Answer: It's really difficult to get grass to grow in shade. Is there anything you can do to increase the amount of light that reaches the turf, or is all the shade cast by buildings? If there are trees, consider thinning them to allow more light through. Other factors that will help chose the best solution is soil moisture. Is it dry or moist?
The most practical thing to do is to identify a ground cover other than turf that is sufficiently shade tolerant. Or-- because no lawn grass really is self-sustaining in the shade --consider reseeding every year. Where you live, sowing seed every February or March might work. If you shade is from deciduous trees, a Fall sowing would be better. In that case, I'd recommend a strong and fast-growing perennial ryegrass or improved tall fescue.
You've already tried red fescue, typically the most shade tolerant grass for your region. Of all the red fescues, the most shade tolerant are the named varieties Longfellow, Weekend Victory, Tamara, Pernille, Ensylva and Pennlawn.
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