Minimizing Traffic on Your Home Lawn to Save a Tender Yard
Out of all the popular home landscaping media, nothing quite matches the visual appeal and luxury of sod grass. The highly-esteemed emerald tableau and cushioned texture never go out of style. With their inherent properties as a desirable ground cover, healthy lawns beg us to come play and relax across their welcoming expanses.
However, like the proverbial cake that you cannot both eat and continue to possess, lawns can suffer under heavy use. Constant traffic compacts the soil and damages the blades, a double-whammy for turf grass. Before you know it, your thick, verdant carpet thins out and feels hard under your feet. How do you deal with this conundrum? Deploy the following two-pronged solution for a reverse double-whammy, and you can maintain a thriving, alluring home lawn.
Unless you’re hosting weekly soccer matches, most of your lawn will sustain the normal wear and tear from frolicking children and pets. It’s those areas where paths develop that need true protection. You could ask your letter carrier to abstain from cutting across your lawn, and you could ask your dog to abandon its patrol of the fence line, but your odds of success may be a tad limited. Creating barriers to easy passage will divert traffic flow to sidewalks and allow the grass to recover. A few ideas to consider include:
- Rope Barriers. To keep feet off the grass for a limited time, such as after re-seeding, an inexpensive rope barrier may be all you need. Since they’re anything but attractive, you can remove them once the location has filled in.
- Picket Fences. A decorative picket fence too high to easily surmount could send a gentle message to those who eschew sidewalks when they much prefer the quicker route.
- Hedgerows. Narrow and well-manicured hedges not only add to the interest of your landscaping, only the incorrigibly determined would attempt to push through for a shortcut.
- Motion Sensor Sprinklers. For those four-legged creatures unable to follow human commands, handy motion sensor sprinklers can speak in a language they understand perfectly.
- Crocodile Moat. We jest, of course. Please refrain.
- Pave Natural Foot Paths. Let’s face it: You want to take the path of least resistance as much as the next person. If the configuration of your yard fosters natural foot paths that even you utilize, it’s time to lay down some pavers and let nature take its course.
Install the Right Type of Turf
The second prong of preserving a healthy lawn involves cultivating a turf developed specifically to handle traffic well in the first place. Fortunately, many of the warm season grasses at home in Florida can sustain fairly heavy use without too much trouble, unlike the cool season varieties grown in northern regions. However, sodgrass researchers, such as those with whom Duda Sod works closely, continually improve upon the native plants to enhance the qualities desired by homeowners, commercial landscape architects, municipalities and sports organizations.
Tested under real-life applications, two attractive varieties rise like cream to the top of the list of wear-tolerant grasses.
This dense, low-growing grass can go dormant to survive a drought, then green up once again after the dry spell passes. Coupled with its ability to survive extreme heat and dry conditions, bermudagrass handles heavy traffic with tenacious style. Not surprisingly, it also craves full sun. This variety may struggle in areas of your yard that spend hours in the shade every day.
Zoysiagrass takes heat without complaint, but prefers not to go thirsty for long periods of time. As a well-rounded variety, it grows in shade — although slower than the areas receiving days of full sun — and will scarcely blink an eye under the activity to which your family subjects it.
Duda Sod grows four cultivars of these rough and tumble sods.
- Icon Zosyia — Popular for sports fields, commercial uses and homes
- Empire Turf — Favored for sport facilities, parks, golf courses, homes and commercial enterprises
- Celebration Bermudagrass — Also prized for sports fields, municipal parks, golf courses, homes and commercial spreads
- Tifway419 Bermudagrass — Again, preferred as sporting, commercial, golf and residential lawns
You can nurture a blue-ribbon lawn with a sod of a lesser quality by minimizing traffic across your yard. But you can actually retain your pastry and devour it, too, by installing a hardy, super traffic-oblivious turf from Duda Sod.