Now that our neighborhood is well established, our trees are well established, too. While bigger trees beautify our neighborhood and help us beat the Texas heat, they also make it difficult to maintain the grass underneath. The resulting bare patches can allow soil to wash onto sidewalks, not only creating a hazard but also an eyesore. The following article from Gardeningknowhow.com might be a starting place if shade from your trees is affecting your lawn.
Tips For Growing Grass In Shady Areas
By Jackie Rhoades
How to get grass to grow in the shade has been a problem for homeowners
since lawns became fashionable. Millions of dollars are spent each year on advertising
promising lush green lawns growing under the shade trees in your yard and millions
more are spent by homeowners in pursuit of that dream. Unfortunately, the reality is
a little different, but knowing how to grow grass in shady areas can help to give you
acceptable if not perfect coverage.
Growing Grass in the Shade isn't the Only Solution
Growing grass in deep shade is next to impossible. Prune your trees as much
as possible without hurting their health or shape.You can trim a considerable amount of leaf
limbs without changing the aesthetic appearance of your tree. Some experts say up to 35-40%
of a trees limbs can be removed to improve light penetration without changing the visual look of a
In deep shade where tree pruning is impossible or ineffective, shade loving
ground covers such as English ivy, ajuga, liriope, or pachysandra may be a more
attractive solution. Try not to turn growing grass in deep shade into a war
with Mother Nature. The battle will be long and hard and you will lose.
How To Get Grass To Grow In The Shade
Even shade tolerant grasses need at least four hours of sunlight per day.
For areas with some light, whether naturally or through pruning, growing grass
in shade areas is possible if you do not seek perfection. Choosing the right
shade tolerant grasses is the first step to successfully growing grass in shade.
For most of the country, fine fescues are the most tolerant of cool season grasses,
but in the south where warm season grasses are the norm, St. Augustine grass
seems to perform best.
Ideally, these shade tolerant grasses should be kept longer than their sunny
counterparts. A height of three inches is recommended for fescue and one inch
above the norm for St. Augustine. The extra length allows extra surface area
for photosynthesis to occur, thus providing a little extra energy for the
growing grass. Never cut more than 1/3 the length of the blade and remove
clippings to allow as much light as possible to reach the soil.
Second on the list of how to grow grass in shady areas should be
fertilization. The most common reaction to weakened growth in any plant is to
fertilize. When growing grass in shade, fertilization should be limited. Shade
tolerant grasses need only ½ the nitrogen as the rest of the lawn. Fertilize on
the same schedule but adjust the amount.
Over watering is another mistake made by those learning how to get grass to
grow in the shade. Shade prevents the quick evaporation of dew or surface water
from rain. Dampness can encourage diseases that can inhibit growing grass. In
shade it is best to water only when absolutely necessary and then water
Lastly, a regular fall overseeding will help fill in thin spots that form
during the growing season.