When it comes to driving on lawns the best recommendation is to try and avoid it if at all possible. Understandably there will be times when it can be unavoidable; a backyard shed with minimal access, or extra parking when you’ve got a crowd over. The boat, caravan and box trailer as well will all get to run over the lawn on occasions.
Compaction is one the most critical things when it comes to lawn health and trying to relieve compaction is one of the biggest jobs that commercial and professional greenkeepers deal with on a regular basis. Looking at the design of your yard and the area that needs to be transversed by vehicles is a good place to start and keep in mind that a vehicle parked for any lengthy period will likely kill the grass underneath. Look at some pavers or stone-flagging work; some stepping stone arrangements into the lawn can work well, even bricks or broken pavers in a mosaic-type pattern can look good also – certainly better than bare dirt. Keep in mind any oil leaks or other fuel spills will also spell the end of good-looking-lawn in those areas so paving at the business end is worth considering.
If it’s a temporary solution you’re after, there are a number of new turf-reinforcing-type products on the market, without having to go the stadium reinforcement degree. Most stadiums are built on a hard base, even concrete, with drainage the main consideration. Gravel, geotech-membranes, sand and a special reinforced layer of proprietary brand-name configurations then go over the top before the turf. Netlon, or Strathayr plastic fibres are usually mixed into the top layer that the turf roots grow and bind into and provide a surface that will take a lot of punishment – think monster trucks. These systems can go into the hundreds of dollars per square metre and would be a bit of overkill for most home yard situations but there are a number of alternate products that work on the same type of principle to help prevent compaction. Concrete reinforcement blocks, plastic grating, and newer plastic expanded mesh products available from landscape suppliers all work to some degree, but keep in mind that they are for temporary parking or access.
If you want to look at turf for a permanent parking solution, it’s a sad thing to say, but you’ll probably need to look at some other surface covering other than turf.