It has become increasingly popular for trampolinegeek owners to bury their trampolines in the garden so the bounce mat is level with the grass or surrounding area. There are two main reasons for wanting to do this. The first is one of safety particularly for those who do not want, or like the look of, a trampoline enclosure. If you choose not to have a trampoline enclosure then, by having the trampoline mat at ground level, the risk of accident from falling off the trampoline is reduced. The second is just one of appearance as some customers do not want the trampoline and enclosure to dominate their garden. By burying the trampoline it is far less obtrusive and in many gardens virtually invisible.
A minor benefit is that the total height of the bounce from ground level is reduced (by the height the trampoline is off the ground) and your neighbours will get more privacy. It can be annoying for those in neighbouring gardens or houses when trampoline bouncers can see (and be seen!) over the garden fence. Another consideration is that by burying your trampoline it avoids the risk of other children and animals getting under the trampoline when someone is bouncing on it and risking injury.
This guide is written with the popular round garden trampoline in mind but it could apply as well to hexagonal, oval and rectangular trampolines.
1. Pick your Site
The site needs to be level, with good drainage and surrounded by grass or a soft landing area. It needs to be well clear of obstructions like walls, sheds, fences and washing lines. It should also be well clear of trees, even if they are small now they may grow later to overhang the trampoline. As well as a potential obstruction to those bouncing, tree leaves may drop on the trampoline mat and trees close by will increase the likelihood of bird droppings getting on the trampoline. You will also need to check that the site has sufficient depth of soil without hitting rock to enable you to dig to the required depth.
2. Practicalities of Digging the Hole
A hole will need to be dug at just over the diameter of your trampoline and nearly the height of your trampoline. For a 14 foot trampoline we suggest a hole that is about 14 feet 6 inches in diameter. This could be a considerable volume of soil so you need to arrange where it will be tipped (in another part of the garden or elsewhere) and how you will dig the hole – will it be done manually or by mechanical digger? If it is a mechanical digger you need to be able to get it to where the hole will be dug. Access may be a problem.
You may want to consider what you will do when you leave your property. If you intend to take your trampoline with you then leaving some soil on site may be useful so the hole can be backfilled by you or the new occupants.
3. Air Movement
One of the biggest considerations will be allowing a large volume of air to move in and out of the hole as the trampoline is used. You will need to leave a gap of perhaps two inches around the trampoline for this purpose. To help you may also decide to set the level of the trampoline a couple of inches above the surrounding area. If there is insufficient air flow this will impede the bouncer using the trampoline.
It is important there isn’t a gap between the edge of the trampoline and the ground which would be large enough for a child’s wrist, arm or leg to get trapped in.
Another solution is to install flexible pipes leading from inside the hole to another location on the ground surface nearby, to allow the air to escape. This will mean the trampoline can be installed to fit much more tightly to the edge of the hole as the air movement is accommodated by the pipe.
4. Maintaining the integrity of the hole
You need to be careful that the sides of the hole to not cave in or disintegrate. You could use chicken wire to support the sides or a propriety system such as that supplied by Trampolines Down Under. Another solution is to use some of the soil you extracted to back fill the hole once the trampoline is in place and shore up the sides so they form a sharp slope rather than being vertical and leaving the maximum depth in the centre of the trampoline. If you use this method you will have to install the trampoline frame first and add the springs and mat afterwards.
5. Ensuring a stable and firm base
The base will need to level and have good drainage. It might be necessary to spread the base of the hole with gravel to achieve this. Make sure the legs will not sink, even when the soil is wet, and that they do not sit in water which could lead to the frame rusting.
From time-to-time you may need to lift the trampoline out of the hole to check the frame is still in good condition.
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