Understanding Grasses That Grow in the Shade

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Types of Grasses That Grow In The Shade

No two dream backyards look the same. Some are simple, consisting only of a big grassy area for kids to run and play in. Others are more intricate with retaining walls, entertaining areas, and trees to create shaded areas on hot summer days. One of the long-term downfalls to planting trees in the backyard is how the shade will impact grass down the road. The good news is – there are several grasses that grow in the shade.

Four Grasses that Grow in the Shade

Since New Jersey experiences all four seasons, you will need to look for cool-season grass options that can handle the shade.

  • Rough Bluegrasses
    Rough bluegrasses handle shade well, but still requires a few hours of sunlight to thrive.
  • Poa Bluegrasses
    This bluegrass is one of the best options for heavily shaded areas because it doesn’t have strict watering needs like other grasses.
  • Perennial Ryegrass
    This grass will create a thick and lush cover in shaded areas. The only downfall is that reseeding is a necessary commitment. If you want to keep the same full appearance for future years, you need to reseed.
  • Fescue
    Tall and hard fescues hold up well in heavy traffic areas as well as medium shade areas. They still require some sunlight during the day to continue to grow.

Tips for Growing Grass in the Shade

Even grasses known to do well in shaded areas need some assistance, especially if you want the area to look its best year after year.

  1. Prune trees properly.
    Grass needs sunlight even if it is considered a shade-friendly grass seed. Proper pruning is one of the best methods to let the sunshine on the grass underneath trees. Pruning removes dead and low branches creating openings for the sun to shine through onto the grass during the day.
  2. Rake often.
    Raking is crucial when leaves are falling off of trees. Too many leaves in shaded areas can prevent the grass from drying out, which results in mildew or mold build-up and lawn diseases. By raking often, the grass is free of debris, and the chances of lawn disease lessen.
  3. Don’t overwater the grass.
    Since the sun won’t reach shaded grass as easily, watering it is not always necessary. Too much water can create mildew and dampness making the shaded areas more prone to destruction from lawn diseases.
  4. Overseed as needed.
    Some types of grass require overseeding every year, while others only need it every few years. Pay attention to the shaded areas checking them every fall and spring to determine if they look bare.
  5. Adjust mowing height.
    Avoid mowing shaded grass as short as grass that sees a lot of sunlight. Adjust your mower blade to approximately an inch above standard height for the rest of the yard.
  6. Treat weeds immediately.
    Weeds are an ongoing nuisance for many homeowners, and they thrive in shaded areas. Remove weeds immediately, and spot treat troublesome areas to prevent them from returning.

Perennial Lawn Care can help you with a customized lawn care program for your yard. Contact our office to learn more today!

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