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Growing grass in hot shady area

Hi There. My husband I moved into this home about 2 years ago. Since we have been here, georgia has been in a drought. Our home backs up to a heavy tree area and we have several trees in our back yard. The back yard only has patches of sunlight. We have been told the only grass that may grow in shade is fescue grass so we aerated and over seeded fescue this spring. The grass grew and stayed for a couple of months but then started to die out. We now have mostly dirt and weeds.

Does anyone know what type of grass will grow in shady dry area and when is the best time seed. We don't need thick "golf course" type grass, just something to stop the run off.


Re: Growing grass in hot shady area

sorry but no grass will grow in heavy shade. remeber science class green plants need the sun for photosynthesis to occur. you might think of either thinning out some trees or making large flower beds

Re: Growing grass in hot shady area

Try a shade grass like Shady Nooks by Jonathan Greene for a season & see what happens. If it dies too then there isn't enough sunlight.
Part of the problem may be lack of moisture and competition with tree roots.
The best time to plant most grass is late summer or early fall. In shady areas raking leaves will pull out the newly germinated grass so the early spring is the time to do it. The extra sunlight without the leaves will help it take off. The grass will need watering the first summer.
As mentioned a certain amount of sunlight is needed. Some thinning of the trees may help.

Re: Growing grass in hot shady area

Without some pics or being on-site...it's really hard to offer good advice.

A few thoughts/suggestions though - Have you checked the fertility of the soil in this area? The Ph of the soil out there? Is this the red Georgia clay I've heard about? Trees suck up tremendous amounts of nutrients & water, for that matter. It may be that some soil amendents are in order to provide the new seedlings with adequate nourishment so they live long enough to become established. It may be that all you'll need is an application of lawn-starter fertilizer. The new seedlings also won't thrive well if they run short on water during the first 6 weeks or so. Maybe longer...depending.

Over-seeding works...sometimes. But...tilling the soil first will always give you a superior result. Looser soil makes it far easier for the new seedlings to root. That or have a local landscaping service come drill the seed in. I like tilling better because it also allows you to till in the starter fertilizer which puts it where its most needed by the plant.

We have heavy shade all day in our front yard (which is also the north side of the house) and the grass is thick out there under the old sugar-maples. People always remark about this when they come here. They wonder how this can be. Ummmm....we planted grass species that thrive in the shade and we feed the grass. Nature takes care of the rest very nicely. (When we bought the place, the front yard was basically a mudhole.)

Re: Growing grass in hot shady area

I had a small front yard with two huge oak trees. It only got late afternoon sun. I bought and layed in San Augustine sod. Its been ten years and is still looks great. I live in east tx and it seems it is always out and dry here. Good luck.

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