A large percentage of parenting is making sure your kids are safe. You keep brightly colored, highly toxic chemicals out of reach; you lock down toilet lids and cabinet doors; and you always have one eye on your little ones, making sure they’re not harming themselves in some other, unforeseen manner.
However, when it comes to lawn care, it is more often your family lawn, not your kid, that needs protection. To ensure that your grass keeps growing even as your little ones do, read on for some lawn care tips for families with kids.
Move Activities Around the Lawn
There are several ways that kids do harm to your family lawn, and the primary one is compaction, which occurs when a lawn is heavily trafficked. Children are creatures of habit; it’s typical for a child to head to the same corner of your lawn to engage in play, and doing so causes the soil beneath the play area to compress around the grass’s roots. This makes it exceedingly difficult for water and other nutrients to permeate the soil, meaning your lawn might not be getting the sustenance it needs to grow properly. Over time, the tight, compacted soil can squeeze your grass to death.
There are a couple easy solutions to this problem. The first is to ensure that all areas of your lawn receive a near-equal amount of use. If you have outdoor toys, try to move these toys around to different parts of the lawn every day or once per week. This is especially important if the toy is large, like an inflatable swimming pool, which not only causes compaction but also blocks out sunlight. By rotating where your kids play, you can reduce the impact of compaction and keep your lawn healthier.
Give Kids a Lawn-free Place to Play
Grass provides a soft, cool place to play, but it shouldn’t be where your kids play every day. It’s not a good idea to build swing sets, slides, jungle gyms and other play places over your lawn for the same reasons as above — compaction and restriction of nutrients — as well as issues like gouging holes in the turf or introducing foreign pests. Instead, you should encourage your kids to play elsewhere in your back garden, where they aren’t in any danger of killing your family lawn.
There are a number of safe alternatives to grass that provide comfort and appeal. Pea gravel is a common choice because it is affordable and low-maintenance, but you might also consider rubber tiles or wood chips. Finally, if you like the look of a lawn beneath your kid’s play space, you should weigh the pros and cons of using artificial turfgrass in that part of your garden.
Make Family Lawn Care Part of Kids’ Chores
When you give kids responsibility, they tend to take it seriously. If you task your kids with caring for your lawn in small and specific ways, it’s likely that they’ll be more conscientious with how they treat it on a day-to-day basis. Of course, not all lawn care chores are kid-friendly; you should assign jobs based on skill level and maturity.
Teens can do essentially any lawn care job that an adult can do; kids should be tasked with smaller responsibilities, like turning on the sprinklers; and toddlers might not be able to do more than pick up their own toys. Even if you do dole out a few weekly lawn chores, you should probably make use of a trusted lawn care service provider, like TruGreen.com, to understand how to keep your lawn as healthy as possible.
This is because a healthy lawn is inherently better equipped at fighting off the ravages of children than an unhealthy lawn. If you are introducing kids to a lawn that is already ailing, it is likely to go into shock and die from over- or improper use. No matter what, you will need to work harder to keep your lawn in better shape when you have little humans — unless you hire a service provider to shoulder all lawn care responsibilities — but starting with as healthy a lawn as possible is a good way to reduce headaches and heartaches into the future.
Do you struggle to keep your family lawn looking healthy? Do leave a comment and share. If so you may also find these tips on bringing your lawn back to life useful.
*This is a collaborative post