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Tom P.
dying grass under pine trees Central New Jersey

I have 6 large pine trees 3 on each side of my yard that creates a conopy providing plenty of shade in the summer.The area under the trees is bear and grass will not grow. I have tried mixing top soil and peat together and then seeding with shade seed, this mixture works for a few weeks and then the grass begins to die. I have also tried to lay sod and have had no luck with that as well. I have considered creating a bed of mulch to prevent the soil from turning to mud when it rains, but in the fall the needles would be impossible to remove. Does anyone have any suggestions?

havanagranite
Re: dying grass under pine trees Central New Jersey

most things green need sunlight to grow remember in school you were taught about photosynthis. with out sunlight you don't have photosynthis of course some plants require more sunlight then others for this process to occur. with grass being totally green you quickly understand that grass requires a amount of sunlight. most grasses require at least an intermix of sun with the shade, but since pines are usually pretty dense trees they aren't going to let much sun through. my suggestion would be either sacrifice the pines or plant a flower bed with flowers and plants from your local area that show either a shade tolerance or prefered shade

mpriley05
Re: dying grass under pine trees Central New Jersey
Quote:

I have considered creating a bed of mulch to prevent the soil from turning to mud when it rains, but in the fall the needles would be impossible to remove.

Why do you need to remove the needles? They're providing free mulch for you.

ed21
Re: dying grass under pine trees Central New Jersey

Besides the lack of light, competition for water with the pine trees will make it tough for grass to thrive. Chances are the soil may be too acidic for grass also.

KCPumpkinStalker
Re: dying grass under pine trees Central New Jersey
ed21 wrote:

Besides the lack of light, competition for water with the pine trees will make it tough for grass to thrive. Chances are the soil may be too acidic for grass also.

Agreed, some plants will kill others. Black Walnuts for instance should not be planted near pines. It's very possible that the sap from the pine is what is killing the grass. Might try an ivy of some sort.

Black Thumb
Re: dying grass under pine trees Central New Jersey

I live in the south with tons of pine trees. The needles are very acidic which makes grass shy away from the area. Most people just keep mulch at the base of the tree extended out about 4 feet. The only grass I've seen that will take on a pine is St. Augustine and Centipede but even then you have to keep the needles off the ground as much as possible and check the ph of the soil often and add appropriate chemicals to keep the level consistent with the grasses needs. It's not the shade it's the high acidity from the fallen needles releasing into the soil.

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