Need to improvise an outdoor seating space? Or maybe you just don’t feel like building a deck or patio? Garden furniture shouldn’t normally sit directly on grass but there are a few exceptions. What type of furniture you use matters, as well as how long you keep it there.
There are both pros and cons to placing garden furniture directly onto grass. Let’s start with the cons.
Reasons not to put garden furniture on grass
Putting garden furniture on grass can cause damage to both the grass and the furniture, get in the way of watering and mowing the area, and give rise to other inconveniences you may want to avoid.
It will damage the grass
The legs of the tables and chairs will damage the grass if they sit on it for more than a few days. This is true even of garden furniture made of plastic. You may end up with mottled patches of yellow and brown grass.
The area will also get extra foot traffic, which means you’ll unavoidably trample the grass. Four-legged pets can further add to the damage since they’ll likely hang around your seating area while you’re there.
So, unless you plan to move the furniture around the garden every week or so, the grass will suffer.
It won’t be even
Even if your garden looks even, chances are it’s not. Blame it on the soil and the tufts of grass growing at their own natural pace. Some parts of the soil can also hold moisture better than others, which can make the legs of the furniture sink into the earth.
The result will be an uneven angle. Even if this won’t make glasses and bottles spill over the tabletop, you’ll notice the slant once you start eating. You can add to this the bother of having to pull the chairs out of the earth each time you use them.
It may slip or topple
Most garden furniture is designed to be placed on firm, level ground. When you place it directly on grass, it may slip or even topple over if you bump into it.
You probably don’t want that to happen when you have guests around—much less when the table is covered with dishes and bottles.
It may get damaged
More than damaging the lawn, placing garden furniture on grass can damage the legs of the furniture itself. You’ll have to water the grass, and the constant exposure to water can lead to rot in wooden furniture. Metal garden furniture may rust.
Even if your garden furniture is resistant to rot and rust, it can still sustain damage because of the constant contact with water and soil.
It’s at the mercy of the wind and rain
Grassy locations are unlikely to be the most sheltered spots in your garden. Strong winds can upset or damage light garden furniture made from plastic, PVC, aluminum, or rattan.
Even if the wind is not a problem, the furniture may be exposed to the rain and inclement weather which in time can fade or damage it.
It will get in the way when you mow the lawn
When the time comes for mowing the lawn, you’ll likely have to move the table and chairs to do a proper job. Since in the summer you may have to mow twice a month or more frequently, it’s going to be a pain.
Even if you use a robot lawnmower, it will likely bump into the legs of the furniture and the result will be below average.
It’s going to cause other small inconveniences
Wet feet, dirty shoes, insects creeping up your guests’ legs—you can expect these inconveniences as well. They’re not fun-breakers, but they may make you wonder why you didn’t put that table and chairs on a dry, level, insect-free surface.
Reasons to put garden furniture on grass
So far, we’ve talked about why it’s not a good idea to have grass under your garden table and chairs. But there are also some advantages to this setup, so it’s only fair to mention them. These include convenience and lower costs.
It saves you time
If you have a small garden or don’t sit outdoors all that much, creating a paved seating area may be too much trouble. It may also get in the way of your layout or design. For example, you may prefer having a larger green patch than sacrificing some of it to build a paved area or deck.
In this case, you can find garden furniture you can place directly on the grass. If you don’t keep it for too long in the same spot, you can prevent serious damage to the grass while creating an inexpensive sitting area.
It works as a temporary solution
If you’re in the middle of redesigning your garden, placing outdoor furniture directly on grass can be a temporary solution. It will let you enjoy your garden without too much hassle.
And if the current grassy area will become a flower bed or vegetable garden, you can stop worrying about damaging the grass since you’ll dig the area anyway.
It saves you money
Paving an area for your garden furniture or building a deck will add to your expenses. Furniture on grass works if you’re looking for a quick and affordable way to create a corner where you can relax in your garden.
Garden furniture you can put on grass
You can find garden furniture for grass that lets you enjoy the benefits of this setup while minimizing the problems we’ve noted above. Some of the best garden furniture that can go on grass includes outdoor tables and chairs with wide feet, lightweight garden furniture, and plastic furniture for the garden.
Outdoor furniture with wide feet
Wide feet prevent the furniture from sinking into the earth. They can also reduce the damage to the grass. Both the table and the chairs should have wide feet. These also provide more stability on uneven ground.
Lightweight garden furniture
The lighter the load the grass has to bear, the better. That’s why you want to avoid placing heavy furniture on the grass, regardless of the type of feet it has.
Whether you opt for rattan, aluminium, PVC, or wood, consider the weight of the table and chairs. If you choose wood, go for a light wood like cedar.
Plastic garden furniture
Plastic is one of the best types of garden furniture for grass because it’s lightweight and doesn’t rot or rust. It’s also easy to install and move.
Any furniture you can move around
Garden tables and chairs designed to be easy to move are another good choice. That’s because you’ll be able to easily relocate the furniture to another spot in your garden before it can damage the grass.
Inflatable garden furniture
Inflatable lounge chairs and air sofas may not be the most stylish option around. They can also take up quite a bit of space.
But if you need something convenient and easy to move, they can work. You can pair them with a low plastic table and place them on grass without worrying too much about stability.
Tips for putting garden furniture on grass
Follow these simple tips to set up your garden furniture on the grass while minimising damage to it.
- Make the ground level before if you can. Add some soil to uneven areas and sprinkle some grass seeds over it to reduce mud.
- Avoid placing chairs on very soft soil—the legs may sink too much into the ground when someone sits on them.
- Don’t let the legs of the table and chairs sink deep into the ground if they can rot or rust. Pull them out after use.
- Make sure the table is reasonably level by placing a glass on it and filling it with water. Does it pass the test?
- Aerate the grass if it gets a lot of foot traffic. You can use a manual tool for the task.
- Don’t keep the area under the chairs and table soggy or you may invite rot or rust.
- Move the furniture around every week to avoid long-term damage to the grass.
- Consider using temporary outdoor flooring. Interlocking teak or acacia wood flooring can add more stability to your table and chairs without the investment of a deck or paved area.
The wrap up
In the end, try to avoid putting furniture on grass if you can. If you don’t have another option, choose lightweight garden furniture with wide feet and move it around. Your grass will thank you for it by staying green and healthy. And you won’t have to worry about damage to the furniture either.