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Growing Grass in Rocky Soil

Category Lawn
Finding good grass seed for this type of soil can be a challenge. This page is about growing grass in rocky soil.


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By 0 found this helpful
September 21, 2006


I would like to know of a good hearty grass to plant in bad soil with lots of rocks in it. We live in the country. <>Hardiness Zone: 4b

Barb from Fairview, MI



Are you looking to try and establish a lawn (turfgrass)? When choosing grass seed, it's important to select cultivars that are well adapted to your area and specific site (e.g. full sun, partial shade, well-drained, clay, etc.) are able to perform well and are suited to the amount of management you are willing to provide. The best seed mix for a rocky site with poor quality soil will be one made up of grasses that are native to your area. These grasses will establish most easily and will be more resistant to damage from insects, disease and drought. They will also adapt to poor soil conditions and need little in the way of fertilizing. I would recommend seeking out native plant nurseries in your area and consult with them on which types of native grass seed will work well for your conditions.

If you want to follow the more traditional route, you might try tall fescue. It has a medium-coarse texture and tolerates low soil fertility. It also requires little in the way of maintenance, other than occasional fertilizing (2 to 3 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 ft. per growing season) and mowing. Once established, tall fescue is drought tolerant and will hold up well to your harsh winter weather.


Top-performing tall fescue cultivars in Michigan:

  • Avenger Focus Plantation
  • Barlexas Forte Proseeds
  • Biltmore Grande II Rebel Exeda
  • Bingo Inferno 2nd Millennium
  • Blackwatch Justice SR 8550
  • Falcon IV (F-4) Kalahari

Good Luck!


September 29, 20060 found this helpful

Dear Ellen, Thanks for the advice on the grass for rocky soil, if it doesn't work, I'll just spray paint it green. Barb

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