Grass is a very durable substance; it can survive very dry spells and ‘recover’ once it receives water, and it can also recover from water logging. That said, it can suffer lasting damage after being subject to heavy levels of foot or vehicle traffic when wet as it gets flattened and compacted into the soft earth beneath.
Excess water, such as that caused by sudden or prolonged bouts of rainfall or poor drainage, is a real problem if grass is used in this state.
Alleviating the moisture levels is important, and pricking or slitting the surface can help, although deeper spiking is better where holes some 10-15 cm deep facilitate efficient drainage as the water runs from the compacted top layers to the less compressed layers below.
General winter damage through heavy periods of rainfall, frost and general lack of sunlight means a lawn can be vulnerable in heavier traffic situations. For example, some golf clubs will close the course at certain times in the winter months – after a heavy frost for example – so as to prevent damage that could affect the quality of the course’s ‘playability’ in the more popular spring and summer months.
Protecting the surface
The obvious way of protecting vulnerable grass is simply not to use it, but this isn’t always possible. It may act as an access to other areas – for example, a home office in an outbuilding or shed in the garden – or maybe traffic has to pass over grass at an outdoor event such as a concert of garden party.
In these cases a Geogrid – a kind of plastic grid – can be put over grass to help protect it. Lightweight and easy to install to most shaped lawns and grass areas, they offer a viable option. For areas where cars will be parked, you can also use Tufftrak, which provides additional structural support to protect your ground surface all year round.