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View Full Version : Landscaping a playground/swing set?


KevB
05-08-2006, 10:29 AM
Well, we pulled the trigger on a playground in the backyard for the kids. It's a Rainbow set to be delivered next weekend. My concern is: what to do with the landscaping? Do you just put it on the grass and then mow/weedeat around it all summer (don't like this option)? Or, do you build a bed with rubber mulch?

Anybody ever dealt with this? If you built the bed, is it as expensive as an initial glance at prices would appear?

Katipan
05-08-2006, 10:30 AM
How old are your kids?

Bob Dole
05-08-2006, 10:35 AM
If you're not wanting to mow and weedeat around it, why not just go with a small pea gravel bed instead of a potentially smelly fire hazard?

ChiefButthurt
05-08-2006, 10:38 AM
If you're not wanting to mow and weedeat around it, why not just go with a small pea gravel bed instead of a potentially smelly fire hazard?

Good idea.....also make sure that you add a weed barrier of some type.

FAX
05-08-2006, 10:38 AM
When mini-FAX was little, I built a sandbox under ours, Mr. KevB.

It worked great. No mowing and the little bugger would build sand monoliths when he grew tired of swinging and sliding and yelling and climbing and running and screaming.

FAX

Rain Man
05-08-2006, 10:40 AM
I know nothing about how to set it up, but I'm sure hoping that I get an invitation to the grand opening. I love climbing on stuff.

NewChief
05-08-2006, 10:44 AM
When mini-FAX was little, I built a sandbox under ours, Mr. KevB.

It worked great. No mowing and the little bugger would build sand monoliths when he grew tired of swinging and sliding and yelling and climbing and running and screaming.

FAX

I'm sure he enjoyed digging for buried treasure and finding secret kitty biscuits to munch on as well. Seriously, a sandbox is like asking every cat in the neighborhood to come take a dump in your yard. We're putting a sandbox in our back yard soon, but it's going to have a cover.

I also want to raise the bed where our swingset is and put some kind material in it similar to sand but without the cat-attraction features. Maybe some sort of chopped up rubber? Gravel seems a little hard. Any suggestions on a good playground "mulch" material?

jspchief
05-08-2006, 10:48 AM
I'm sure he enjoyed digging for buried treasure and finding secret kitty biscuits to munch on as well. Seriously, a sandbox is like asking every cat in the neighborhood to come take a dump in your yard. We're putting a sandbox in our back yard soon, but it's going to have a cover.

I also want to raise the bed where our swingset is and put some kind material in it similar to sand but without the cat-attraction features. Maybe some sort of chopped up rubber? Gravel seems a little hard. Any suggestions on a good playground "mulch" material?If you put an anti-freeze moat around the sand, the cat problem takes care of itself.

Leaving the grass will just result in bare dirt patches under the swingset.

Bob Dole
05-08-2006, 10:48 AM
I'm sure he enjoyed digging for buried treasure and finding secret kitty biscuits to munch on as well. Seriously, a sandbox is like asking every cat in the neighborhood to come take a dump in your yard. We're putting a sandbox in our back yard soon, but it's going to have a cover.

I also want to raise the bed where our swingset is and put some kind material in it similar to sand but without the cat-attraction features. Maybe some sort of chopped up rubber? Gravel seems a little hard. Any suggestions on a good playground "mulch" material?

Pea gravel has rounded edges and if you bed it about 6" deep, is going to be a fairly forgiving surface should the kids fall on it. There are all kinds of potential issues arising from the use of rubber, ranging from odor to killing off of surrounding vegetation from any water run-off.

FAX
05-08-2006, 10:50 AM
I'm sure he enjoyed digging for buried treasure and finding secret kitty biscuits to munch on as well. Seriously, a sandbox is like asking every cat in the neighborhood to come take a dump in your yard. We're putting a sandbox in our back yard soon, but it's going to have a cover.

I also want to raise the bed where our swingset is and put some kind material in it similar to sand but without the cat-attraction features. Maybe some sort of chopped up rubber? Gravel seems a little hard. Any suggestions on a good playground "mulch" material?

I never thought about the cat issue, Mr. NewChief. We didn't have that problem at all. Our dogs, perhaps?

You're right, though. If neighborhood cats are a concern and you are opposed to experimenting with the variety of cat eradication techniques readily available at the local gun store, the sandbox idea is no solution.

FAX

NewChief
05-08-2006, 10:52 AM
If you put an anti-freeze moat around the sand, the cat problem takes care of itself.

Leaving the grass will just result in bare dirt patches under the swingset.

The main reason I want to landscape it is that the set is currently on a gentle slope. I'd like to raise the bed, thus leveling it. It's functional now, but I'd like it to look good.

For those that warned of the rubber, thanks! I'll probably go with pea gravel instead.

Bwana
05-08-2006, 10:56 AM
If you put an anti-freeze moat around the sand, the cat problem takes care of itself.



Beat me to it. :)

|Zach|
05-08-2006, 11:00 AM
Weeeee!

http://static.flickr.com/30/37862790_b4ba122d18.jpg?v=0

DaFace
05-08-2006, 11:04 AM
Weeeee!

Wii?

Iowanian
05-08-2006, 11:09 AM
We just built a pretty big one at my folks for the grandkids. We built a parimeter around it with Railroad ties and dumped 10 ton of clean sand in it.

I'm ordering one of those "big dig" things that look like a seat with a backhoe to set in it later.

A little round-up along the edge and you won't have to weedeat for a year.

In this particular case study, cat shit isn't a problem, as the pair of 110lb dogs and a australian shepard that routinely cruise the area, solve said problem before its an issue.

NewChief
05-08-2006, 11:13 AM
We just built a pretty big one at my folks for the grandkids. We built a parimeter around it with Railroad ties and dumped 10 ton of clean sand in it.

I'm ordering one of those "big dig" things that look like a seat with a backhoe to set in it later.

A little round-up along the edge and you won't have to weedeat for a year.

In this particular case study, cat shit isn't a problem, as the pair of 110lb dogs and a australian shepard that routinely cruise the area, solve said problem before its an issue.

That's a sweet play area.

Iowanian
05-08-2006, 11:17 AM
Its pretty funny, listening to my folks now vs when I was a kid.

Now, they're saying things like "get that sand deep enough that if they fall they won't get hurt" "keep those ties far enough away from the swings/slide/monkeybars that they can't hit them if they fall".

When I was a kid..we had a giant monkey bar set....it was called barn rafters, and you'd damn well better make it to the other side to the hay pile, or the halfway point, if you were lucky enough to have a wagon of corn to jump into.

We also made a zipline across a large ditch from tree to tree with a cable, a wheel set from a barn loft and a rope/stick.

NewChief
05-08-2006, 11:21 AM
Its pretty funny, listening to my folks now vs when I was a kid.

Now, they're saying things like "get that sand deep enough that if they fall they won't get hurt" "keep those ties far enough away from the swings/slide/monkeybars that they can't hit them if they fall".

When I was a kid..we had a giant monkey bar set....it was called barn rafters, and you'd damn well better make it to the other side to the hay pile, or the halfway point, if you were lucky enough to have a wagon of corn to jump into.

We also made a zipline across a large ditch from tree to tree with a cable, a wheel set from a barn loft and a rope/stick.

We just had a kid's b'day party in our back yard and we had this exact discussion (surely a sign we're getting old). I was raised in the country, and during the summer my parents would feed us breakfast then boot us out of the house for the day, not to return until supper (if we were lucky and there weren't chores to be done). We were riding 3 wheelers on country roads, ranging within a 5-6 mile radius to various friends and family's houses all day long.

Now if a kid's out of sight for more than 5 minutes, everyone starts panicking and threatening to call 9/11 and put out an Amber Alert.

Demonpenz
05-08-2006, 11:23 AM
I would probably save the money and get them playstation 3 when it comes out.

Iowanian
05-08-2006, 11:25 AM
...and thats why so many kids are disgusting fatbodies way before they hit Jr High.


One of the reasons that playset was built, was because the other sandpile out back, was too close to the pond and timber-trails...its too tough to keep an eye on those smaller but "adventurous" boys and girls.

I'm sure when they're older, they'll do more of the things we did.....and about 200 yards away is our Mx track.

FAX
05-08-2006, 11:26 AM
Are you concerned that cats will be attracted to the play area, Mr. Iowanian?

FAX

Iowanian
05-08-2006, 11:27 AM
Cats will never be a problem in that area. Its proven fact.

StcChief
05-08-2006, 11:27 AM
The pea gravel will endup in the shoes/your house...

The commercial/schools are using the recycled rubber stuff looks quite durable. Little more upfront cost.

Probably will end up in the house too....easier to spot.

Stinger
05-08-2006, 11:30 AM
Weeeee!

Wii?



Wie?

http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2004/golf/07/08/wie.world/p1_wie_si.jpg

Rexx
05-08-2006, 01:28 PM
You could go with synthetic grass....I sell the stuff in the southwest and it works great with playsystems. No mowing or watering and it looks great all the time. The down side is that it is a little pricey!

Valiant
05-08-2006, 01:35 PM
Well, we pulled the trigger on a playground in the backyard for the kids. It's a Rainbow set to be delivered next weekend. My concern is: what to do with the landscaping? Do you just put it on the grass and then mow/weedeat around it all summer (don't like this option)? Or, do you build a bed with rubber mulch?

Anybody ever dealt with this? If you built the bed, is it as expensive as an initial glance at prices would appear?


I would recommend not going with rubber mulch as it is going to end up in the yard as a throwing instrument... Just make sure you make the bed big enough where you do not have worry about weeds growing up next to the playground if you do not want to weedeat more...

I would go with small river bed stones as they will not hurt as bad on the hands if the child falls down, sand would attract cats who want to shit, and wood chips could splinter in their hands and you have to redo wood chips every couple of years...

Make sure lay thick layers of the rubber matting on the bed floor to stop weeds from taking roots easier...

Dartgod
05-08-2006, 01:52 PM
Put down a bed of this stuff.

http://www.automatedredemption.com/julie/sb%20images/20-bagdadglass.jpg

If the pieces are small enough, the resulting cuts will not require stitches.

scooter
05-08-2006, 03:31 PM
Put down a bed of this stuff.

If the pieces are small enough, the resulting cuts will not require stitches.

Sounds like a job for Irwin Mainway.

Bugeater
05-08-2006, 04:15 PM
My dad sold our swingset after we only had it one year because the lazy **** didn't want to mow around it anymore. What a prick.

I'm over it now though.

Taco John
05-08-2006, 05:33 PM
You know what cats don't like pooping on?

Asphalt.

Look it up.

Skip Towne
05-08-2006, 06:08 PM
My dad sold our swingset after we only had it one year because the lazy **** didn't want to mow around it anymore. What a prick.

I'm over it now though.
Haha. Sounds like it.

Iowanian
05-08-2006, 06:59 PM
T@co...

You know what grass grows GREAT in?

Dog poo....with Cat in it.