The wonders of [just enough] traffic on turfgrass
I’ve noticed that traffic—just enough traffic—can transform some grasses into an amazing type of surface. I’ve seen this with Cynodon in China, with Festuca in Iceland, and in other places as well, but those are a couple that come to mind.
However, nothing I’ve seen compares with the way Zoysia is changed by traffic. I’ve shown photos of this before. I ran past that same driveway again, and the effect is just as pronounced this year as it was then, if not more.
No traffic, and the grass is like the most unruly lawn you can imagine. Put too much traffic, and/or compact the soil too much, and there won’t be any grass. But in-between those extremes, there are all the types of turf one might want: putting green, fairway, and lawn. All without mowing. Just traffic.
On a walk beside the beach I found the same thing. Where the zoysia gets traffic, it creeps along the ground forming a dense sward like a golf course fairway.
Where it doesn’t get traffic, it might be considered an ornamental grass, but it’s not something I’d want for a lawn or anything else.
The beneficial effect of traffic, up to a point, is something I’d take advantage of if I were managing Zoysia.