What is a grass driveway?
A grass drive is not merely a lawn that runs from the street to the garage; it’s an area of reinforced grass designed to withstand vehicular traffic.
The reinforcement can come from two factors: the species of grass used and/or a system of plastic rings or grid.
What’s the best use?
Grass driveways are really only appropriate for low traffic areas. The plants are too easily damaged, and once they die, mud (in wet areas) or dust (in dry areas) becomes prevalent and problematic.
Grass is ideal for use in conjunction with other materials to reduce the amount of hard surfacing and increase the permeability of the soil. For instance, when a concrete driveway has a grass strip running down the middle.
What maintenance is required?
Looking after a grass driveway is much like looking after a lawn - cutting, watering, and fertilising are all regular tasks that will need to be seen to.
In addition to these tasks, repairs may be required. Tyre tracks will need to be aerated with a garden fork or similar implement. When tyre tracks can be seen, it means the dirt has been compressed and the air that roots need to breath has been squeezed out. Aerated with a fork lets that air back in again.
Areas where grass has died will need to be reseeded and traffic kept off the affected area until the grass is re-established.
What are the minimum and maximum grades?
Although grass driveways are porous, they still need at least a 1:100 slope to ensure water that can't be absorbed straight away drains off.
The maximum grade of grass driveways is more limited than most other materials. Grass, even when reinforced with plastic cells, provides little traction for cars and other vehicles. It is advised to keep the slope under 1:4 - even less if possible.
How is it installed?
Installation will depend on many variables. At the most basic level, a grass driveway can simply be seeded like a lawn, but the resulting driveway will be damaged easily.
To provide additional reinforcement, plastic cells can be laid on the ground, filled with earth and then sown with seed. These cells take the weight of the vehicle and protect the grass and, more specifically, it's roots. Installation of such cells is simple and easily with the abilities of most DIYers.