Earlier this year we answered the question can you put garden tables and chairs on gravel but somebody recently contacted the Lazy Susan Customer Service Team after reading that article to ask can garden furniture go on grass?
So, this month we wanted to take a closer look at all things Poaceae:
Poaceae or Gramineae is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses. It includes the cereal grasses, bamboos and the grasses of natural grassland and species cultivated in lawns and pasture. The latter are commonly referred to collectively as grass.
The term lawn, referring to a managed grass space, dates back to at least the early 16th century, and according to Wikipedia:
Linked to suburban expansion and the creation of the household aesthetic, the lawn is an important aspect of the interaction between the natural environment and the constructed urban and suburban space.
In much of the UK there are actually bylaws still in place that require homes to have lawns, and that as homeowners we must adhere to the ‘proper’ upkeep of our lawns.
Now, I’ve not heard of these laws being enforced, but for those of us with lawns, the quest to get the perfect green carpet can become somewhat of a preoccupation. Maintenance aside, the garden lawn as we know it today also has somewhat of an interesting story behind it...
Many historians believe that the garden lawn can be traced back as far as early medieval times, with many settlements having an area for communal grazing of livestock that was distinct from the fields that were solely for agriculture.
On Wikipedia the popular etymology of the word ‘lawn’ is believed to be as follows:
The word ‘laune’ is first attested in 1540, and is likely related to the Celtic Brythonic word lan/llan/laun, which has the meaning of enclosure, often in relation to a place of worship.
They go on to say that:
In medieval Europe, open expanses of low grasses became valued among the aristocracy because they allowed those inside an enclosed fence or castle to view those approaching.
It wasn’t until the late 17th and early 18th century that the closely cut lawn became what we know and love today. The Jacobean period is largely credited with elevating the lawn to a status symbol of wealth, and this when we arguably started the British obsession with gardening in general.
At the start of the 18th century the lawn entered its true golden age. Under leading landscape heavyweights like William Kent and Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the manicured lawn was pushed front and centre in their high profile landscape designs.
Again, according to the garden lawn entry page on Wikipedia:
Before the mechanical lawnmower, the upkeep of lawns was possible only for the extremely wealthy estates and manor houses of the aristocracy. Labor-intensive methods of scything and shearing the grass were required to maintain the lawn in its correct state, and most of the land in England was required for more functional, agricultural purposes.
It goes on to say that:
This all changed with the invention of the lawnmower by Edwin Beard Budding in 1830. Budding had the idea for a lawnmower after seeing a machine in a local cloth mill which used a cutting cylinder (or bladed reel) mounted on a bench to trim the irregular nap from the surface of woollen cloth and give a smooth finish. Budding realised that a similar device could be used to cut grass if the mechanism was mounted in a wheeled frame to make the blades rotate close to the lawn's surface. His mower design was to be used primarily to cut the lawn on sports grounds and extensive gardens, as a superior alternative to the scythe, and he was granted a British patent on 31 August 1830.
From the 19th century, the cultivation of lawns became somewhat of an British obsession. The rise in popular sports such as cricket, etc also played a key role in it gaining popularity. However, the shift to suburbanisation in the interwar period was probably the biggest driver in the rise in popularity of the well manicured lawn.
Can you put your Lazy Susan garden furniture on grass?
So as much as we love our lawns here at Lazy Susan, when it comes to placing garden furniture on grass, we have to be honest, they are not always the best of friends.
Garden furniture is best placed on a firm, flat, even surface such as stone pavers or a timber deck.
This will provide it with the stability our tables and chairs need. Nobody likes to sit on a wobbly chair or put drinks down on a rocky table.
In terms of the garden furniture itself, ours is painted with a protective finish, so you’ll not damage it by placing it on your lawn, even if the ground is wet.
Other materials such as timber and plastic, it is best to never place them on grass for too long in our opinion.
Timber could potentially soak up moisture from the soil beneath and that could lead to big problems.
Plastic/resin pieces on the other hand are highly susceptible to staining from the grass itself (especially if the furniture is a white/light coloured PVC).
However, the big issue with placing garden furniture on grass is you will potentially damage your lawn...
The feet on garden tables and chairs will leave indentations and damage both the flat surface and the blades of grass themselves.
If left too long in once place you could cause the grass to yellow and possibly even die if it’s starved of sunlight and moisture for too long.
Our advice, only put garden furniture on grass if you have no other option.
It should only really be a temporary solution, long term we would suggest you lay a patio or some decking, something more permanent to enhance, frame and showcase your furniture.
How can you protect grass when you want to put garden furniture on it?
If you do have no other option, and if you want to keep your lawn healthy, then move the furniture around regularly to different parts of the garden. And we would say no more than 2 to 3 days in one place during the summer months.
The good thing about Lazy Susan garden furniture is that it is sturdy in construction but cast aluminium is light enough that two people can easily pick up even our large 10+ Seater Garden Tables to relocate. Chairs and the smaller tables are a one person job.
The other reason many people want to place their garden furniture on grass is if they’re having a garden party or to position themselves where the sun is shining.
If this is the case there are a number of steps you can take to help protect your lawn.
A well established lawn can take a fair bit of punishment to be honest.
Even if they do end up a little yellow, a little TLC (lawn feed, seed and a good drink of water) will often bring it back in no time.
If on the other hand we are talking about recently laid turf or seeded, then probably best not to let anybody walk on it, let alone place garden furniture on it.
Of course, this is all a moot point if you’re not too fussed about your lawn.
However, many of us are. It is why we have paths and patios in our gardens, so we can keep the lawn looking tip top.
If you have pets, you might be on to a losing battle too, but our advice there would be again go solid surface.
At the end of the day, we invest a lot of time into our lawns and gardens, so it would be folly to undo all that by damaging it with a garden chair.
If you do want to want to put garden furniture on your lawn for a party or to soak up the sun as at moves during the day, then there’s a few steps you can take to minimise any potential damage.
Preparation is key if you want to put garden furniture on it
If you’ve got a garden party planned, then our advice would be to give your lawn a little TLC 2 to 3 days before the day of the party.
Cut, weed, feed and water it…
But don’t cut it too short and don’t be tempted to cut it on the day of the actual party too.
A little length will help protect the soil underneath and leave the lawn nice and soft under foot for your guests.
At this time of year we need to be watering and feeding our grass on a weekly basis, making sure that the water is getting down deep into the soil/roots.
If you have the time it is also worth aerating your lawn 2 weeks before the party with a Hollow Tine Aerator that you can pick up for about £20 online or in your local garden centre. If you have a large lawn, then you can hire a powered aerator from the likes of HSS and Hire Station.
Unsure of what to do, then video below from Greensleeves Lawn Care will explain all:
The video below from Lawns Across America also has some more specific tips for getting your grass ready for a garden party:
If you feel you need to water the grass on the day of the party, do make sure there’s a good few hours for it to dry. You don’t want your lawn turning into Glastonbury. Likewise, if it rains, best move people off.
The key to a healthy lawn is to mow little and often. Twice a week if you can at this time of year. It will encourage growth and keep the lawn looking lush and green.
Protect it with Grass Protection Mats
Another option is to give your lawn a little extra protection on the day of the party with a protective mesh or a Flexi-Deck style temporary composite decking such as the Easy Click Wooden Interlocking Tiles from Garden Style on Amazon.co.uk (shown below).
And Don’t forget it will need a little TLC after the party too!
Don’t leave any rubbish, etc on the lawn, clean it up as soon as you can. Just in case any drinks were spilled, give the grass a good feed and water the following day too. Any furniture on there, move it off or to another part of the garden, give the grass where it was sat a chance to recover.
If you do have a garden party and your Lazy Susan furniture is all set on your lawn, then we’d love to see a few snaps for our Do Some Good charity campaign...