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What to Keep In Mind When Landscaping For Backyard Playsets

July 25, 2018

Summer is the perfect time for enjoying the outdoors, but keeping the kids entertained with the same old toys can prove to be difficult at best. Taking them to the park day after day is not always possible. This leaves many parents searching for a way to bring the playground to their house and nothing helps more than a backyard playset. However, before you can start building out the perfect playset, you need to make sure your yard and landscaping are ready and able to accommodate the structure. Your local Denver landscaping companies want to help you get your yard ready. Here are a few important considerations to keep in mind when installing a playset in your backyard.

Figure Out Where It Needs to Go

Play structures take up a lot of space and finding the right place to build them can be a challenge. Think about the parts of the yard you use most already and decide how you want the playset to fit with your current use. Ideally, the structure will be close to the house and visible from inside so you can keep an eye on the kids while working inside. Regardless of where you choose to build, the site needs to be level and clear of debris. Keep in mind, you may need to remove some features of your landscaping in order to accommodate the structure.

There are more safety hazards in the yard than you might imagine. Before you start preparing the area, you’ll need to make sure the chosen spot is far enough away from obstructions. Putting the structure too close to the fence puts your kids at risk for injuries while swinging. Installing it too close to a tree with low-hanging limbs puts the structure at risk for damage during storms and heavy snows. Whenever possible, pick a spot that’s far away from these hazards. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least six feet of free space around each side of the playset. This will give your kids the freedom to run around without getting hurt.

Make Sure the Space Is Level

Once you find the right space, you’ll need to make sure the ground is as close to level as possible. Building a playset on an unleveled piece of land will make the playset unbalanced and unsafe for kids. The last thing you want is for the playset to wobble when your kids are sliding or climbing on the equipment. Some homeowners will find that they’re lucky and have an almost completely level area in the yard without any prep work. However, most will have to remove grass, rocks, and debris, compact the dirt, and level the area by hand before starting to assemble the playset. Your landscaping team may be able to help you with this.

Protect the Landscaping You Love

Like it or not, a backyard playset means your kids will be running around the yard even more than they did before it was installed. While this is great for their health and your mental wellbeing, it can take a heavy toll on your landscaping and garden beds. Before you start work on the playset itself, you’ll want to take steps to protect the plants you love most. Install fencing around the beds your kids shouldn’t have access to and consider letting your landscaper install raised beds to keep the flowers out from beneath the feet of your kids’ rambunctious friends. The harder it is to access those areas, the less likely it is that your plants will be damaged.

Pick the Right Groundcover

Leaving the ground cover around the playset as hard-packed dirt is just as dangerous as building it on unlevel ground. Instead, give your kids something softer to land on that won’t impact the rest of your landscaping. Rubber mulch is ideal for younger kids that are more prone to falls and scrapes as the material cushions the impact when they trip. However, for older kids or homeowners that are especially concerned about maintaining a manicured and natural look in the yard, wood mulch is ideal. If you love the look of grass and want to regain the feel of a plush lawn throughout the yard, have your landscaping company lay sod around the playset. Once it’s established, your kids will have a plush carpet of grass to roll in.

Frame It Out

If you’re worried about keeping your kids out of the landscaping and away from potentially hazardous areas of the yard, build a border around the playset. This will give them a visual marker for where they’re allowed to play and where they need to show a bit of caution and spatial awareness. If you’ve filled the playset area with mulch, the border will also help keep the mulch in place. However, if you’ve opted to put grass back in, you’ll want to choose the right border material. Raised edges are great, but they can be a tripping hazard for younger kids as they run around. Instead, consider flat paving stones around the perimeter. This way, they’ll be less likely to trip over the border as they play.

Keep Up With Tree Trimming

The more time your kids spend outside, the more likely you are to notice the little details around your yard. Schedule pruning appointments with your landscaping company throughout the year to keep bushes from becoming overgrown and hire a tree trimming expert to periodically assess the health of the trees in the backyard. Low-hanging limbs can be dangerous, but catching diseased or dying areas of the trees is just as important when looking for ways to keep your kids safe.

Diseased and damaged limbs often fall unexpectedly. When your kids are out in the yard, that falling branch can cause severe injuries. The sooner an experienced arborist can inspect the health of your tree, the faster they’ll be able to isolate the damage and help maintain that shade cover you worked so hard to cultivate.

Need help restoring your landscaping to its former glory after building a playset? Don’t panic. Let the team at Arbor Garden help. Our dedicated staff will work to get your trees and landscaping back in shape for a fun summer outdoors. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.