How to improve my lawn in the front of my house. - Knowledgebase Question

Memphis, Te
Question by melodybmcbri
May 31, 2010
I have a large pin oak in my front yard that shades a big amount of the yard. I want to plant sod to make the lawn better. What type would be right? Are the tree roots a big problem? Can I do this myself to save money?


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Answer from NGA
May 31, 2010

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Turfgrass doesn't grow well under oak trees. The leaves will need to be raked up or they will kill the grass, and there's usually too much shade for grass to thrive. Turf needs at least 4 hours of direct sunshine in order to grow well. You might be able to limb up the tree to provide more sunshine to the turf, or you might simply want to grow a ground cover instead of grass. Tree roots can be a problem where lawn is concerned. They will drink up the available moisture so the lawn will struggle with droughty conditions and they can raise the lawn in places. If you're still convinced you want lawn under the tree, tall fescue is the most shade tolerant and you should be able to seed it yourself at a minimal cost.

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