Will a Paddling Pool Ruin the Grass?

Will a Paddling Pool Ruin the Grass?

If you’ve got a paddling pool and a patch of beautiful lawn you may well be wondering Will a Paddling Pool Ruin the Grass?

A paddling pool placed on grass will begin to kill the grass within a matter of days no matter how heavy your pool is. The inflatable pool will cut out sunlight, water and oxygen which will lead to the grass dying.

Why Will a Paddling Pool Ruin the Grass?

Grass, like every living plant, needs oxygen, sunlight and water to survive and grow. Once you prevent any of these things, the grass will slowly die and within a matter of days, the grass underneath your pool will become ruined.

How to Stop your Paddling Pool Killing the Grass

There are a number of methods that can help if you are wondering how to stop your paddling pool killing the grass.

The best way to stop your paddling pool killing the grass underneath it is to move it to a different location every couple of days.

Moving you’re paddling pool every couple of days allows the grass time to recover. However, although this is the best option, in reality, it may be difficult for you to simply move your inflatable pool.

If you have a small paddling pool then moving it can be a really easy task but if you have a large paddling pool, you’ll find the weight once filled is quite substantial. You may not want to empty out a lot of water to be able to move it.

Another obstacle to moving your inflatable pool may be space. If your paddling pool only fits on a certain area of your grass then you will obviously be limited as to how much you can move it.

May people recommend putting something under the pool to help to stop it damaging the grass. Now although many of these seem like they may help, if you’re planning to leave your pool set up for some time, no matter what you put under your pool the grass will still suffer.

The only exception to this is to replace a section of grass within your lawn with a pad or section of artificial grass where your pool can sit.

If you are really worried about your grass then the only other foolproof way to protect your grass is to find an alternative location for your pool. Other common paddling pool locations include on a patio, artificial grass and on decking.

You can read more about each location in our related articles Can You Put a Paddling Pool on a Patio?, Can You Put a Paddling Pool on Decking? and Can You Put a Paddling Pool on Artificial Grass?.

Does the Type of Grass Matter?

Some types of grass can perform better undercover and will recover faster than others. However, irrespective of which type of grass you choose time spent under a pool will always cause your grass to die over time.

What Happens to the Grass Under a Pool?

The grass underneath a pool will usually go dormant after a couple of days with no sunlight, water, and air. After this, the grass will slowly begin to die and after two weeks you’ll find that the grass will begin to rot and smell like manure.

At this point, there is very little chance of you saving your grass and you will have to start again however there are steps you can take to help your grass recover within this time.

How to Help Your Grass Recover

If your grass is dormant and has only been covered for a couple of days then you can follow the following steps to help it recover.

  • 1) Water
  • 2) Airate
  • 3) Remove Weeds
  • 4) Cut the grass
  • 5) Fertilize
  • 6) Keep off the grass

1) Water the Grass

As we’ve already stated, if you cover your grass you starve it of oxygen, water, and light. Therefore, one of the first things you need to do is to rehydrate it but do not drown it!

2) Airate the Grass

Aerating the grass will ensure you get plenty of oxygen through it. Using a garden fork or aerator is perfect for this job.

3) Remove Weeds

If there are any weeds under the pool then remove them straight away. Weeds will steal any nutrients, water and air that is meant for the grass so if you remove them before you start you’ll save a job later on.

4) Cut the Grass

This may seem like a strange one but cutting the grass will promote growth so make sure you give the whole lawn a good cut all over once the pool is packed away.

5) Fertilize

Fertilizing your lawn is much easier than you think. Don’t bother with any chemicals from the garden centre. Instead, simply leave your grass cuttings on the lawn and these will naturally help your grass to recover.

6) Keep off the Grass

One of the main things to remember is that damaged grass will not recover if you and your children keep walking or playing on it. Leave your grass alone and give it a little time to recover without being trampled.

How to Deal with Dead Grass

Dead grass is a little more difficult to deal with. The main issue is that you’ll notice that the grass under the pool will begin to smell rotten or like manure. The smell is caused by the rotting process and can take some time to disperse.

However, the steps you need to take to deal with dead grass are very similar to those you take to help your grass recover with a couple of slight differences.

  • 1) Dig and Rake
  • 2) Aerate
  • 3) Remove Weeds
  • 4) Cut the grass
  • 5) Re-seed
  • 6) Fertilize
  • 7) Water
  • 8) Keep off the grass

1) Dig and Rake

Rake and dig up any completely damaged and moldy grass. This will help to stop the nasty smell and promote healthy growth going forward.

2) Aerate the Grass

Aerating the grass will ensure you get plenty of oxygen through it. Using a garden fork or aerator is perfect for this job. This will also have been aided by the digging and raking in step 1.

3) Remove Weeds

If there are any weeds under the pool then remove them straight away. Weeds will steal any nutrients, water and air that is meant for the grass so if you remove them before you start you’ll save a job later on.

4) Cut the Grass

As in the damaged grass, cutting the lawn will help to promote good growth throughout the whole lawn and not just that patch of grass.

5) Re-Seed

Don’t be stingy when it comes to re-seeding. Spread the grass far and wide and don’t forget to feather the seeds into the existing lawn. The last thing you want to do after all this hard work is to end up with a really patchy lawn.

Don’t forget to buy the best grass seed you can afford and try to ensure its of a similar type to prevent it looking patchy.

6) Fertilize

Unlike in the grass recovery section, when you are replanting grass seed, ideally, you’ll want to use some property lawn feed and fertilizer to help the grass grow.

7) Water

When you’re re-seeding a lawn you need to make sure that you regularly water it to ensure the seed grows properly.

8) Keep off the Grass

To help your lawn grow back, keep off it! It really is as simple as that.

Will Pool Water Kill The Grass?

If you just have good old pool water in your paddling pool then no, pool water will not damage the grass. If however, you have chlorine or water treatment in your pool then this could cause issues.

To find out more about how pool water can damage your lawn and plants, take a look at our Does Chlorine Kill Grass and Plants? article.

Conclusion – Will a Paddling Pool Ruin the Grass?

If you’re really worried about your pool damaging your grass then the only way you can fully stop any damage is by finding somewhere else to put the pool.

Failing that you will need to move your pool every 24-48 hours to prevent the grass underneath from dying.

Worst-case scenario and your pool damages the grass, follow our steps to promote recovery and growth of your grass!