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lawn on top of concrete?

(41 Posts)
Ifailed Fri 17-Mar-17 06:32:51

I've moved to a new house this year, and have started work on the garden. I knew it would be a struggle, it was mostly decking with the last third covered in astroturf. Having removed two rotting sheds and most of the decking, I've now discovered why the astroturf was there, about 3 inches down is a thick slab of concrete that seems to impenetrable to any tool I have, including a heavy metal rod that I used to make quick work of a pathway.

I'm thinking of laying turf on top of a layer of good topsoil over the concrete, at least for this year. Will it survive with feeding - has anyone else experienced something similar?

ProfYaffle Fri 17-Mar-17 06:38:42

I'm no expert on lawn care but I think it would be difficult. We have an old well in our garden which is capped with a thick concrete layer, the grass over it always suffers in the summer and dries out really badly. Drainage in the winter might also be a problem.

TwoLeftSocks Fri 17-Mar-17 06:38:52

I think you will struggle with drainage and then drying out in the summer. Can you get a builder in with a jackhammer?

Ifailed Fri 17-Mar-17 06:41:29

Hadn't thought about drainage - maybe if I burnt out my drill I could make a few holes?

Lunaballoon Fri 17-Mar-17 06:41:47

It wouldn't work. You'd need to remove the concrete first. sad

JeNeSuisPasVotreMiel Fri 17-Mar-17 06:52:44

Don't. It will die. And you will end up with an awful mess to clear up.

What do you have against artificial turf? Properly laid (on sand, not soil) the new types are very realistic.

Ifailed Fri 17-Mar-17 06:59:48

What do you have against artificial turf?

Just that, the fact it's artificial and always looks either too good to be true, or rather naff after a few years.

MattBerrysHair Fri 17-Mar-17 07:02:07

Surface water from rain won't have anywhere to go and you'll end up with a bog. Can you gravel or pave it if you don't like artificial grass? If you're really set on a lawn you'll need to hire a jack hammer and a skip!

Toomanycats99 Fri 17-Mar-17 07:11:07

We did this over a path. We broke it up a bit and then topsoil and turf. Can dry out a bit in summer but it's survived about 7 years so far!

mypropertea Fri 17-Mar-17 07:12:47

Why is it concrete? That's the important question before you drill or start breaking the surface.

DoItTooJulia Fri 17-Mar-17 07:13:41

I'm not a fan of artificial turf, but a neighbour has had it done and it's shockingly beautiful! It'a changed my mind about it-I'm a bit envious of the whole no mowing thing!

yomellamoHelly Fri 17-Mar-17 07:15:21

Hire a concrete breaker. Most it will cost if £75 if there isn't a deal on and it's pretty easy to do. (Have done it many times.) Would not try and turf over concrete myself. Have ripped out a couple of very knackered looking gardens which were put on top of a thick layer of concrete. So think you're onto a loser.

picklemepopcorn Fri 17-Mar-17 07:22:49

My old garden had a wiggly line of poor quality grass which didn't grow as well as the rest- yellow and dry in summer, boggy in winter. It was when a path had been years before. We didn't dig down to see what was there, but I think it was just the foundations of the path.

I don't think your plan will work sorry.

Can you ask the neighbours if they remember what was there? It could be a septic tank, underground shelter... I wouldn't break it up without an idea of what it is. It could of course just be a dead patio or shed base.

Ifailed Fri 17-Mar-17 07:39:33

Why is it concrete?

It's at the end of the garden, behind which is a walkway used by all the houses, I'm in a terrace. It covers the entire width, so I suspect it was some sort of heavy duty patio.

I think I should take heed of the advise, and just use it a a place to put pots etc for this year. I've got a cheap Lidl plastic green house that can go there as well.

AstrantiaMajor Fri 17-Mar-17 08:05:56

Asking why it is there is a very good question before drilling or employing a contractor. I suspect it is because some drain or sewage pipe is under there. We have lived in our house for 40'years, at it was only in a recent renovation that we discovered we had drains running under our garden. This meant a slight alteration to our plan as the thought of sewage suddenly appearing did not appeal.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 17-Mar-17 08:16:03

Hard standing for greenhouse, pots not to mention garden furniture etc can be very useful (I wish I had more!) so maybe you should turn it (back) into a patio with some appropriate stone on top, rather than struggling with unhappy grass?

sunnyhills Fri 17-Mar-17 13:32:27

Raised beds/troughs/planters ?

echt Fri 17-Mar-17 13:39:03

Can you ask the neighbours if they remember what was there? It could be a septic tank, underground shelter... I wouldn't break it up without an idea of what it is. It could of course just be a dead patio or shed base.

I had a real Brookside moment going there, pickle, specially the "dead" bit. grin

mypropertea Fri 17-Mar-17 15:15:08

This is a momentous occasion for me, the first time in my life someone on mn took my advice smile thank you.

picklemepopcorn Fri 17-Mar-17 17:24:43

Echt grin
Was thinking more of the patio in my first house, cracked and weed infested, rather than body infested!

Ifailed Sat 18-Mar-17 07:02:04

myproperta - you're welcome. smile

Echt no main sewers, I have a pipe map from the Property Searches done when I was buying the house.

I'm going to spend the weekend attacking it with a lump hammer and chisel to see if I can make any impact.

AstrantiaMajor Sat 18-Mar-17 07:54:14

We need a blow by blow update to find out what is under there.

sunnyhills Sat 18-Mar-17 08:38:15


TheElementsSong Sun 19-Mar-17 07:22:40

Previous owners did just that, as we discovered recently.

I think ours used to be part of a drive or garage. Anyway, I had been cursing the mysterious and constant bogginess of half our lawn even in the height of summer (OK, we didn't really have a height of summer where we were, rather a slightly longer period of sightly warmer and drier weather). Mowing was a nightmare because it was so boggy that the mower sort of "caught" on any ripple of unevenness. The DC couldn't play there at all without getting covered in mud and damp.

A few weeks ago we decided we would dig up some of that area of lawn and put down a small patch of fake grass (the cheap crappy sort) as it is just outside DC's playhouse and the mud was getting horrendous. So imagine our surprise when the shovel went "thunk" about 2 inches down.


That's my lawn on top of concrete story.

picklemepopcorn Sun 19-Mar-17 07:52:57

Come on OP, what have you found? I found several Victorian edging tiles digging a derelict garden yesterday, and coal, and something really big and heavy and square like a window frame. I didn't bother getting that up, though! I planted round it.

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