About That New Grave

There are always fresh graves in our cemeteries indicating newly-dug burial places. One of these may be for your loved one. All are for someone's beloved dead.

What happens afterward?
Everything will eventually be restored at it was.

For a time the grave will look rough. But, in time the grave will be restored to its original condition — level, with thick turf, identical to the surrounding grass.

But, it won’t happen immediately. Why?

The season of the year has so much to do with our ability to restore graves. Of necessity, during the cool and cold times of the year no grass will grow, nor will dirt move, nor water flow. So, very little can happen until the warmer days.

When it is warm and the rains fall, progress can be made. We must respect the processes of nature and nurture in order to complete the work beautifully and efficiently. It is our goal in springtime to get all graves from the fall and winter to their normal condition, so that by Memorial Day all cold weather burial places are beautiful and green again.

Tamp, settle, level, sod
Immediately after a burial, the grave is back-filled, leaving a rather high mound of bare, often lumpy dirt. Most of this will disappear as the soil works its way down beside the burial vault. More dirt may be hauled in, so much might the ground settle.

Then, we bring in hoses and soak the ground — especially between the sides of the burial vault and the sides of the grave — so the soil will obey gravity, becoming more compact, leaving no open pockets.

Next we cut a clean edge in the adjacent turf and mechanically tamp the grave with a machine, leaving the entire grave flush with surrounding grass. In final preparation for sodding, we put a new two-inch layer of pulverized topsoil on the grave and then roll out the top-quality sod. The new sod needs water — whether from the heavens or from the cemetery taps — so the grass roots will spread permanently and quickly into the soft upper layer of dirt. The sod will settle to be level as everything compacts even more. The work is finished.

Brochure: About That New Grave

A Tradition of Comforting Concern

Mailing Address
Archdiocese of Milwaukee Catholic Cemeteries
7301 West Nash Street
Milwaukee WI 53216


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