlantic I think it would be ok. I think during a dry time it would die because of the lack of moisture, but what do I know. I can overseed a yard and it seems nothing comes up except in the flower bed or the crack in a side walk lol
  8. Green Earth

    Green Earth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    If you get into a drought the grass will probably turn brown where the driveway was. That doesn't mean its dying over the old drive, it just goes dormant there before the rest of the yard. Just my .02 worth.
  9. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    I think it will do fine, Bobby. Like everyone else, I do think it will show stress in extreme or even mild droughts, but in all it should be undetectable from anywhere else in the yard. FYI, back in college I actually built a trial garden on the floor of a Home Depot once. We used 4x4 posts to form the outter frame, and then divided it into 16 squares. This allowed us to grow each brand and variety of grass that we sold. It grew all year, until the store manager made us tear it down and chunk it. We used a weedeater to cut the grasses.... it was a cool project!
  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,496

    I spend plenty of time removing grass growing on asphalt and concrete, so I'll have to say yes. It seems like that's where it grows best! :)

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