Answer: Grass needs full sun all day long to grow well, so if the area is shady from the pine trees then that may be a big contributing factor in the sparse lawn. The poor grass could be due to fertility issues, an acidic pH, and/or possibly due to shade and pine tree roots stealing moisture from the soil. The first thing to do is run some basic soil tests to check the fertility to see how much you need to fertilize, and also to check the pH to see if you need to lime and if so, how much. There is no way to tell without testing the soil. In general a slow release fertilizer is better, however you can also use a general purpose granular fertilizer. Always read and carefully follow the label directions for use.
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