Planting grass in really rocky soil


Old 11-19-10, 07:37 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: usa
Posts: 141
Planting grass in really rocky soil

I recently had some septic work done and concequently now have 7500sq ft of really rocky soil. the rocks can get up to 10(+)in.

Of course I din't think this far ahead, but now I'm trying to figure out what would be the best/most effecient way to takle this. Especially since I have 2kids under three that like to run around back there!

There are way to may rocks to just pick up (i couldn't imagine doing it by hand any way). I was thinking perhaps rolling it, putting topsoil over it an seeding it.

What do you all think? Am I in the right ballpark?

Of course I don't wanna mess up the pich and chanel the water into my garage either!

At this point, I'm guessing early spring is the best time to seed, how long can I expect before the little ones can go back there and kill ALL the new grass?

Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated.

BTW I live in western MA in case it's useful for the seeding lawn portion of things.
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Old 11-19-10, 09:10 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South Florida
Posts: 376
I take it you don’t want to pick-up rocks. But 7,500 sq. ft. is .17 acres, or the lot size for many small homes. Are you sure you’re even close w/ your ball park estimate? How many rocks 2” or larger would you estimate - - several hundred, thousands, tens of thousands? If this was a typical septic tank/drain field area and we’re not talking about layers and layers of rocks, a willing-to-work day worker would have the area cleaned and groomed in around 4 or so hrs. With a wheel barrow and landscape rake, a guy willing to work can prep a large area. If you have a good number of the 10” size rocks, consider how you might use them on your property . . . landscape border, fire ring for children to sit around on cool evenings, or structure to attract fish should you have a lake/pond on property. I see people asking for rock on my local so you might invite them over to pick what they want, and deal w/ what’s not taken.

The main problem w/ your plan is that you’re not going to roll 10” rock into the ground w/ a roller. Even if you could somehow push them to be flat w/ ground (a dozer would break them up but seems like big time overkill), it’s not a great safety idea if the kids are going to be playing on this grass with solid rock just underneath it. Rolling down this rock is self-defeating in that the dirt becomes solidly packed too, and then has to be loosened if using seed.

Assuming you don’t own a roller, I would hire a day worker if you’re unwilling to do this laborious work and buy sod given the time of the year, and that may be less costly than renting a roller (or whatever you plan to use to run over these rocks).
Old 11-20-10, 06:23 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,602
Start picking up rocks or you can also hire someone to pick up the rocks for you. Some landscapers would do such a small area by hand but for larger areas there are a couple attachments for tractors that can help the process.

I would not try burying the rocks under a thin layer of topsoil. Rocks have a nasty habit of rising to the surface with freeze thaw cycles and a few years down the road you might think your yard was magically growing rocks.
Old 11-21-10, 02:48 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: usa
Posts: 141
I'm in the process of trying to post a pic of what I'm talking about.

What the soil is, is actually really rocky fill. Which is what everyone is using up here.


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