New lawn installation over gravel lot?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CharlieBingo, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. CharlieBingo

    CharlieBingo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    The area was a side parking spot, now the woman wants grass in this area. The gravel is pulverized to dust, should I remove some first or just topsoil and seed it?
  2. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    you really need to see if it drains and probably loosen it up by mixing in some top soil. If it doesn't drain or if it is an impenetrable wall for the roots you will just be wasting your time.
  3. CharlieBingo

    CharlieBingo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    That's what I'm afraid of. I'm wondering how many inches of top soil or maybe compost?
  4. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Remove it to do the job properly. The first sign of warm weather or drought will be shown in that area due to a weaker and shallow root zone. I see it all the time where someone has removed a drive or put it in a different spot than originally thought and those areas are the first to brown out because not enough or all of the gravel wasn't removed. Just think about it, wherever there is a stone, there won't be roots. So even to mix soil into an area with a fair amount of stone, will make it tough for the roots.
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    I didn't think of this before, but it it is pulverized limestone no sod will ever grow there. Too acidic.

    Like Randy said to do it right you have to remove it. But that also means unless you can sell them on that point, you won't get the job. Some numbnut will bid it for just topdressing and throwing the sod.

    Good luck if you get it and bid it right you should make good money.
    Rent a bobcat for removal.
  6. SouthernFried

    SouthernFried LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    All we have around here is limestone rock, and it makes our soil very Alkaline.

    There is nothing wrong with gravel and rock in the soil. All our soil has it. If it's gravel, it might not be compacted into pavement, and can actually help drainage, by loosening the soil. A bucket full of gravel is much more porous than a bucket full of clay soil, water will drain through it much easier.

    Of course, if its compacted into a solid rock barrier...than your drainage will be adversely affected. Run water over it and see. Also, It can dry out sooner if you don't put enough soil in. Like putting an inch of dirt over a just wont hold water long. But, if its just a coupla inches of lose gravel, and you put 4-6" of good dirt on it, the gravel will actually help, and I wouldn't remove it.

    Just depends I guess...
  7. prizeprop

    prizeprop LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    This is why you must remove the rock, it will drain the soil to quickly and the water will bypass the root system of the turf and drain right through that porous rock. the soil will never retain moisture long enough,especially during drought situations.

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