The Q&A Archives: lawn problems

Question: I have a lawn planted in my front yard (sod ) for 2 years. It has never done well being under 3 redwood trees, and half in shade. I just noticed today that after brushing the lawn with my hand and tugging a little the lawn pulled right out of the ground no breaking just pulled and also some of the plastic cross hatching that keeps the sod together is showing. I have mowed it whenever needed although it grows slowly. Do you suggest removing it completely and replace with something else or what. Thanks for any help..Dave

Answer: As you've discovered, Dave, growing turfgrass beneath redwood trees is not usually successful. The grass has to deal with shade and acidic soil, but more importantly, the ground will be quite dry, regardless of your watering routine. The roots of redwood trees compete for moisture and nutrients and by their shear volume, will usually out-compete the fibrous roots of turfgrass. Rather than trying to rejuvenate the lawn, why not grow a groundcover beneath your redwood trees? Two that take foot traffic and dry shade include Vinca minor and Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei). You might also consider Bishop's Weed (Aegopodium), Heartleaf Bergenia, Lamium (dead nettle) or Redwood Sorrel for the site. Hope these suggestions are helpful!

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