Shutterstock / By Baanrukbua
You’re tired of your concrete patio’s boring look so you want to replace it with a beautiful lush grass. But will the concrete under the lawn allow the turf to thrive?
Can laying grass on concrete be a successful long-term project?
Putting a little soil over the concrete surface won’t do the job. The grass needs to establish its roots properly. Concrete is solid, it easily heats up in the summer and isn’t as porous as soil. With that in mind, to answer the question of whether laying turf on concrete is possible:
Yes, it can be done, but with artificial turf, because there is no need for soil support. Using real grass is highly undesirable as it will most likely have issues with staying alive. The concrete underneath will hinder the soil’s moisture-retaining properties. Also, proper drainage will be a serious problem. If you absolutely want real turf, it is really best to hack out the concrete first.
Things to consider when laying AstroTurf on concrete?
Laying synthetic grass on paving slabs or pure concrete is easy and doesn’t require much maintenance afterwards.
- Installing a shock pad to soften the surface is usually part of the process.
- A couple of holes need to be drilled in the cement for a better drainage (in case of puddles forming there after spraying it with a hose). After all, you don’t want ponds in your yard after every rainfall.
- A slight gradient may be enough for the water to run off, but it really depends on the condition of the yard itself.
- Larger gaps in the concrete should be filled in before the turf laying as they will result in sagging and a poor overall quality of the job.
Issues around real turf and shallow soil
If you really can’t agree on removing the concrete and insist on laying real grass, then you won’t have it easy. Real turf will need a minimum soil layer of 25 cm. You should choose a shallow-rooted species as well. The roots need to find their nutrients and water deep down in the soil. Even then you’d need to drill holes in the cement base (every foot or so) to improve the drainage. If the patch doesn’t drain well the water will prevent oxygen from entering the soil and your turf will die out real quick. Apart from that, you’d have to water it profusely (every day) during warm summer days. The water will evaporate very quickly in such a shallow patch of soil. A fertiliser should also be used as the grass won’t be able to feed off the soil’s nutrients.
Do leave a comment below if you feel you need more answers!