If you're like most new homeowners, you're probably looking forward to having your very own outdoor living space. You'll be able to engage in activities such as spontaneous backyard football games or volleyball, and you're probably also excited to have the opportunity to share your home with a furry friend or two and host outdoor parties. However, you might not yet be aware of the ragged appearance a lawn develops in the aftermath of backyard football games, parties, and other activities involving high traffic. Outdoor pets can also wreak havoc on a lawn. Fortunately, you don't have to decide between having an appealing lawn and having fun with family and friends. Following are three strategies designed to keep a lawn looking good through times of high traffic.
Limit Activity When the Ground Is Wet
If you can avoid making mud while recreating on your lawn, you've already won half the battle. It's much easier to damage the root zones of lawn grass when the ground is wet, so give the water a chance to evaporate after it rains or after you water your lawn. If you've got something scheduled for a day that's also your regular day for watering your lawn, postpone watering until the next day. If you notice problems with lingering dampness in your lawn, have it checked for drainage issues by a turf management professional. Options such as French drains may be recommended to help prevent water from pooling in low-lying parts of your lawn.
Hardscaping is anything in your outdoor living space that isn't vegetative, and installing the right type for your particular situation is an excellent way to keep people's feet off your lawn. If you plan on doing a lot of backyard entertaining, installing walkways will help keep people off the grass. If you've got active children in the household, have a play area installed and put playground mulch down, and if you've got outdoor dogs, put in a fenced-in kennel area to keep them from destroying the grass.
Follow Best Practices for Maintaining a Healthy Lawn
A healthy lawn is a sturdy lawn, so keeping your lawn as healthy as possible is a great way to make it less vulnerable to damage caused by activity by humans and domestic pets. Water thoroughly once per week to promote deep roots — shallow roots are more easily damaged — and be sure to remove weeds as soon as they emerge because their roots can overwhelm and weaken the roots of your lawn grass.