If you are considering putting a trampoline up in your yard, then one question you might be asking is will it kill the grass beneath it?
It isn’t actually a straight yes or no answer and the answer is influenced by a number of factors.
Some people will find that a trampoline will ruin their grass, whilst others will find their grass will grow faster under a trampoline.
So the key is to work out which category you might fall into, and how you can best manage that patch of grass beneath your trampoline.
So let’s get started…
Do Trampolines Kill Grass?
Trampolines can kill grass, but they can also make it grow faster. It all depends upon the climate of the area that you live in and the needs of the grass you have and how well these two factors fit together. Trampolines reduce sunlight and moisture, in some scenarios this can be good for grass in others it can be bad for it.
So as alluded to in the introduction above, it isn’t a simple yes a trampoline will kill the grass beneath it or not it won’t.
Much will depend upon where you live, the type of grass you have, the size and type of trampoline you have, where the sun hits your yard each day, and a number of other factors.
For some people a trampoline will kill their grass, for others it will make it grow faster.
Let’s start by looking at the first scenario.
SCENARIO #1: How a Trampoline Could Kill Your Grass
A Lack of Sunlight
There are two main things most grasses need to grow and one of them is sunlight.
Sunlight allows grass to produce chlorophyll, which gives it its green and lush look.
As you can imagine having a large object placed over the grass means that it doesn’t get the much-needed sunlight.
If you have an older trampoline, this might be even more of a problem.
That is because older trampolines use pure rubber mats, which let very little to no sun through.
More modern trampolines are made from polypropylene, which filter sunlight and allows some to pass through.
A Lack of Moisture
The other main thing both warm season and cool season types of grass need to survive and thrive is moisture.
If you’ve ever experienced a long, warm and dry spell during the summer you might notice that your grass begins to die.
That is because whilst it is getting the sunlight it is not getting any rain.
With the huge canopy of a trampoline covering it, your lawn will be deprived of that water and can die.
It Depends On What Kind of Grass You Have
The type of grass and the climate of the area you live in plays a big part in how it copes under a trampoline.
If you live in the north of the US or any area where it is colder, grass like Fescue is more likely to survive under a trampoline as it is both cold and shade tolerant, so it will be less bothered by the lack of sunlight and moisture.
If you live in the south of USA or any area where it is warmer, something like Zoysia or St. Augustine grass is more likely to survive as they are shade and heat tolerant, and have low water requirements.
Each type of grass has different requirements and needs, so if you have a sun-loving grass it will not do well under the shade of a trampoline even if it gets enough water.
The size and weight of a trampoline can play a part in ruining (or not) your grass.
It goes without saying that a small trampoline will block less light and rainfall and be less of a problem for your grass than a large trampoline.
On top of that larger trampolines are heavier, and there is a risk of them sinking into the ground and stressing out the grass, causing it to die.
As alluded to already the trampoline mat itself is a consideration.
Some mats might diffuse and shade the grass, keeping it cooler, whilst others might radiate heat, baking the grass and killing it.
How To Stop A Trampoline From Killing Your Grass
Ok if you are finding that the grass beneath your trampoline is dying, then there are a few things you can do to reduce the likelihood of this happening.
Plant the Correct Grass Type
We mentioned above how certain types of grass thrive in certain conditions.
Broadly speaking in colder areas Fescue grass has the best chance of surviving under a trampoline, whilst in warmer areas, Zoysia or St. Augustine is your best bet.
Try overseeding under the trampoline with one of these.
Move the Trampoline Regularly
The easiest way to solve the problem is to move the trampoline regularly.
When you do this you will allow the grass that has been under it some time to breathe and grow.
Of course, this is dependent upon you having a nice, flat spot somewhere else in your yard that can be home to the trampoline for a while…
Put A Sprinkler Underneath It
If your trampoline is too big to move, or there is nowhere to move it to, then placing a sprinkler underneath it can provide the grass with the moisture it needs.
As long as the mat and frame covers are in place it won’t damage the trampoline, but just make sure the trampoline isn’t wet when anyone is jumping on it as that can be a hazard.
Sink the Trampoline Into the Ground
You can pay to have your trampoline sunken into the ground.
After all, if you bring the trampoline down to ground level, then there is no grass underneath it to die.
This is probably the most expensive option but it will solve the problem, and also means it is less dangerous if anyone falls off of the trampoline whilst jumping on it.
SCENARIO #2: Why Grass Might Grow Faster Under a Trampoline
Again this depends largely upon where you live, the type of grass you have and the trampoline you have.
Most cases where grass grows thick and lush under a trampoline occur in warm climates or transition zones.
And this is generally because the trampoline diffuses the harsh direct sunlight, but doesn’t filter it out completely.
So whilst the grass around the trampoline is feeling the full force of the sun’s rays, the grass under the trampoline is enjoying diffused light and lower temperatures.
The shaded spot will also help the grass retain moisture in harsh conditions.
In other words, the shade is preventing the grass from overheating and drying out and actually creates more favorable conditions for it to survive in.
So yes trampolines can kill grass, but they can also make it grow faster.
It will be influenced by a number of factors including what the climate is like where you live, the type of grass you have, what type of trampoline you have, your own gardening habits and more.
If you are finding the grass under your trampoline is dying, then it means that the grass needs more sun and more moisture.
And there are some simple steps you can take to address this, such as moving your trampoline regularly or putting a sprinkler underneath it.
But in really hot conditions the trampoline can diffuse the strong rays of the sun and have a beneficial effect on the grass.
Either way I hope this explains the situation for you, happy bouncing!