Why Is My Lawn Higher Than My Patio?

Checkerboard garden path leading to a bench, with a lawn higher than the patio area.

Everyone loves having a beautiful garden; part of that is a nice and neat lawn. We want the grass to be just the right length throughout the lawn, but the fact you’ve clicked on this article kind of suggests that isn’t the case in your garden.

This article will give you some advice on having a beautiful garden with a well-placed patio and a perfect lawn.

Patio – What And Why?

A patio is usually made of stone but, in some cases, can be made of wood. But whatever material it’s made from, the important thing is that the material needs to be hard. This is because you don’t want to get muddy when you sit on the patio.

The patio surface is there for you to be able to sit down and take a look at your garden. Patios are also an inexpensive option for fully transforming the look of your home’s curb while extending your living space.

Patios will also give you more privacy than balconies. Perhaps you just want to sit there, or maybe you want to do other things there, such as eat meals or entertain guests without being too exposed.

Grass Shouldn’t Be Higher

One rule of thumb for the patio is to try to ensure the grass isn’t higher than the patio. Of course, this isn’t always the case, as some patios are right on the ground. However, this article is aimed at those who have a raised patio.

In this particular scenario, most of the time, you should avoid having grass that’s higher than the patio.

This is going to make the complete view of your garden much more beautiful to look at. Moreover, the moisture from the grass may damage the patio, so always make sure the grass is trimmed and does not reach the patio height.

Don’t Raise The Patio

One idea that came to my mind during my junior days was just to raise the patio. But as you can probably imagine, this is flawed for various reasons.

The first one is that it’s going to be very expensive. You will have to pay a lot of money for something that will go under the patio. But it’s not just money you’d be wasting; it’s also time consuming. A lot of effort is put into raising patio too high which will not prove to be beneficial later on.

Just think about how many hours it’s going to take to raise the patio. Raising the concrete patio high could also turn it into a small step. This would become a tripping hazard and prevent a smooth transition while walking between the grass and the patio.

The biggest flaw of this is, of course, that it will be a never-ending battle. As you keep making the patio higher, the grass is just going to keep on growing.

However, if you are still thinking on raising your patio, here are some reasonable dimensions you can refer to when levelling up your patio. A patio can be 0.5 – 1.5″ above grade. This will also help in avoiding grass and dirt from creeping into your patio.

Cut The Grass

The best option would be to focus on making the grass shorter instead of making the patio shorter. This means mowing the lawn. Before mowing, make sure you use a rake to get everything that could clog the blades out of the way. This could include sticks, rocks, or anything else harder than grass.

And when you mow, make sure you do it in straight lines. The last thing you want to look at is grass filled with wiggly lines.

Not Too Short, Or Too Often

While cutting the grass is essential for your garden, you should be careful not to fall into the trap of cutting it too short too often. Cutting grass can be good for its growth; doing it too often can have an adverse effect. Eventually, you can get to the point where your grass will slow down in growth and start to turn into brown color instead of lovely green.

Trimming the grass too short can also encourage the growth of weeds. Opportunistic weeds and other grass eaters are way more likely to attack weakened lawns and tend to be harder to detect.

Grass that’s too short can also get too hard. This can make it uncomfortable to walk on, particularly when you’re walking barefoot.

French Drain

Another key reason you should try to make your grass shorter than your patio is that the moisture from the grass can damage the patio.

A great way to stop this is by using what’s called a “French drain.” 

A French drain is a row of small stones between the patio and the grass, and it stops the grass from being able to damage the patio. From exterior, a french drain looks like a rock drainage but when its done well, it resembles a nicely put hardscape. Embedded in the gravel are the pipelines which are set at an angle to restrict water from entering home.

French drains tend to be pretty durable and reliable as their underground design is built to endure the hydrostatic pressure exerted by the water through the force of gravity. A french drain can be identified by an exposed end of the pipe at downward slope.

French drains are also quite aesthetically pleasing and come in various colors, shapes, and sizes. They add a decorative element to your patio.

Making a French drain is very easy to do. Simply cut the grass around the patio, as short as you like and fill the space with stones. These stones are a great water barrier.

French Vs. English

If you want to take your gardening the extra step further, you might want to ask yourself whether you prefer the English or French school of gardening.

Knowing this will allow you to decide how high you want your grass to be. You can also know how the contrast between your patio and your garden should look.

I could probably write a book about it.

But in a sentence….French gardening is about destroying nature and replacing it with something constructed by humans. English gardening is about working with nature to create something that looks natural but also beautiful.


Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what the relationship between the patio and the lawn should be.

Please bear in mind that the information in this article is about elevated patios, and therefore the information within might not apply to your particular garden if the patio is on ground level.

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