Growing a Beautiful Lawn in High-Traffic Areas
Lawns are a desirable feature to have around homes and businesses, but they also require a steady amount of maintenance. Areas that experience heavy foot or vehicle traffic, like golf courses and walking paths, often need even more attention than the basic maintenance that most lawns are able to survive on. Left unattended, grass in these areas can experience declining health and difficulty recovering from damages caused by compacted soil and worn-down plants.
Here’s some ways to avoid letting a beautiful lawn go to waste from high foot traffic:
You can build your lawn so that it doesn’t become as impacted from people walking on it. Some of the things you can do are 1) Replace the lawn with grass with a variety that endures foot traffic more easily, or 2) replace it with mulch or gravel.
If you decide to go with replacing the grass type, you’ll have to determine whether you have cool-season or warm-season grass on your lawn. If you have cool-season grass, use a mixture containing turf-type tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, or perennial ryegrass. For warm-season areas, zoysia and Bermuda grasses are highly tolerant varieties against heavy foot traffic.
Sod and plugs are other grass forms that offer a stable foundation to growing traffic-resistant lawns. Plant them in warm season areas from May to September when establishing a new lawn.
In some cases, it may be easier for a high-trafficked lawn to be covered by non-grass material, like gravel or mulch. This is especially the case if you have a backyard playground and children, or event spaces that require guests to walk across the lawn. Placing pebbles or mulch helps protect the soil while offering a new appearance.
If you’d still prefer having a green lawn, use groundcover plants around pathways to continue having green around the home, but with tougher plants that withstand foot traffic and don’t require as much watering or maintenance.
There are some preventative steps you can take to avoid lawn damage altogether. The most obvious way to avoid foot traffic is to stop people and pets from walking across it. Cordon off your lawn with ropes or signs directing people to walk around or take another route. Apply treatment that repels dogs from walking across or defecating on your lawn.
If foot traffic is unavoidable, make sure to aerate your lawn frequently with a punch-core aerator. This helps keep the soil from becoming compacted, which can prevent water, oxygen, and nutrients from reaching the plant roots.