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I would like to have grass where we have a concrete patio. Do I need to remove the concrete or can I put topsoil over the concrete?
Hardiness Zone: 5a
Kathleen from western NY
By all mean remove the concrete, your grass will not grow with out proper drainage, the concrete will hold the water and there will be rot and you will have quit a mess on you hands.
I don't know how big your patio is, but I bought a house several years ago with a very large back yard. As I mowed the lawn, I discovered that quite near the back door was an area of lawn that felt "different" - the ground was harder. I traced the harder part around and discovered that it was an old patio. A little while later, I got a steel spatula and started removing the grass that had grown there so that I would have less to mow and also a grass-free patio. So grass will grow over a patio quite well. It may not look like the rest of the lawn for a while, but given time, nature will claim it.
I don't know how big your patio is, but I bought a house several years ago with a very large back yard. As I mowed the lawn, I discovered that quite near the back door was an area of lawn that felt "different" - the ground was harder. I traced the harder part around and discovered that it was an old patio.
removing the concrete is not an option, can holes be drilled into it for some drainage?
Just curious what you decided to do? I would like to grow some grass for my dog to go potty, but my backyard consists of a small concrete patio. Its a bottom floor condo. Any thoughts, especially how to get the drainage problem fixed. Does the patch grass work for something like this? Does it have to be replaced often?
Can I plant grass over a concrete pad?
Hardiness Zone: 5a
By vince from Stillwater, NY
Thank you in advance for your help!
Theoretically, I suppose you could plant grass anywhere. All you need is a good quality soil (and enough of it) and a site with good drainage. At least 6 inches of good soil is generally recommended to establish new grass, but more or less may be needed depending on what type of grass your grow. Some grasses have deep root systems that need a great deal of soil to settle in. Other grasses are considered shallow root grasses and may need less soil. Other things to consider are how thick the concrete is, how porous it is, and even what color it is. I don't know where you are writing from, but concrete (especially dark colored concrete) tends to holds heat a lot better than soil. That means that no matter how much soil you cover the area with, if you live in a warm climate, the heat from the concrete will most likely end up killing the grass by cooking its roots.
Getting a new lawn off to a good start is hard enough even with a well-prepared soil base. My suggestion would be to remove as much of the debris as possible now and start fresh.
I agree with taking as much of the old soil out as possible. When we bought our house, the back yard was mostly gravel and it has been a chore to get it all out, but well worth the effort.