Having play equipment in the backyard is a great way to encourage the kids to spend time out in the fresh air, but this equipment can cause damage to your lawn if not dealt with in the correct way.
A staple of many south-east Queensland backyards, a trampoline offers hours and hours of fun but with that come a few issues with the lawn below that you should watch out for. Where the legs of the trampoline sit can cause patches of dead lawn and compacted soil. The mat of the trampoline can also cause the lawn below to receive limited sunlight. Move the trampoline around the backyard on a regular basis to limit the damage. The idea here is to not shade any one area of lawn for too long.
The area underneath a well-used swing set can be subjected to soil compaction so it often requires a bit of extra care and attention. Move the swing set around the yard on a regular basis, if possible, and aerate the lawn below as required.
Backyard cricket pitches usually receive a lot more traffic than other areas of the lawn so it’s important to keep an eye on it and increase fertilising and aeration as appropriate.
Football, Soccer Goals
Like with cricket pitches, football or soccer goals can receive quite a large amount of punishment and traffic. Where possible, move the goals around to limit the damage and keep on top of fertilising and aeration. Moving the goals around is also important as the lawn underneath the actual goals will not receive an adequate amount of sunlight and can suffer accordingly.
Again, basketball hoops can block vital sunlight to the lawn below and the area surrounding can have the lawn torn up and the soil compacted so keep on top of fertilisation, aeration and move the hoop around as much as possible.
Now this is a harder piece of backyard equipment to deal with purely because they are harder to move around on a regular basis, but it you can move it regularly then you should do so. Whether the cubby house sits right on the lawn or it is elevated, it will cause damage to the lawn below because the required sunlight is unlikely to reach where it needs to be. Often the best you can do is to ensure that the cubby house does not impede on the growth of the lawn around it. And then when the kids are too old for cubby houses, replace the patch of lawn with new turf.
As with cubby houses, sandpits are often permanent fixtures and so should be situated so as to not impede on the growth of the rest of the backyard lawn. You could also consider a less permanent option like that below which can be moved around on a regular basis. This option has the added bonus that it can be zipped up to stop local cats getting in and making a mess where your children play.