Lawn in shade - Knowledgebase Question

Laguna Hills, Ca
Question by rsindik
April 12, 2010
We have a small yard, the few trees we have have grown and give us a lot of shade (which we love), but our grass is not doing well, and the shadiest areas are now dirt. Is there a type of grass that we can use that will grow in not much sun? Thank you.

Answer from NGA
April 12, 2010


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.

Best wishes with your lawn!

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