Grass seed - Knowledgebase Question

Onalaska, Wi
Question by tcarrier
March 22, 2010
My lawn has alot of shade and the soil is very acidic. What is the best grass seed for this area. The grass dies out all of the time. Thanks for your time.

Answer from NGA
March 22, 2010


An application of lime will help with the acidity of the soil, but shady conditions are tough on a lawn. Since shade is a poor environment for turfgrass, it is essential to develop a good management program in shady places. First, select shade tolerant grasses. The fine-leaf fescues are considered the most shade tolerant of the cool-season grasses. Creeping red fescue, Chewing?s fescue, sheep fescue and hard fescue all have shown promise in heavily shaded areas. Some varieties of Kentucky bluegrass and fine-bladed turf-type tall fescue have performed well in moderate shade. Other ways to ensure success:
Raise the mowing height. Increased mowing height induces larger root systems and healthier plants. Irrigate infrequently, but heavily. An irrigation program that minimizes the amount of time shaded areas are moist is beneficial in reducing disease. Infrequent watering also tends to minimize compaction and reduce shallow surface rooting. Reduce use of the area. Thin cell walled grass plants with little food reserve cannot bear much traffic without sustaining damage. Therefore, any effort to minimize traffic in shaded areas is beneficial. Provide good drainage. Poor drainage increases the possibility of disease activity. Remove leaves and debris promptly. Quick removal of leaves and debris all year long is essential as they shade the grass plant and reduce its food making potential.

Good luck with your lawn!

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