Ah…summer! Cookouts with friends, lemonade stands, sprinklers and picnics on the lawn. Who says you can’t have them all at the same time? You can when your lawn is your table – or your table is your lawn. This oh-so-simple grass picnic table has so many upsides. If you long for a lush carpet of cool grass, this DIY picnic table is for you. Or for those dreary days of colorless winter, plant a cool-season grass such as fine fescue or perennial rye, and luxuriate in the splendor of green grass all season long. This project is so easy to do and really will yield months of smiles.
- Table and/or chairs of your choice - the options are infinite as long as you choose one that has slats, perforations or some other type of opening in the top.
- Window screen (available in rolls from any hardware store)
- Potting soil
- Grass seed (see below for good choices)
Start by cutting out the window screen to fit the table and lay it over the top so there is no overhang. Pour potting soil over the screen and spread evenly across the table several inches thick.
Using your hands, scatter grass seed generously and evenly across the soil, paying special attention to the edges, until you have nice, even coverage. Scatter more soil on top of the seed so it is just barely covered. Ensure good contact of seed to soil by smoothing and patting.
Choosing the right grass: If you are planting your table during the heat of summer, consider a warm-season grass, regardless of where you live. If you are planting your table in the spring or fall, or you want your table to be green during the winter, cool-season grass will yield better results.
Warm-season Grasses: Bermuda grass, Centipede grass, Zoysia grass
Cool-season Grasses: Fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, Perennial ryegrass, Turf-type tall fescues
Water well. If you’re using a hose, as I did, barely turn it on so the spray is light and diffused, but make sure to give the soil a good soaking.
Protect your table. When I checked my freshly planted table on the second and third days, I noticed big depressions in my dirt. It didn’t take long to find the culprit: Birds were using the dirt for dry baths and flinging seed and soil everywhere with their wings. To solve this little setback, I cut another piece of window screen and laid it over the top of the planted table. I scattered a little more earth on top to keep it in place, watered it in and waited for my seedlings to sprout.
Water your table. As with any seed-growing project, it is vital to keep the seeds moist at all times during the germination period. If your table is in a shady spot, watering once a day should be sufficient. But if it’s located in direct sun, water at least twice a day. My grass sprouted about a week or so after I planted it. Once my dainty green blades were evenly sprouted and showing through the top layer of soil, I removed the top barrier of window screen.
Maintain your table. Not much to do here but keep your table watered during dry spells. Because there are only a few inches of soil, it will dry out more quickly than a lawn. But I found watering the grass every few days was quite sufficient.