Summer may be almost over, but if you have a swing set on your lawn the fun doesn’t have to end. You may have invested in a swing set over the summer to get the best out of your big backyard. By extension, you may be wondering how to mow the grass around your swing set. This article will tell you all you need to know about cutting the grass around your child’s new play place.
This article assumes that you have done some landscaping for your swing set already. We will not be covering selecting a plot for your swing set, what materials to use, how to level your lawn, and so forth. Many people do serious terraforming when setting up their play places. Doing the landscaping for your playground equipment would be an article in itself.
That said, there are a few things you should consider when making your plot in the first place:
- Obstacles such as hoses, fences, power lines, and so forth should not be near your play area. Putting your swing set too close to these may endanger your kids. Please consider this before putting up any play equipment.
- Borders are common around more elaborate swing sets. Think about the border when you mow.
- Some substrates are more susceptible to grass growth than others.
If your swing set is just a swing hooked onto a tree branch, or something else simple like that, you probably have not done much measuring.
Tree aside, things will be easier to move. If you want to mow around an area with this kind of swing, the best solution is to move the swing before you mow. Safety first!
Isn’t Grass Enough?
If that blurb about landscaping surprised you, you may have bought a swing set without doing any of the terraforming mentioned above. And part of you may also be wondering, “why not just use grass? Isn’t that enough?” Not really, no. If you have an elaborate swing set, your children risk falling from ten feet or more. Grass barely covers 3’ of fall damage. Many people with swing sets opt for materials such as mulch or rubber because they cushion falls better.
Tips to Cut Grass Around a Swing Set
Ideally, there should not be any grass around your swing set at all, but mistakes still happen. Mulch and borders will not prevent all the grass from crossing into your play area. Here are a few tricks that will let you cut the grass around a swing set more easily:
Mind Your Borders
Some borders are easier to mow over than others. If you made borders around your swing set with small bricks, you probably will not have any issues mowing around it. Treat this border like you would any other when mowing.
The problems come with other, less sturdy types of boundaries. Plastic borders are at risk of being devoured by your lawnmower. This can damage your mower and, naturally, destroy the border you put up. Don’t use plastic landscape edging for your play areas if you are afraid of running them over with your mower.
Watch Your Hoses
This may seem like basic advice but clear any hoses away from the area around the swing set before mowing. If you have anything like a pool or water slide around the swing set, disconnect it. While you do this, check for other stray objects that could get caught in your mower; kids leave things everywhere.
Use Grass Shears
Another option is not using a mower at all. Grass shears are used for more precise trimming around gardens and on lawns. If you see weeds or grass popping up between the pieces of mulch beneath your swing set, a grass shear will fix that.
Beware of using grass shears around wooden play equipment, however. You don’t want to cut your swing set while trying to preen it!
Landscape Fabric (and Mulch, Borders, etc.)
If you read about mulch earlier and regretted not thinking of that, there is no time like the present to fix it. Pin landscape fabric over the area. Wait for all the grass there to die. Then, apply mulch or another substrate. You will not have to worry about mowing for a while!
Ideally, you will not need to mow around your swing set at all. If you set it up correctly in the first place, there should not be much grass near your equipment; substrates like mulch or rubber keep the majority of grass and weeds out of the area.
But if you placed your swing directly on your lawn, you may struggle with mowing around it. Make the area as clean as possible, then mow as you usually would around any obstacle. If you have only a few weeds or tufts of grass, consider using grass shears or otherwise removing them individually. And finally, if you thought grass around your swing set was a mistake, it’s never too late to fix that with landscape fabric and mulch.