Photo by Torsten Dettlaff from Pexels
Summer has officially arrived, and people all over Rochester are ready to pull out the lawn chairs, kiddie pools, and fire pits. But what about the grass under these fun toys and lawn accessories? Leaving them in one spot almost always results in dead grass. Keep reading for a few tips on how not to kill the grass underneath.
Playhouses, Kiddie Pools, Sandboxes, and Toys
Kids today have more toys than ever, and that includes toys for the yard. Go to a young family’s house, and you are likely to see a playhouse, kiddie pool, sandbox, or other toys scattered about their yard. But did you know that these portable outdoor toys can also harm the grass underneath? To some, this isn’t a big deal, but for folks who like a lush, green yard, these toys can be a real headache.
So, what’s the best way to promote a healthy lawn with outdoor toys in the yard? For portable items, like plastic playhouses, kiddie pools, and sandboxes, the answer is simple: keep moving them! Your best bet is to move each item every day. It may seem excessive, but the pressure and weight of each toy, combined with the lack of sunlight underneath, is a quick way to kill the grass underneath. Another option is to keep these outdoor toys on a patio, deck, or driveway.
Collapsible and inflatable swimming pools are becoming quite popular. For a few hundred dollars (or more) a family can cool off without spending thousands of dollars for a permanent swimming pool. These collapsible and inflatable pools provide hours of family fun, but the grass underneath will die after a day or two. For many lawn lovers, the idea of a large, circular patch of dirt in the middle of the yard is frightening. Unfortunately, there are no simple solutions. Moving the pool every day is not usually realistic, as these pools get quite heavy. Instead, be prepared for some extra work in the fall after the pool has been put away. One option is to reseed the dead area, but if the pool is going to be in that same spot next summer, that is a waste of time. Instead, consider putting down mulch, bark chips, or artificial turf. These aren’t perfect solutions, but might be better than a gaping patch of dead grass and dirt in the middle of your lawn.
Who doesn’t love a good bounce on a giant trampoline? They can provide hours of fun for kids, and some adults, too! Like most other yard toys, the grass underneath can be damaged. Trampolines can be somewhat of a mystery; under some, the grass turns into a wild jungle, and under others, the grass dies off. A lot depends on the type of mat the trampoline is built with. Some mats are made of rubber, making it hard for sunlight to reach the turf underneath, resulting in dying grass. Mats made of polypropylene fabric, as most trampolines today use, allow a little sunlight to reach the turf. Over time, though, the reduced sunlight will cause the grass to die off. Again, moving the trampoline is the best way to keep your lawn healthy. If you don’t move the trampoline every few days or so, eventually, you’ll wind up with a dead patch of grass underneath.
Lawn Chairs and Furniture
How do you keep grass alive under lawn furniture? You guessed it – move it! Luckily, lawn chairs and other lawn furniture are usually light enough to move regularly. Just move it a few inches every day or so, and the lawn underneath will remain healthy. Even heavier things, like a picnic table, can usually be moved a couple of inches.
A campfire is the quintessential pastime of summer evenings. Metal and stone fire pits have gained popularity in recent years. Instead of burning a hole in the grass, many people have opted for a raised fire pit. However, the turf under the fire pit can still be damaged. Try wetting the grass underneath the pit before lighting the fire to prevent burn damage to the grass. Another easy solution is to purchase a flame-resistant fire pit mat. Just remember to move the mat and fire pit every few days, or the grass underneath will die.
The moral of the story? Move, move, move! If you don’t move your yard toys and lawn accessories, the grass underneath will almost always die. Be proactive and take a few minutes out of your day to prevent this from happening.