Whether you have a trampoline already and are concerned about your nice green grass, or you’re considering buying one for your kids, there’s a lot to consider. Chances are you’ve heard horror stories of a trampoline killing the grass in your neighbor’s backyard. And unless you know a lot about grass or you’re a landscaping expert, you’re probably wondering if the rumors about trampolines killing grass are true.
Trampolines can contribute to the death of grass, but there are simply too many variables to say “yes” or “no” definitively. The fact is that where you live, the type of grass you have, the type and size of trampoline you have, and your watering practices can all affect the health of your grass.
Luckily, we’ll get to the bottom of whether trampolines kill grass and what you can do to prevent it in this article. So read on to find out more!
What Causes Grass to Die Under a Trampoline?
There are several factors that can cause the grass underneath a trampoline to die or become spotty. As you can probably guess, the two biggest are exposure to moisture and sunlight. But there are other facts too, such as the type of grass, the size of the trampoline, and environmental factors.
Exposure to Moisture
Everyone knows that grass needs water to grow and thrive. So anytime you introduce something that keeps moisture from getting to the grass, you risk killing it or making it unhealthy. Some trampoline mats (the stretchy area you bounce on) let more moisture through than others. Luckily, if your trampoline mat doesn’t let much moisture through, there are some things you can do to ensure your grass is getting enough water, which we’ll cover below.
Exposure to Sunlight
Just as water is an essential factor for grass health and growth, sunlight is just as important. And chances are your trampoline is going to block a significant amount of sunlight from getting to the grass. Of course, this depends on where the trampoline is situated in the yard and whether the sun will ever be at an angle to shine on the grass underneath.
Type of Grass
The type of grass you have growing in your yard is also a big factor in whether a trampoline will end up killing it. Some grass types are more shade-tolerant than others, which can help you determine proper trampoline placement and grass care.
Size of Trampoline
The size of your trampoline is also a big factor. The bigger the trampoline, the more grass it will block from getting sunlight and possibly moisture. Larger trampolines are also harder to move, which is a good tactic for keeping the grass in your yard healthy. More on that later.
Where you live can be a big factor in the health of the grass underneath the trampoline. Environmental factors such as average temperatures and rain can also affect the growth of grass in the shade of a trampoline.
Keep in mind that when you place a trampoline on grass, the legs will likely sink into the lawn a little bit. This can end up creating a kind of divot under the trampoline where water can pool. And too much water can be just as bad for grass as too little, so it’s important that you ensure proper drainage around the trampoline.
Can Grass Grow Better Under a Trampoline?
Before we get to ways to keep a trampoline from killing grass, it’s worth noting that it’s possible for grass to grow better under a trampoline. The most common reason for this would be overly hot temperatures that would otherwise pull moisture from the grass. In instances like this, the trampoline can actually help protect the grass. This, however, is not the norm.
How to Keep a Trampoline from Killing Grass
Now that you know what causes grass to die under trampolines, let’s talk about how to prevent that from happening.
Place the Trampoline Strategically
If you’re able, try to place the trampoline somewhere in the yard where the sun can slant in under it in the morning or afternoon. The more sun that is able to reach the grass, the more likely you’ll be able to keep that grass healthy. Of course, if it’s unseasonably hot and dry, you may benefit from keeping the grass underneath the trampoline in as much shade as possible.
But for most of the year — and for most people around the country — the more sunlight on the grass, the better off it will be.
Move the Trampoline on a Regular Basis
Another great way to prevent the trampoline from killing the grass is to move the trampoline regularly. This won’t be so important if you are able to manage the tip above, but it still won’t hurt.
Most of the time, you can get away with moving the trampoline every one or two weeks. Whenever you mow the lawn is a great time to move the trampoline to another location, if you have the room in your yard to do so. This will allow any damaged grass to get healthy again, keeping it from dying off.
Make Sure the Grass Gets Enough Water
Many people are worried about getting the trampoline wet and so they end up neglecting the grass underneath. However, quality trampolines are designed to hold up to the weather, so you shouldn’t worry about getting it wet. You can even put the trampoline on top of a sprinkler to ensure that the grass there gets enough water.
If you have automatic sprinklers that don’t adequately water the area under the trampoline, you’ll want to water it yourself to make sure it doesn’t die. And as long as it’s also getting enough sun, you should be good to go!
Choose the Best Grass for Under a Trampoline
Another great way to prevent a trampoline from killing the grass is to get the best grass for the job! There are many different types of grass, and some of them need less sunlight than others. But the type of grass that will benefit you depends on where you live.
If you live in an area that has cool-season grass, meaning most of the northern United States, you’ll be better off with fescue grass.
If you live in a warmer area, such as most of the southern United States, you’ll be better off with shade-friendly warm-season grass like St. Augustine.
If you live in a more temperate zone, such as most of the middle United States, you can choose either one.
Seed the Grass Regularly
Keep an eye on the grass under the trampoline. If it starts to look like it’s fading or becoming unhealthy, you can seed the grass or use grass feed to provide the area with nutrients. For best results, move the trampoline out of the way for a few days to allow the area to get some sun, as just seeding the area won’t do much without Sol’s rays.
Alternative Solution: A Grass Mat
If this all sounds like too much for you, there’s another option: a grass mat. These mats of fake grass can be just the answer you need if you don’t want to worry about the grass underneath the trampoline. You still get the look as if your entire lawn is healthy, but instead of having real grass underneath the trampoline, you have fake grass.
If you plan on keeping the trampoline for many years, this could be the best option. Any grass under the mat will die, but you can always re-plant the grass whenever you get rid of the trampoline and no longer need the fake grass mat.
Trampolines can kill grass, but it’s not a foregone conclusion. Some grass is more resilient than others, so having the best grass for your area can help you keep that greenery healthy. But no matter the type of grass you have under your trampoline, you’ll still want to make sure it gets adequate water and sunlight. This may mean moving the trampoline from time to time or placing it in a place that gets a few hours of sun in the morning and evening hours.
I hope this article has helped you determine how best to take care of the grass under your trampoline. Thanks for reading!