How to Plant Sod Over Existing Asphalt


Just because there is a layer of asphalt on the ground does not mean you cannot change it into a lawn. Grass grows as long as it has enough soil for nourishment and water for moisture. While eliminating the asphalt first is the best option, if that is not possible, a lawn will grow over asphalt if the paving material is first covered with soil. Sod is the practical choice for a quick lawn, both for the quick green, but also to hold soil in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Fill dirt
  • Top soil
  • Rake
  • Roller
  • Bring in 4 inches or more of fill dirt to form the base for growing sod over asphalt. Grass roots will penetrate about 4 to 5 inches down and should not be able to reach the asphalt if the layer of soil is thick enough.

  • Cover the fill dirt with another 4 inches of topsoil to form the growing surface for the sod. Smooth it out well with a rake to make a level growing surface.

  • Moisten the layers of soil with water until the soil 6 inches down is damp so the roots of the sod will access the water easily and readily. Allow time for the water to percolate down so that you don't create a muddy surface when you are laying the sod.

  • Lay the sod over the damp top soil. Fit each start of a roll of sod up close to the end of the last roll. Keep seams alternating throughout the lawn. Use a roller to press the sod into the soil.

  • Water the planted sod immediately after planting. Continue to water the area every day for the first week until when you tug gently on a section of sod, it resists. Water as needed during the growing season to supplement low rainfall amounts.

Tips & Warnings

  • The same principle applies to living roofs established over asphalt shingles. A moisture barrier and professional evaluation of whether the structure can hold the additional weight of soil and sod must be in place before your begin a "green" roof project.
  • Grade the soil layer away from your home or other structures to avoid runoff, as the area will be raised above the surrounding lawn.

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  • Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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