Ideally I would like to have this an all-grass yard. I am looking out a window of the house and can't add soil on top or the grade would point towards the foundation. All these rocks are 3-6 feet from the house.

I was wondering if I could fix it by breaking up the first 4 inches of all the rocks and cover with soil. Would I need more than 4 inches, less? I would drill into them using masonry bits and drop in some of that expanding foam stuff and remove the excess slowly over time. There are about 10 more rocks not shown. Could this be done DIY over the course of a spring/summer/fall? Would it even work? Better options?

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  • If your elbows are carbide jackhammer bits, I would say you still need a lot of elbow grease.
    – DMoore
    Apr 3, 2019 at 19:47
  • 1
    Are those stones just thin paver slabs? They look milled.
    – isherwood
    Apr 3, 2019 at 20:01
  • @isherwood No they are rocks removed when they dug out the foundation..I think. Most of them are huge (more than 2ft in one direction)
    – ACD
    Apr 3, 2019 at 21:27
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    What did you end up doing? Jan 29, 2020 at 19:05
  • @UnhandledExcepSean Had an excavator remove them the same time he buried a propane tank. Did it so fast he didn't even charge me extra.
    – ACD
    Jan 29, 2020 at 22:14

2 Answers 2


I don't think that expanding foam stuff will split granite. (Looks like granite in your pix)

To directly answer your question: If you can break up the rocks, then go for it. I think you need 6" to lay decent grass. Normally grass will send roots several feet deep. The areas where there is thin soil over rock will turn brown earlier in the summer, tend to grow more slowly, be more sensitive to over/under fertilization.

So: If you can, remove the rocks completely.

Your pic looks like some of them are flat rocks that were laid in place. If so, buy a rock bar (think 6 foot long straight prybar) and sink it into the ground beside one, put another rock as a fulcrum and pry.

The narrow one sticking out further back I suspect is the upper edge of a chunk of bedrock. While you might be able to remove it, I suspect it's more work than it's worth. How about putting a ring of earth around it for a flower bed.

  • Kentucky Bluegrass, for example, thrives in as little as 2" of soil if it's kept moist.
    – isherwood
    Apr 3, 2019 at 21:30
  • I didn't even consider moving them as a possibility. Most of these rocks are huge. Like more than 24" in one direction huge. I assume they are massive underneath as well. When they dug out the foundation they just left them in the yard for some reason.
    – ACD
    Apr 3, 2019 at 21:33

I would rent a 40 lb Jack hammer if you intend to break up big rocks. Any big project where one is trying to move stuff out of the way and there's a lot of it, get a Jack hammer.

Unless you're the Incredible Hulk.

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