Turffalo's 'Shadow Turf'

cobalt_blueAugust 27, 2006

I decided to start a seperate thread concerning the grass type I'm experimenting with in my back yard. The type is called "Shadow Turf" as sold by the Turffalo company. It was developed at Texas Tech University. Supposedly it will thrive in areas recieving as little as 10% sunlight. That describes the worst areas in my back yard, so if the claims are true it'll be the answer to my lawn prayers! Zoysia in my favorite type of grass. Its ability to crowd out weeds, develop dense turf & do well in hot dry conditions make it superior to other grasses that grow in my area, zone 5B. The zoysia in my front yard is awesome! I just love the stuff. If I can establish something similar in the back yard it'll be great!

Link. http://www.turffalo.com/whychoose.asp#shadowturf

Pic of front lawn, click for larger image.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairie_dog(TX - NorthWest)

Very nice - I suspect that this is going to give fescue a run for it's money in Lubbock (for shady areas). Does it do as well as bermuda as far as heat and drought tolerance?

How about posting a pic of your zoysia in the front yard?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 5:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sounds like a stock investment to me. Buy now, 10% capital gains every year, with 10% dividends.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 7:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Isn't the shadow turf a zoysia? I'll be (pleasantly) shocked if it does well in the shade. And if your zoysia has any kind of repeated pattern of walking or pets, you'll have a path. Even daily mailman walking will create a path.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 12:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well this post certainly stirred my curiosity, so I did some surfing. First thing that threw me off was the title and the name of the company "Turffalo Shadow Grass". Turfallo I am familiar with, it is an improved Buffalo grass suited for lawns. Turffalo is decent grass, very draught tolerant indeed, but needs at least 8-hours of sun

Shadow Turf is Manila grass aka Zoysia (Z matrella). Apparently Shadow Turf is an improved hybrid by TTU. I still do not know much about it, but the claims the seller is touting seems to be out on a limb IMO.

For example: if you look at the Comparison Chart, the Shadow Turf has the best ratings in all categories, which in my experience is just not possible to have your cake and eat it too. For one; low maintenance, durability, and fast spreading are not compatible with each other. If a grass is fast spreading, it is known as durable since it can repair itself quickly, However to have the trait; "Low Maintenance" does not fit IMO because if it spreads quickly, it needs frequent mowing at least.

The other issue I have is the claim of "Will Grow In Only 10% light. Not sure exactly what that means, 10% of what? The stuff is Zoysia. Zoysia can tolerate some shade better than Bermuda, but 10% leads one to think it can get by on a hour of light.

I am a big fan of Zoysia, but it is not quite the super grass that it was first touted as when it was introduced several years ago. If this Shadow Turf can do half of what it claims it can, then halleluiah, but I will have to witness it first hand before I believe it.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 9:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I think they meant it will grow in only 10 HOURS of light ;-)
I've never thought of zoysia as being shade tolerant at all. It may have some green blades in the shade but not exactly dense. Even St Augustine, the only grass that has any appreciable shade tolerance, will be thinner in dense shade.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've never thought of zoysia as being shade tolerant at all.

Perhaps shade tolerant is a poor choice of words. Zoysia will tolerate some light shade better than Bermuda. However I agree, I cannot invision Zoysia, or any other grass for that matter, that can thrive in an hour of sunlight.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 1:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairie_dog(TX - NorthWest)

The proof is in the pudding -

I was chatting with my boss about the past weekend and he just purchased / installed the shadow turf (plugs). His backyard is heavy shade. It will be interesting to see where is lawn is at next year. He was told it was for heavily shaded areas. I think it will be interesting to see what develops a year from now.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 1:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
desert_baby(z9 AZ)

I'm curious, how has the "shadow turf" held up thus far? Does anyone know if it would survive in Phoenix (zone 9)?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 1:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
turf_toes(SE Pennsylvania KBG)

What I found most interesting about the OP was this passage:

Its ability to crowd out weeds, develop dense turf & do well in hot dry conditions make it superior to other grasses that grow in my area, zone 5B. The zoysia in my front yard is awesome!

I live in zone 6B and the zoysia grass is green at best just a few months a year. I'd like to see a picture of your zoysia lawn. I wonder how it could possibly stay thick with such a short growing season.

I myself would find it frustrating living with a straw-colored lawn for most of the year (some folks around here apparently differ). Please share more information on your zoysia lawn. How long does it stay green? How much care do you give the lawn, etc.

This isn't meant as criticism in any way. I truly would like to know more about your grass. It could, of course, be that we just have different ideas about what makes a great yard. But I'm also open to other possibilities.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 4:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Even here in ga where warm season grasses are the majority of the lawns, the warm season grasses are either dormant or coming in or out of dormancy for the majority of the year.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 6:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a 200 sq. ft. bare spot on a gradual slope in my front yard with heavy shade from trees and tall houses across the street. Bermuda and St. Augustine Raleigh used to grow there. The St. A. took so much more water in comparison to the Bermuda I do not like it. I was looking for a solution for over a year as my soil washes away. Last week I saw Turffalo Shade grass which is touted to need little water, will stay low and needs only 10% light (?). It is $89.00 for 72 plugs to be spaced 12' apart. I am thinking that even though it is expensive to set out, the savings in water bills will make it worth it. How can I preserve the compost I must put down for the plugs on the slope since it is not sod that would hold the compost?

In the heavily shaded back yard, I am considering removing the cracked patio and replacing it with avers for $1.48 a square instead of trying to grow grass under the heavy shade. The rest of the yard is sparse Bermuda.

A neighbor with knowledge of irrigation systems suggests that my solution is to put in a sprinkler system then Fescue seed. He said my water bill would be high, but the problem would be solved.

Comments please. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 8:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have also plugged 2 shady areas of our backyard with Turfallo's "Shadow Turf." One of the areas is on a slope shaded by a tree. We've had to do many, shallow waterings to make sure we have no erosion there.

That area has only been planted for a week and a half, the other for just a handful of days, so it's way, way too early to determine how things will shape up. The rest of our lawn is "609" buffalograss (with weeds that we are treating with Drive 75).

One aspect of Shadow Turf that didn't sink in to my consciousness when eveluating turf was that it actually takes a fair amount of water! During establishment, it takes half an inch a day! The brochure that came with the plugs indicates that after the grass is established it will "...stay green on as little as 4" of water per month." As little as????? This is in contrast to the Tech Turf (the other Turfallo product) that can stay green on a more reasonable 2" of water per month.

So, it will be interesting to see how the 2 grasses we have (Shadow Turf and 609 buffalograss) will do being in the same sprinkler zones. "609" is very, very drought-tolerant and too much water on "609" encourages weeds. Yet, it appears we'll need much more water on the Shadow Turf, to the tune of an inch a week.

Also...FWIW, the brochure that came with the plugs indicated Shadow Turf "...will grow in up to 80% shade..." while their website indicates it can handle up to 90% shade, yet in another area it states 80-90% shade is what it can handle. It may not make that much difference, but it would be nice to see consistency in their marketing.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 1:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Texas weed mentioned a comparison chart. According to the installation and care sheet that came with my Shadow Turf plugs, it states: "Shadow Turf spacing should not exceed 12 inches due to much slower coverage time, typically one season." Somehow, I don't consider that fast-spreading.

Also wanted to clarify that Shadow Turf needs that half inch of water per day during the first 2 weeks, not during the entire establishment period. After 2 weeks, they recommend watering every 2-3 days until the grass completely covers.

Personally, I know I got confused over what attributes Shadow Turf had because the marketing materials and website shift back and forth in their discussion of Shadow Turf and Tech Turf. At times, they even talk about Turfallo, which appears to be their way of saying "both kinds of grasses." So, if you're interested in either product, take care to read the information carefully to be sure you know which brand of turf they're talking about.

desert baby...Due to the water requirements, I'm not sure Shadow Turf would survive on normal rainfall in your area, as it looks to be borderline in mine unless I do supplemental watering.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 2:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cobalt--Can we have an update on your experience? It has now been almost exactly a year.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 12:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I planted a flat of Shadow Turf plugs in mid May. I planted in composty sand and mulched between the plugs to help hold moisture in. We could not have had better weather for establishing new grass. We had rain every day until July followed by short breaks of sun and more rain. I planted on about 8 inch centers. The location gets sun from around 9 am through 4 or 5 pm in the summer.

For months it was asleep. In late July it started to creep, and now it clearly is leaping. Today (Sept 1), it is looking pretty good. I have not mowed it yet, but it looks shaggy. I have been away for 3 weeks and want to get down into it and inspect it tomorrow. Being a zoysia variety, I did not think it would cover this quickly. So far so good.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 1:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

dchall...Great to hear your Shadow Turf is doing so well. Due to our late planting, I doubt we'll get to the leaping stage this year, but I'd settle for it getting to the creeping stage. I'm hoping for an unseasonably warm fall!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 10:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I took some pictures today, edged, and clipped the top inch off. If you want to see the before and after pictures, write and I'll send them.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 11:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have three areas planted in this the front has been in for 4 years we hardly see any weeds at alllik we do in our non shade turfallo. The back was planted diring a drought year stupid us it is taking longer bit we have two large areaa almost completely covered

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 4:08PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Grass & pine straw in winter
Part of my yard St Augustine grass, much of which is...
New bermuda sod just installed
It is 30 degrees here and I was told to water every...
Some suggested low maintenance grasses
Zone 5B, S.W. Nebraska Hot summers, typically dry....
Poa Annua already making it's jump!
PA typically comes up here in April, we're mid Feb...
hydroseeding this spring or wait til fall?
hello - my lawn took a major hit last year even after...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™