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I'm in the UK. We have leveled the bottom of our garden by means of using 1m high gabion baskets filled up with stone, and back filling the whole area again with stone which is about 30m2. The reason there is so much stone is the house was built on a quarry.

The resulting area I'm told will be virtually impossible to grown turf on top as the water will just dissipate, even with 4"-6" of soil above.

What would be the best and most cost effective solution to get turf to grow there? What type of soil or preparation would be the best?

I really don't want artificial grass.

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I'm afraid I agree with the advice you've already been given, which is you won't get turf to grow well over all that rock. An alternative you could consider is alpine planting, though it does depend whether the area is sunny or not in regard to your choice of plants. If it is sunny, then alpines and rock plants tucked into pockets of soil would at least have a better chance of growing and spreading than grass will.

Living wall type planting might work too, but you'd need more pockets to create that dense effect, and I don't know what the area looks like; green wall planting relies on pockets of soil in order to grow, but the same principle can be applied to horizontal rocky areas too. Information here about alpines, and here for living or green wall planting.

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If you roll straw into rolls, soak it and plant grass seed in it, it will sprout like crazy. This would work like straw bale gardening. Keep it moist to sustain the grass.

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You could get grass growing temporarily. A spray company could spray grass seed, you'd water constantly and then you take a picture to make it last.

Have you considered a voracious vine? My choice would be Golden Hops. This is one amazing vine. Can also be used to make beer. It is a perennial and dies out for the winter. Easy to clean up the dead vines/leaves. From the roots this plant comes back in the spring with a vengeance! Stand back...within a few weeks to a month those gabions will be covered completely. I've seen 3 feet of growth per day. The lime green color is lovely.

Forget turf. Lots of other vines to consider but this is the easiest to maintain dying out for winter. The ability to clear out the old material and in spring get an entire new lush vine covering. I loved this vine. I wasn't watching and this vine grew and covered my 12X12 screen, up and over trees and a fence and was headed for the road...a good 50 feet by August. If you do make beer, any of the hops family of your choosing will do the same except they'll be green. Make sure you get both sexes planted or at least the female. The flowers are like little Japanese rice paper lanterns...lime greens, mauve and purple.

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  • Unless you are breeding hops, you do NOT want a male hop around. Seeds are not desired for hops used in beer. – Ecnerwal Jun 19 '17 at 19:04
  • @Ecnerwal Mucho thanko!! Excellent point, obviously I haven't made beer yet! I don't remember any sex signs on pots of hops so they must sell only female. Cool to know, thanks! – stormy Jun 19 '17 at 19:10

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