Can you grow grass over concrete

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Oneeyedvic | 13:01 Sat 30th Oct 2004 | Home & Garden
17 Answers

We have a concrete back garden - I would like to grow grass - if I put down a lot of soil (say 2 inches deep), will grass seeds grow in this?

Everyone thinks I am mad when I ask this question, but cannot see why this is a problem - or does it need to be deeper than 2"?


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I wouldn't have thought that would be a very good idea Oneeyedic - what about the drainage for starters!
you will have to hire a garden tool that breaks up concrete, then when you have thrown all the rubble in the skip you will need top soil, to rake over the designated area, then you can either seed it or turf it,,,you can buy artificial turf now which you could lay over the concrete but it is quite expensive. mullein
Question Author

I'm sure there must be someway of doing this - drainage can't be much of a problem - I can block in the soil with bricks, but have dainage holes in the bottom

What is being said is that with only a small amount of topsoil, the area will be totally unsuitable for growing turf, unless the concrete is removed first!


Over a period of time all the nutrients will be washed out of the soil; the roots will have nowhere to go; in summer the ground will dry out very fast and would probably be much the same in winter. Think about how fast water evaporates from concrete even in winter....your lawn would be the same.

If you really want a lawn, the only way to do it is the hard way or by next year all you'll have is a mudbath! Sorry to disappoint you....



It will work great.


For about a week.

When Giants Stadium  in East Rutherford, NJ was astro-turf over concrete, they laid sod over it for the soccer championships. What a hard time they had keeping it in decent shape for the duration of the championships! The concrete in Giants Stadium has since been busted up and it is now a grass field.

I agree with Lindy Loo. Perhaps there is a way to ensure proper watering with proper drainage combined with a regimen of careful fertilizing. I imagine it would be a process of trial and error - killing a bunch of grass in the process.

I think breaking up the concrete would be much easier and cheaper in the long run.

Hi Oneeyedvic, Ditto what Lindy Loo and ezapf have said. One thought here. In the US it's less expensive to purchase compost in bulk then topsoil. Topsoil often has weed seeds in it, so you might consider using the compost, since you already have soil there. Just mix it into the existing soil that is under the concrete and it will help to improve the tilth and enrich it at the same time.
So, as I said in the first place - drainage would be a problem.................!
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Many thanks for all your answers - 3 stars to everyone -


Just going to have to face the reality - we have a concrete garden! Really can not be ar$ed to break up the concrete.


Thanks everyone

If you don't want to remove the concrete, a neighbour has had a mixed stone chipped tarmac laid on their drive & it looks brilliant with all the little curves. We have a gravel drive & can sometimes hear cats/squirrels walking on it - a very good burglar deterrent!
I got a gardener to completely redo my garden. It was basically wasteland, and now it is gravel and patio and borders. Yes, it's a lot of hassle and tramping through the house with tons of rubbish- but so worth the end result..
I bet it looks beautiful Scarlett!
there'll be an outlet on the internet for artificial turf somewhere (as mullein suggests). some look pretty real too! probably cheaper and less time consuming than digging concrete etc etc! Have a look and price it up.
Hey.... found this interesting as we have a concrete yard and wanted to lay a bit of lawn/grass.. and thought it would be best to break you the concrete and then lay the lawn/grass..but again what about draininge from that? where will it go? under the house?cause damp......though you dug up the concrete ect....where will the water sit?go?under the rest of the concrete patio?......hows it work? thanks
there is an article somewhere online (i can't remember who it was by or when i read it!) that discusses a technique developed by an australian gardener. it involves creating a bed using several layers of different material. it starts off with newspaper, then something, then something... uh, sorry, i know that's not useful...
Yes, I read that article too. He said something like, lay down either newspaper or cardboard, then old leaves or compost, then soil. This helps the nutrients in the long run. Now, i have a concrete front yard. We're planning on making it grass, with the concrete underneath. I swear theres a way! There are issues with drainage, too little, and too much. Also, i read that if your yard doesn't cover all of the concrete, there will be heat transfer that may kill the lawn. So- heres my plan:

First, make a concrete border, so the dirt stays put. At the bottom, there will be drainage holes going thru. then we have just a layer of cardboard for a buffer. Above that, theres a layer of gravel. Then wood chunks or chips. This will help hold in some of the moisture before it goes down into the gravel and out. On top of this probably another layer of cardboard, and then compost or leaves. Then the soil ontop of that. I think this will solve the problems with heat, drainage, and nutrients.

I read in this same article that grass will grow in 1 or 2 inches of soil. I know I had a pile of dirt from sweeping the carport that was an inch tall, and it grew grass on top. It will grow, just needs the other issues taken care of.

I know this is all in theory, but it is crazy enough to work! Worse case senario, I can always plant other stuff if the grass thing doesnt work. Bark chip and raised beds. At least its not concrete! Lol. But don't listen to -it can't be done. I call bs. Good luck! And to me too.
I found the article. Go to and type in: Can I put a lawn on top of concrete? The article is titled: All concrete. It was the first one that popped up for me. Its at the website www.helpful

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