Installing a gazebo on your lawn is a good idea, especially if you plan to relax at home with your family on weekends. You can use it as a venue for parties or any kind of gathering. It is a multi-purpose structure, but it also brings negative effects on your lawn.
Generally, a gazebo sits on top of the ground surface, so it can definitely kill the grass. The grass’ death is not due to the weight of the structure, although it barricades the sunlight and rain that contribute to the growth of grass. Luckily, you can preserve the life of your grass.
In this article, we will discuss how to prevent your lawn from dying, as well as ground cover ideas, and the mistakes to avoid when gardening around your gazebo.
Also read: Patio Umbrella vs Pergola.
How to Prevent Your Lawn from Dying
A gazebo is a beautiful structure to construct in backyards and parks. Aside from its aesthetic, which can enhance a place, it also serves the great purpose of providing shelter, specifically for rain and relaxation. Having a gazebo in your backyard can offer several advantages, but you must oversee its effects on the grass as well.
Indeed, a gazebo is likely to kill your lawn. To prevent this from happening, there are several solutions, one of them being not lettings the gazebo on your lawn for the whole year.
You can uninstall your gazebo if you want to and cover up the dead patches of grass by using pea gravel and flagstone. You can also put moss on top of the rocks to wrap the dead areas. With such, you will no longer be able to see the patches since they will be fully covered, which brings back the green features of the lawn.
In terms of the protection of the grass underneath the gazebo, the main factor you should watch out for is the type of gazebo you’ve installed. Some gazebos don’t have floorings, while others require you to have a floor. Since the problem arises due to the blockage of elements for grass growth, the solution is to install an open-floor gazebo.
Gazebos without floors may not be guaranteed to avoid damages to the grass since they need a roof foundation. Patches of dead grass will still probably appear. Although this might sound ineffective, it is better than putting up a gazebo with a floor, which could kill large areas of grass.
Gazebos with open floors may expose patches of dead grass. You can use ground covers to conceal these dead spots. If you are still hesitant regarding covering the lawn on your own, you can consult an expert to give you insights if you prefer to install a gazebo flooring on top of the grass.
Ground Cover Ideas to Put Under Your Gazebo
A gazebo usually covers the lawn with its roof. To ensure you still have a good looking surface, you can install pavers or pea gravel and flagstone as a ground cover. You can also plant shade grass and creeping plants in between stones and pavers.
- Pea Gravel and Flagstones
One of the most common ground covers for your gazebo is pea gravel and flagstone. The pea gravel will serve as the foundation of flagstone to provide stability of the tables and chairs on top of it. But first, you need to flatten the pea gravel and align it to the surface of your lawn.
When setting up the flagstones, make sure they are surrounded by the pea gravel underneath. They must be placed near each of the stones, only leaving a small space in between them. This way can provide you with decent and flat flooring to step on.
If you don’t have pea gravel, you can use rocks instead, such as tumble glass, river rocks, and even just standard gravel. These rocks will not only provide you with a smooth ground but can also make a solid foundation for your gazebo.
Another option for your gazebo’s ground cover is pavers. The main types of pavers are bricks, stones, and concrete. These three can provide your gazebo with a uniform and smooth ground surface.
Since you already know what bricks look like, you are aware of the stability pavers can provide for your chairs and tables. Although pea gravel and flagstones are great options as well, pavers are more stable on flat surfaces. Both types of ground covers are substantial depending on the style of gazebo you want.
To install pavers, all you have to do is place them beside each other while avoiding enclosing the space and leaving a bit of it so you can plant the ground cover. Some pavers allow you to interlock each brick and are easier to install. However, this may not allow you lots of space for the plants.
You can purchase pavers in different colors, styles, and shapes, giving you the freedom to design the ground surface of your gazebo.
- Mosses and Thymes
If you’re looking for a plant ground cover to incorporate into the ground surface of your gazebo, mosses and thymes are good options. These plants can withstand a light number of people stepping on them. It’s a good choice to plant on your gazebo to cover the spaces left between the pavers and stones.
Dichondra is a genus of the morning glory family called Convolvulaceae. This type of plant usually regrows during spring, which fits the use of your gazebo. Aside from being perennial, this plant also develops creeping stems when it grows.
Dichondra can live under partially shaded spaces. Since a gazebo has a roof, it’s a smart option to use this plant on the ground. Mowing Dichondra will make it grow thicker, and if you decide not to trim it, it will stay put to its original thickness or size.
- Creeping Plants
Like with Dichondra, we advise you to associate creeping plants under your gazebo as they can tolerate and grow under shade. Once you’ve installed the flagstones and pea gravel or pavers, you can start planting creeping plants in between them. Note to always leave spaces when installing these stones and pavers.
And what if you want to plant a variety of creeping plants as ground cover? You can plant different kinds of plants if you do so in a chessboard style, meaning that you alternately use assorted types of plants with the pavers or flagstones serving as separation to each of the squares.
Make sure to level the ground cover and creeping plants to avoid stumbling when walking on the gazebo. Creeping Sedum and Creeping Jenny are highly recommended to plant together with ground cover under the gazebo.
- Shade Grass
Shade grass is another type you can use. As its name suggests, this type of grass can grow, even if it lacks sunlight in the morning or the afternoon. Some examples of this kind of grass include St. Augustine, red fescue, and many others.
You are not required to fertilize shade grasses frequently. Those grow slowly and don’t need to be trimmed regularly.
Mistakes to Avoid When Gardening Around Your Gazebo
To prevent killing the grass on your lawn, try to adjust where to put the gazebo to allow sunlight and redirect the water from heavy rains. Avoid using pop-up gazebos on permanent plants to prevent damages to them. Also, attract bees away from the gazebo by putting up plants that allure them to a different area.
- Allow sunlight for your grass
The primary enemy of grass is if you install a gazebo in the shade it provides. It covers the sunlight that is supposed to hit it for its development. When installing a gazebo, you must keep in mind where the sunlight hits at a certain hour of the day, so your grass isn’t deprived of it.
If you choose to put shaded grasses or creeping plants, then sunlight won’t be a problem since those can even grow with partial shade. Some lawn owners prefer to use other types of grass, so you should first check whether the area you plan to install the gazebo offers sunlight or not.
- Weather circumstances
Aside from sunlight, grass also needs water to grow healthily. Since a gazebo has a roof, chances are that the rain will directly drain from its roof onto a certain spot, which will soak the grass and will damage that specific side of the lawn.
Also, a roof can damage the grass during heavy rainfalls. Water will indeed accumulate on a certain part of the lawn, which will kill your grass. Therefore, you simply cannot prevent this natural circumstance.
Since grass is covered by the gazebo’s roof, you must water it regularly. Keep in mind not to overwater it as it doing so kill the grass. Just ensure it is properly hydrated.
- Using pop-up gazebo to permanent plants
Having permanent plants where you want to set your moveable gazebo will damage the plants that are established in the foundation of the gazebo. That means that if you uninstall a creeping plant growing around the pole of the gazebo, the plant will be affected, or worse, damaged, and then die. That is why a permanent gazebo is a better option for permanent plants.
Using a moveable gazebo may require you to consider several factors. If your permanent plants are planted in a pot, you should transfer them to a different area. Whenever possible, those who have permanent plants on the ground should avoid using this kind of gazebo.
The most important thing to keep in mind is the health of your plants. You never know whether small damages will turn into huge ones and affect other plants.
- Bee-attracting plants
A gazebo is a place where you rest and enjoy time with your family. Unfortunately, sometimes, bees attack people’s dinners inside the gazebo, which is very annoying and dangerous. To counter this situation, the first thing you should know is whether the plants around your gazebo attract bees or not.
Bees are not bad insects. In fact, they are a huge help in the pollination of plants. The only problem arises if they attack you with their sting. With such, you shouldn’t get rid of them nor kill them.
A great way to direct bees to another area is to put up plants that attract them to a different area in your lawn. In other words, instead of planting them near the gazebo, it is smart to transfer your plants so bees will follow the plant and leave the gazebo alone.
- Gazebo placement
A gazebo can be placed on top of a patio or any ground surface located away from the grass. In this way, the gazebo won’t deprive the grass of sunlight, which won’t harm the grass, keeping it completely healthy from the outdoor elements it needs for its growth.
Although gazebos are usually installed on top of the grass, you can put yours in a different area. That is a wise way to prevent killing the grass since you’re not going to touch it. If you prefer your grass to be green and lively, you better look for a more appropriate place than your lawn to install your gazebo.
Before you install a gazebo on your lawn, make sure to plan everything out. You should consider the factors that affect the grass so they won’t damage your lawn. With proper care and the right measures, you can protect your lawn, even if you are using a gazebo.