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Grassy parking space

Q: Our home is on a compact suburban lot just north of Boston. This winter our car had a devil of a time staying out of the way of snow plows, so we are looking for a way to create additional parking without losing our lawn. Can you tell me about green driveways?

Molly Trainer, Malden, MA

A: Douglas H. Fender, executive director of The Turf Resource Center, sponsored by  Turfgrass Producers International , replies: Green driveways can be created by using plastic, concrete, or stone forms that are buried at ground level, filled with garden soil, and seeded with grass.

However, before installing a green driveway, consider the following: Is it legal to park a car on your lawn? Is there a curb cut to facilitate driving onto the lawn easily in the snow? Could any oils, car fluids, or road salt drip onto the grass and kill it? How easily will you be able to remove the snow from this area after a big storm?

An alternative to installing a green driveway is to park on your lawn only when the ground is firmly frozen to reduce compaction. When spring arrives, aerate this area and, if necessary, replace any sections damaged by car tires with sod.

From Fine Gardening 51, pp. 18