High traffic areas can cause major damage to your lawn. Areas such as the path to the clothes line, the track the dog runs along whilst chasing the postman, the lawn that the trampoline sits on, the space where a car,trailer, boat or caravan are often parked, are all considered high traffic areas and are a risk to the health of your lawn.
In these areas the soil will become compacted very quickly, hindering the movement of water, nutrients and oxygen. The turf will then struggle to survive while also losing the ability to repair itself, fight off pests and ward off weeds.
One option is to replace the lawn in these areas with a harder wearing surface such as pavers or stones, but if you want to maintain your lawn there are a few steps that you can take to ensure the damage is minimised.
- Ensure that the area has adequate drainage and is regularly aerated.
- Fertilise on a regular basis to speed up the repair process
- Undertake mowing on a regular basis but don’t cut the lawn too short.
- Soil conditioners such as gypsum may be added to aid the recovery.
- Fence off areas to reduce traffic during the recovery process.
- If you are replacing some of the turf make sure that you choose a hardy variety, such as “Sir Walter” Soft Leaf Buffalo.
- Regulate the moisture levels to make sure that the traffic area receives enough water during hot weather.
Overall try to reduce the amount of wear and tear to any one area of the lawn. Take a different path to the clothes line when possible, enclose the dog in a different section of the yard from time to time, move the trampoline and other sporting and entertaining equipment around each time you mow or water. This is a particularly important aspect during winter when many lawn varieties are dormant or are in their non-growing phase of the year.
Keep in mind that lawn in shaded areas will take longer to recover than lawn with full or large amounts of daily sunlight, consider placing outdoor furniture and the kid’s toys out of the shaded, grassed areas.
If you are just about to lay new turf consider having a turf reinforcement system included at the installation phase. Grass rings and turf cells are options that are designed to protect high traffic areas from soil compaction.
Grass rings are placed under the lawn to provide stabilisation and endeavour to prevent compaction of the root system.
Turf cells work to reinforce and stabilise lawns and prevent soil compaction.
Most turf reinforcement systems available are made from 100% recycled plastics and can protect your lawn from damage in the future. Talk to your local turf supplier for more information about options for preventing damage in high traffic areas of your lawn.