The Q&A Archives: Growing Grass Under Douglas Fir Trees

Question: I would like to know the best grass to use in the northwest under 2 very large douglas fir trees? This area is shaded all day long so it would need to be something that doesn't required much sunlight.

Answer: Generally speaking, lawns just don't do all that well in shade. Some grass varieties such as fine fescues are considered somewhat shade tolerant, but even they experience trouble in deep shade, especially when competing with tree roots for water and nutrients. If you are determined to grow lawn there, the first thing to do is perform some basic soil tests to determine if the soil is in good enough shape to support a lawn or if you need to add any amendments. Your County Extension (tel. 503-588-5301) should be able to help you with the tests and with interpreting the results. They should also be able to help you determine which grass varieties will do best under your conditions. Spring is an excellent time to do lawn work, as is fall.

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