How to Fix a Lawn to Park Cars

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Having a long driveway doesn't guarantee that there's enough room for all the cars in your household. Parking on the lawn is always an option, but after the first rain your once beautiful lawn will become a muddy mess. Rather than creating a whole new driveway, an easier way to add extra parking space is to create a gravel track to park an extra vehicle or boat. Since this is a labor intensive task, recruiting some friends to help with the digging will make the work easier.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Spray paint
  • Turf edger
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • 2- by 10-inch pressure-treated lumber
  • Sand
  • Leveling ruler
  • Gravel
  • Grass seed
  • Measure the distance between the wheels of the car that will be parked on the lawn. Record the distance between the inside edge of the wheels and then the outer edges of the wheels. This will tell you the minimum width of the tracks and the maximum distance between the two tracks that will make up your new parking space.

  • Map out the area where you're going to add the additional parking. Using the measurements as a guide, outline a pair of parallel tracks in spray paint. Don't make the tracks the exact width of the tires; allow for extra room on both sides.

  • Cut along the spray painted lines with a turf edger. This gives your tracks a clean edge and makes removing the sod easier. Shovel out the grass that's within the track marks. Load the removed sod into a wheelbarrow so that it can easily be transported to a loading site for later disposal. Keep the bottom of the tracks as level as possible, checking it occasionally with a leveling ruler.

  • Dig grooves along the edges of the trenches that are roughly 3 inches wide and 7 inches deep to support the wooden edging.

  • Spread a 1-inch layer of sand along the bottom of the tracks and into the grooves.

  • Place the 2-by-10-inch pressure treated lumber into the grooves. Keep the ends of the boards flush with one another and check that they're plumb by using a leveling ruler. Fill in the extra space around the boards with sand so they remain stable.

  • Fill the tracks with gravel. Shovel it in a small amount at a time, tamping it down with the flat of the shovel to compress it as much as possible. To avoid gravel spilling out onto your lawn later, leave roughly a ½ inch of space between the gravel level and the top of the wooden edging.

  • Repair any damage to the surrounding grass with grass seed.

Tips & Warnings

  • For added support along the edges, hammer in pieces of rebar at intervals along the outer side of the wooden edging.

References

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