If you live on a shaded property—or are considering moving to one—then you may already know that growing grass in shade is a challenge, to say the least. Those areas that are underneath your trees are likely thinned out or even bare and it’s a source of frustration that you’re looking to solve.
You might be wondering: Is growing grass in the shade even possible?
The short answer is yes—but it may not be perfect. The truth is, you may need to lower your expectations a bit if you want to have beautiful trees and a beautiful lawn. It’s difficult to have both. The shaded areas of your lawn may not always be as lush as the rest of it.
But there are some things you can do to improve your chances of success.
Give it More Sunlight
The most obvious—and most effective—solution to growing grass in your shady yard is to try and eliminate some of that shade. For instance, by having trees pruned you can allow more sunlight to reach your lawn and more grass to grow. It’s quite common for tree canopies from multiple trees to grow together, allowing little-to-no sunlight into your yard. But if you have them trimmed, you can allow some light to come through. This can make a big difference in your lawn’s growth.
Of course, you could also choose to remove one or more of your trees in order to give your lawn more sun. But chances are—since you’re reading this blog post—that’s an option you’re looking to avoid.
Opt for Shade-Tolerant Grass
There are some varieties of grass that are shade-tolerant. But it’s important to recognize that even shade-tolerant grass is still going to require some sunlight. If it’s not receiving any, it’s not going to thrive (or even survive).
In addition, it’s also important to know that you must treat grass in shaded areas differently. That’s because shade grass is more likely to get stressed if over-fertilized. You should also be careful with weed control in shaded areas, only spot treating if necessary. Since crabgrass does not grow in shade, there is no need for crabgrass preventer under trees.
Try Something Different
If you’re tired of fighting with thinned out areas of your lawn, you might want to consider something totally different and choose a grass alternative. For instance, creating large mulch rings around a tree with traditional mulch—or even a decorative gravel—is one alternative to trying and get grass to grow there. You might even consider adding more landscaped plant beds in areas where you cannot grow grass. There are many shade-loving plant varieties that will thrive where grass will not. These will add aesthetic interest and bursts of color that will help you forget about your struggling lawn!
Accepting Your Lawn for What It Is
At the end of the day, you can only do so much when it comes to growing grass in the shade. That’s why it’s so important that you maintain realistic expectations about your lawn’s potential. It’s never going to look quite as spectacular as a lawn that is receiving plenty of sunlight.
But the trade-off is the enjoyment that you get out of your trees. If you love your trees for their beauty and for the shade they provide (except in terms of your lawn’s grass growing abilities), then it may be worth coming to terms with the fact that your shaded lawn is the best it can be.
You can also enhance your property with other features that make it enjoyable such as hardscaped areas. A patio with a fire feature or an outdoor kitchen can help you get the full enjoyment out of your lawn—with or without perfect grass. And, in fact, you may even enjoy those hardscaped areas more when you have some shade and you’re not in the blazing hot sun all day.
At Exscape Designs, we can help you create an outdoor space that fulfills all of your wants and needs, regardless of how much—or little—sun your property gets. We’ll work with your exact space to customize a plan that works best for you and your property. Whether you have a thriving lawn or one that struggles to grow, you’ll wind up with a dream space that you truly love.
Do you have an upcoming project or landscaping questions?