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Feb 23, 2020 11:27 AM CST
Name: Dalorean
South Mississippi (Zone 8b)
Here in Mississippi grass grows pretty good. We have grass on most of our property except along our tree lines and under our oak trees in the front. Ground in front yard is sandy and there's a slight slope. I heard it's hard growing grass under oak trees with surface roots but I've seen grass under them around town. I cleared out brush along our tree line and raked leaves the soil is perfect on the side but there's shade from the canopy. Not much but some. My first ever attempt at growing grass. Thanks
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These are other parts I still need to clear out but would love to get grass in these spots too

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Feb 26, 2020 6:02 PM CST
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
Turf doesn't grow in the shade... And if you lay sod right up to the tree trunk... That's harmful to the tree.

I see where much of what you intend to clear is privet, and we all hate privet, but I'd encourage you to hold back on the brush clearing until you can get everything identified... For two reasons...

You might have some desirable stuff growing, and it's a lot easier to keep desirable natives than it will be to reintroduce them...

And the second reason?
I was just over at your garden thread and people were warning you about the deer...
Deer are smart enough to remember where the good stuff is... And if you plant lots of beans and peas and sweet potatoes, peppers... You can plan on the deer moving in.
That's where the thicket comes in as desirable.
I string fencing just inside the thicket, where we can't see it, and more importantly, the deer can't see it. After they run into the fence a couple times, and we make minor repairs... They learn to stay away from the fence they can not see.
A fence across an open area? If they can see it... They can jump it easy...
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Feb 27, 2020 6:28 PM CST
Name: Dalorean
South Mississippi (Zone 8b)
So just accept I won't be able to grow grass under the oak trees? I'm ok with that πŸ˜€ I still want to clear some of the tree line just to make it a little more uniform. All that grows there are tree seedlings. There's some ferns that I plan to keep since they're native and beautiful. Trust me I'd love to believe deer would find their way to our property, my girlfriend lived here for 6 years and she hasn't seen one deer on the property. Hopefully the garden will bring them in...I heard mosquitos make their nests under leaves so at most I want to clear all the leaves out along the tree lines and try growing flowers or bulbs along the edge to pretty up the property. I think I'm turning into that person that wants the best looking property in the neighborhood πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
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Mar 3, 2020 2:15 AM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
You are in a warm climate so some of what we do up here is different but basic prep. is not.
It is a large area so find or rent a small tractor and pull drag behind till the top soil is loss down to at least two inches and spread grass starting fertilizer..
Find a Southern shade grass and seed heavily , very heavil yand water thoroughly; repeat until the grass takes hold.
Probably not a one and done job.
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Mar 3, 2020 2:16 AM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
You are in a warm climate so some of what we do up here is different but basic prep. is not.
It is a large area so find or rent a small tractor and pull drag behind till the top soil is loose down to at least two inches and spread grass starting fertilizer..
Find a Southern shade grass and seed heavily , very heavily and water thoroughly; repeat until the grass takes hold.
Probably not a one and done job.
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Mar 3, 2020 5:10 AM CST
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
Prep is different here too.
When there's sand showing, the sand may go all the way down, or... Sometimes there is clay under the sand... A foot or two down.

Till and the sand erodes away.
I suggest that you research providence canyon...
https://www.georgiaencyclopedi...

Some people try to bring in topsoil, but that tends to just be more sand... Nothing grows in it.

While Bahia grass does grow in sand, it's seldom appreciated by people who take offense at the black flowering parts.

As far as a shade grass.... No such thing. We can grow loriope in the shade, and a lot of people don't like that either... Due to its aggressiveness.

In the shade, the best thing is to stop raking... The tree leaves make a perfectly acceptable mulch... Might need to give it a jump start with a few loads of woodchips. And then? Plant some bulbs or ferns or other shade perennials.
Last edited by stone Mar 3, 2020 5:16 AM Icon for preview
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Mar 3, 2020 7:30 AM CST
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
If you remember your southern history... These highly erodible southern soils are the reson that kudzu was so heavily invested in.

The last thing you should consider is running a tiller any where near those trees... Or at all.

And... Don't plant hedera helix either... That stuff kills trees... Also... Avoid planting jasmine... So many "solutions" that are even worse than kudzu!
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Mar 3, 2020 9:32 PM CST
Name: Dalorean
South Mississippi (Zone 8b)
Wow thanks for the responses! I don't know the southern ways here being new, I do know the tree roots are all over. I don't know how deep. The soil is sand on top, a dark sandy soil under that, then clay about 18" down. I'm going to borrow a neighbors tiller thing. It pulls behind the lawn mower and has multiple steel wheels at different angles. So it shouldn't tear up too much, hopefully just break it up enough to let little roots grow. I raked the back yard and planted grass and it's growing! I'm super stoked hopefully it keeps growing and flourishing I'll post some pix when it comes in better
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Mar 4, 2020 4:41 AM CST
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
So.... You didnt believe my post warning you against using a tiller?

Seriously, check the link.

You don't want to use a tiller.

What we do around trees is to spread mulch to prevent erosion!
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Mar 4, 2020 5:41 AM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
I agree with Stone, tree roots are mostly in the top several inches below the soil surface, not as deep as you might think, and disturbing them could cause trees to die.
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Mar 13, 2020 7:19 PM CST
Name: Dalorean
South Mississippi (Zone 8b)
Well I'm taking your advice on the tilling. I've had some luck!!!! Raking the leaves out the soil was very nice from covered with leaves for who knows how many years(recently moved to the property) so I simply sprinkled the seeds all over and watered once a day!
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And of course this newbie messed up.... I went to Lowe's for grass seed and I got the biggest bag they had. In my head grass is grass just don't get the burmuda(I read the roots grow horizontal and is a headache to deal with). After I planted it and talked to a co worker I told him I planted rye grass!!! He said dude that grass is only good for winter time! They sell it for deer hunting cuz it thrives in cold and it will die when it gets hot!! So now I got a better looking yard only to have it die this summer! Hopefully I can plant a different seed in there and try this again😩
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Mar 17, 2020 7:16 AM CST
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
rye grass is a good choice when you want to till it under and then plant veggies.
just don't let it go to seed.

seriously... put down mulch and plant shade plants like the rest of us...
ferns, wood violets, virginia blue bells, wild ginger (asarum), atamasco lilies, assorted daffodil and narcissus, tons of great plants... you know that you will want cool stuff after you get some experience gardening anyway... may as well save trouble and take our advice of avoiding the whole turf in the shade fiasco...
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Mar 18, 2020 6:38 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Dalorean said:Well I'm taking your advice on the tilling. I've had some luck!!!! Raking the leaves out the soil was very nice from covered with leaves for who knows how many years(recently moved to the property) so I simply sprinkled the seeds all over and watered once a day!

And of course this newbie messed up.... I went to Lowe's for grass seed and I got the biggest bag they had. In my head grass is grass just don't get the burmuda(I read the roots grow horizontal and is a headache to deal with). After I planted it and talked to a co worker I told him I planted rye grass!!! He said dude that grass is only good for winter time! They sell it for deer hunting cuz it thrives in cold and it will die when it gets hot!! So now I got a better looking yard only to have it die this summer! Hopefully I can plant a different seed in there and try this again😩


Don't let it dry out in very hot weather and it should not die.
We can have semi-tropical summers up here and rye grass does not die.
During the past two very hot, very humid summers in the past decade, I was mowing lawn twice a week, not worry about it dying.
If we get a hot dry summer, then all grass dies, or goes dormant unless kept wet enough.
There are rye grasses that vary greatly in how they grow.
If you did not get lawn rye , let it grow and bale it. Shrug!
Last edited by RpR Mar 18, 2020 6:40 PM Icon for preview
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Mar 19, 2020 7:26 AM CST
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
the thing is...
very different conditions here.
there are northern turf grasses, and southern grasses.
and neither the twain etc...

not sure why the OP is stuck on attempting to grow turf in the shade... it isn't like he's able to point to any successful plantings of turf in his sand, shade...

I can point to liriope plantings that look like turf... and... i can point to perennial plantings that look really nice... but... turf doesn't grow in the shade... and trees assume huge importance in the southern landscape...

i promise that you all don't get anything like our heat and humidity up north...
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Mar 19, 2020 1:09 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
stone said:
i promise that you all don't get anything like our heat and humidity up north...
Twice in the past ten years we have had 70 plus percent humidity and 90 plus degrees.
Not just a few days but week after week.
It made mowing the grass, a pain in the butt as it almost seemed to need mowing as soon as you were done. Blinking
Any one living up here knows that is not really uncommon though it seems to have replaced the extremely low humidity and 90 plus degree days that were common towards the end of the century.
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Apr 7, 2020 8:03 AM CST
Name: alexx ali

very difficult situation Crying
you need to do effort i think i should say to much effort
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