lawn - Knowledgebase Question

nashua, Ne
Question by fitzroymoss
April 7, 2010
i have a big pine tree in my backyard that has limbs hanging over my lawn. i have cut them off.i have been trying to grow grass there for years but that area has grass that is very thin should i dig it up and start over? What kind of grass seeds should i use there? Or is it because of the pine roots? I live in New Hampshire is it because of the winter why the seed won't grow there?

Answer from NGA
April 7, 2010


Grass always has a hard time growing under pine trees. The roots have to compete with the tree for moisture and nutrients, the shade is often too dense for grass, and the soil acidity (from fallen needles) can overwhelm grass plants. Evergreen trees tend to keep rain from falling down to the soil, too, making the area directly under the tree rather dry. In my yard I use Ajuga (Carpet Bugle) and Vinca minor (Periwinkle) under my pine trees. Both will take everything a pine can throw at it and still thrive. Ajuga will take some foot traffic (or wheel traffic) and come right back. Vinca spreads by vining and would not be suitable if you need to cross over it. Canadian Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) and Barrenwort (Epimedium) are two other suggestions to try. If you have your heart set on growing grass in the area, tall fescue is the most shade tolerant, but it will need to be reseeded every couple of years because it just won't thrive beneath your pine tree. Wish I had more encouraging words!

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