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Should You Walk on Grass
Should You Walk on Grass


Does Walking On Grass Kill It?

Can I Walk On My Grass and Not Kill It?

Many times we see signs that say “Keep Off the Grass”! Maybe you have wondered what is the big deal with walking on grass? Does walking on grass actually kill it? I have had this question also. I wanted to find out the truth. After some research, I finally found the answer. You can now know if you have been allowing others to destroy your grass by simply walking in it.

Does walking on grass kill it? Walking on grass does not kill it. This is good news for all of us! Grass is very resilient. It can survive if it is damaged. The grass blade has different parts which assist its ability to weather harm. The part of the grass responsible for growth is at the base of the grass blade. This is what assists with keeping the grass alive regardless of people damaging the grass through walking or something else.

There are many other factors to consider when attempting to keep your grass healthy and alive. In this post, we will examine other things that can happen that might damage your grass. We will discuss things such as regular traffic or driving on grass, frozen grass, grass with low moisture, and overseeded grass. Knowing how each of these situations affects your grass is key to maintaining your lawn’s health and longevity.

What About Regular Foot Traffic On My Grass?

How does regular foot traffic affect my grass may be a question that has come across your mind when thinking of how walking on grass could kill it. Regular foot traffic or even driving on your grass can be damaging.

Why is regular traffic or driving on grass so different than walking on grass? The answer lies in the effects of repeated walking or driving on the grass. This repeated stress to the grass could cause the soil of the grass to become compacted. Compacted soil is something you do not want to deal with.

If your soil is compacted the soil particles become so packed together that there is no space between them. This affects your grass negatively. It can reduce drainage in your lawn which can lead to flooding. It also becomes extremely hard for moisture and nutrients to reach the roots of your grass. This can lead to your grass becoming severely damaged or dying.

Another issue that might be of concern depending on your location is frozen grass. Frozen grass is very fragile. You will need to be extremely careful if your grass has frozen over. Walking on frozen grass causes your frozen grass blades to become damaged and fracture. Another thing constant walking on grass can lead to is not enough moisture in the grass. Low-moisture grass will not have much spring and will stay flat when walked on.

Lastly, if you have overseeded your lawn walking on it will create patches without grass! You actually need to avoid walking on your grass for at least four weeks with a newly seeded lawn. The grass needs to be established to the point that it can be mowed without issue. This is something you do not want to deal with. There are many things to look out for based on the specific condition your grass may be in.

Dealing with Compacted Soil

As I previously mentioned, compacted soil can be a major issue when attempting to maintain grass health and durability. The key to sustaining the life of your grass is making sure that you do what is necessary to stop soil compacting from happening. Compacted soil can lead to water running off instead of being fully absorbed into the grass.

Compacting also reduces the amount of oxygen available to the grass. You will know that your soil is compacted if you see pooling or puddling of water in certain areas, water running off of the grass (not being absorbed), bare areas where grass and even weeds will not grow, and areas too hard to drive a shovel into the ground. These are just a few of the effects of compacted soil.

To bring back the health of your soil one thing you can do is aerate your lawn. This will help loosen the soil particles. This can be done by yourself or a professional lawn company. Another way to treat this type of soil is using a heavy-duty roto-tiller. This will overturn the topsoil layer of your ground.

However, this treatment will cause you to have to reseed or resod your entire lawn after the treatment. This treatment is necessary only in the most severe cases. If you regularly aerate your lawn, major issues with your soil compacting should not be a problem.

Problems with Low-Moisture Grass

If you are having problems with low-moisture grass due to regular foot traffic there is help available! Aeration is key to maintaining a vibrant and healthy lawn. You must water your lawn on a regular schedule.

Also, the type of grass you plant can affect moisture levels. If you plant drought-resistant grass such as St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Zoysia your grass will fare better and retain moisture. You will also need to minimize stresses on your lawn. This includes regular foot traffic on your grass and driving on your grass.

How Does Walking Affect Your Newly Seeded Lawn?

Walking on a newly seeded lawn is very detrimental to your grass. Seeding your lawn can become necessary at times. However, you need to be extremely careful to not allow walking on your grass when first seeded.

Walking on your grass too soon can destroy it. Newly sprouted seeds are extremely fragile. Allow your grass to grow tall before mowing or walking on it. Immature grass can be crushed by mowing or walking on it too early. You have to be extremely careful when seeding your lawn so you do not destroy your hard work.

After seeding, when you see no viable sprouts, do not walk on the lawn. When you have seeds that have begun to sprout, do not walk on the grass. When your grass reaches three inches tall and has been mowed weekly you can allow limited walking on the grass as appropriate.

When the lawn has been mowed three to five times you can allow regular walking traffic without damaging your lawn. If you follow this advice you will be able to maintain the integrity of your lawn.

Walking On Frozen Grass

If you live in a cold-weather area, frozen grass can be a concern for maintaining a growing lawn. Frozen grass is very delicate and fragile. You need to know how to deal with this type of grass. Walking on this type of grass can kill your grass blades!

The good news is that you can make a plan to maintain the life of your lawn. This plan can begin with allowing the sun to melt your frozen grass. This will help in maintaining your grass regrowth. Next, water your grass.

The cold seasons can affect your soil and watering the grass will help needed nutrients get to the roots of your grass. Go back to regular mowing of your lawn once your grass starts to grow again. Lastly, make sure that you regularly rake any dead grass away. You need to make sure that your grass will be able to grow back in the most conducive environment for its success. If your grass continues to suffer after several cold seasons, you may need to contact a local professional for additional insight.

Related Questions

Are there any benefits to walking on grass?

Walking on grass can actually be beneficial to your health. Who knew? Research has shown that walking barefoot on grass can decrease inflammation and associated pain. Reducing inflammation helps oxygen-rich blood flow better through your body. There are other benefits to walking barefoot on grass to your eyesight and nervous system. Even with these potential benefits, you must be careful not to have regular foot traffic which can eventually ruin your grass. 

Will my pet walking on my grass kill it?

No, but you will still need to practice some of the tips this post mentions to maintain the health of your lawn. You must be very careful with pets and your lawn. If you use chemicals to treat your lawn you must not allow your pets on the lawn and follow the manufacture’s directions on your product. Another concern is if your pets use your lawn as their bathroom. This can be detrimental to the health of your lawn. You must encourage your pet to go to another area or when your pet has finished, promptly remove their waste. Leaving pet waste in your lawn can lead to your grass dying in certain spots (where waste is left). As a pet owner, you must be careful regarding your pets’ use of your lawn. 

Will bird droppings negatively affect my grass? 

Bird droppings are simply annoying! They are a nuisance that we have to learn to live with. However, bird droppings can be detrimental to your lawn. The problem occurs when the bird dropping decomposes and the acidic substance left can affect the pH of your soil. Others also say that bird droppings can act as fertilizer to plants.


Written By

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for American Lawns. I've been a home owner for over 15 years. I've also had the pleasure of working with some experts in lawn care and outdoor living. I enjoy writing about everything related to your lawn, pests and types of grass. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.