The Q&A Archives: Adding lime to my lawn

Question: I have large bare patches under an evergreen tree. Cannot get grass to grow. Should I add lime?

Answer: The soil isn't the problem, it's the shade and the shallow root systems of your evergreens that are making grass difficult to grow. Grass grows best in all day sunshine and will not thrive in shady areas. Even the shade tolerant turfgrasses will need to be reseeded every year or two. Couple the shade with surface roots that compete for moisture and nutrients and you'll understand why turf has such a hard time growing beneath trees. If you still want to try, sow seeds of a shady lawn mixture (there are several brands) and try to keep foot traffic off the lawn, mow at a higher level, and water deeply but infrequently. Or, choose an evergreen groundcover to plant beneath your trees instead of turf. Best wishes with your landscape.

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