Builders Dumped and Left Cement in My Garden. What Do I Do?

Builders dumped cement in a space that’s and covered it with soil.  What is the best way to work around this without digging it all up?  Container garden, Large pots? The area has grass and weeds in a strip about 2 feet wide, 6 feet long.  I tried planting grass and flowers but was not too successful. Question from Kay of Seattle, Washington

Answer: If the area is just 2 feet wide and 6 feet long, I suggest removing the concrete, if it is not too deep. You could ask your builder to remove it (he/she should have cleaned it up in the first place), or if you could have someone strong break it up and dig it out. In addition to protective eyewear and gloves, they would need a mattock, sledgehammer, and strong, sharp spade to break up, pry up, and dig out the pieces. A wheelbarrow would be helpful to carry it to the nearest waste receptible. It may seem like a big job, but it’s probably not if the concrete is relatively shallow.

If you don’t mind the concrete, consider putting containers or a raised bed on the spot. Both are certainly viable options. Here are several articles about container gardening that may be helpful as well as a video below.

Succeed With Container Vegetable Gardening

10 Waterwise Container Garden Flowers

What are the Best Edibles for Sunny Patio Containers?

Can You Share Some Good Raised Bed Plans?

Happy gardening,

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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