In-ground pools can be expensive. If you want to escape the summer heat with friends and family, your next best option is an above-ground pool. However, if you have natural grass lining your backyard, you might wonder whether it will kill your grass or not.
Above-ground pools have a high chance of killing natural grass, and there aren’t many options to avoid this. You can try to keep your grass healthy by placing a tarp beneath the above-ground pool and moving the pool often. Take care of the grass after the pool has been moved.
Are you thinking about getting an above-ground pool but are concerned about the natural grass that will sit underneath? Then you’ve come to the right article. Below, you will find out whether or not above-ground pools kill grass, plus a few tips to help avoid the inevitable.
Unfortunately, there is a high likelihood that your natural grass will die beneath an above-ground pool. This is especially true if your above-ground pool is larger and holds more water. But why?
There are two contributing factors that cause natural grass to die underneath an above-ground pool.
The first is the weight of the pool filled with water. A gallon of water weighs approximately 8.34 pounds. So, even a smaller pool at 12×30 holding 1,718 gallons will easily weigh over 10,000 pounds. That’s a lot of pressure on the fragile greens underneath it!
Secondly, above-ground pools require certain chemicals to keep them clean, sanitary, and functioning – just like an in-ground pool. These chemicals are great for your pool but not so great for the grass underneath. Your grass will slowly die off as the chemical-laced water routinely spills over.
Above-ground pools lead to unlivable conditions for your natural grass. It’s not all bleak, though. There are a few steps you can take to possibly prevent the above-ground pool from killing your grass.
Placing a tarp underneath the above-ground pool will create a barrier that prevents the chemicals from reaching your natural grass. It won’t do too much to take the edge off the pressure of the filled pool, though, so you’ll need to take additional steps to protect your lawn.
The best way to keep your grass from dying underneath your above-ground pool is to move it regularly.
Now, this will be easier if you have a small, inflatable pool that won’t need emptying before moving around. If you have a small pool that is easily transported, move it every few days.
Medium to large-sized above-ground pools don’t have the luxury of being moved. Yet, if you’re determined to keep your grass from dying, you must move the pool every one to two weeks. Expel some of the water before attempting to move the larger pool.
If you’ve left your above-ground pool sitting on the natural grass for two weeks (but no longer than two weeks), it will have gone dormant. This means that the grass is not dead yet, but it’s headed in that direction.
At this point, you’ll need to water the area, pull any weeds hanging around and mow it, reduce foot traffic for a few weeks, and fertilize the space. This will help to bring the natural grass back to life, ready for its next “beating” from the above-ground pool.
This may not be a feasible option for most, but if you’re determined to place your above-ground pool on “grass” and don’t want to worry about killing it, you’ll need to swap your natural lawn for an artificial product.
Artificial grass will not respond to an above-ground pool like natural grass. At the most, the blades will flatten, but this is an easy fix. All you need to do is brush the blades backward, so they stand up again.
Keeping natural grass healthy underneath an above-ground pool can be challenging – if not impossible – especially if you have a very large pool.
In situations like this, the better option may be to avoid the grass entirely and place the pool on a hard surface that won’t get ruined.
That depends on one factor: how long the pool was sitting on the grass.
When smothered by an above-ground pool, grass goes dormant as quickly as 24 hours and will die in two weeks or less.
So, if you leave your above-ground pool sitting atop your lawn for the entirety of the summer (three or four months), your grass will have died at this point and will not grow back, even with the proper steps of mowing, watering, and fertilizing.
If you believe your grass has died from the above-ground pool, you must re-seed it. Place seeds in the dead grassy area. Then, cover it with a layer of dirt. Finally, keep the space well watered to grow new grass.
Pool water does not automatically equate to a dead lawn. Pool water may contribute to grass death, though. This is especially true if your pool contains undiluted chlorine or other harsh chemicals or is a saltwater pool.
Regular chlorine water shouldn’t have too big of an impact on the grass. However, it can still pose a risk in excess amounts.
The other issue with pool water is the weight. So, while the chemical makeup of the pool water may not cause your grass to die, the weight of the water may smother it, leading to a perished lawn.
The unfortunate truth is that there is a high chance that your above-ground pool will kill your natural grass underneath.
The only real way to avoid this is to use a tarp underneath the pool and move it regularly, ensuring it doesn’t stay in one spot for longer than two weeks.