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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is going to come off as sacrilege to this group, but stay with me. I have been building a back yard ice rink for the last 7 years. Yes, I pound stakes into the ground, put up boards, lights, netting, the whole nine yards. Construction of the boards and fencing happens once the grass goes dormant, but before the ground freezes (usually the Friday after thanksgiving). I put the liner (6mil poly sheeting) and fill the day before I am going to get 4 full days below freezing (anywhere from the 2nd week in December to the second week in January). Everyone freaks out and says I am killing the lawn, when in actually the lawn under the ice stays warmer than the rest of the lawn because the ice doesn't reach all the way to the ground. There are two issues that I get from doing this to myself every year. 1) compaction. Having 3-15 inches of water on the lawn is a lot of weight for 3-4 months. I solve this with a spring time aeration. The second issue I don't have a good answer on, snow mold. The area under the liner looks like a crop circle hell after I drain and cut up the liner. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
by the way, if your spouses think you are nuts for taking care of the lawn 24 x 7. Wait until you see how nuts they think you are when you getting the surface perfect at 1am with a garden hose and an ice scraper when it is -10 out because some of the neighborhood kids are coming over the next day.
 

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Great job on the rink, that must take hours to build and maintain. But great that the kids are out in the fresh air. Its been years since I played in my back yard but this is what you do when the yard is too small for a decent hockey rink.



 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I would say go for it, just start small and expand from year to year as you get comfortable. The best way to test for level is with a string and a line level. Anything more than 15 inches in the deep end requires some serious bracing (remembering that every gallon of water is 8.3 pounds). My first 5 years I just used wood stakes from Lowes for bracing, then someone gave me the Nice rink brackets.
 

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This is so great, I absolutely love it :D

Also very happy that I found this topic because I am debating on doing a small ice rink on my lawn as well. I tried last year but the lawn was way to bumpy and most water just ran away to the lowest point, but this year the lawn went through a huge reno process and is nearly perfectly level so I'm tempted to go for it again.
My only concern was how the grass is gonna handle that but I see that it ain't too bad :) Might go for it...

Anyway, looking forward to this season, make sure to post pics, I love your ice rink :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The only area I have trouble with is the grass under the black stakes. I do get some dieback there, but the grass fills in by May (Thank you ***). Last year I had snow mold everywhere in my backyard, even where the rink wasn't, but it was pretty bad under the liner. Going to try some fungicide this year, but it grew out pretty quickly. This is a long way of saying that if you want to build a rink, the grass will not be impacted long term as long as you: 1) take the rink down before it gets warm out (before St. Patrick's day in my climate), 2) Do a full mechanical aeration as soon as the grass starts to grow (but before any preM goes down).
 
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