Grass in deep shade

whip1 Zone 5 NE OhioDecember 31, 2007

I know it's difficult. I just bought this house in Sept. The backyard has a lot of trees, and it's in heavy shade. The grass that is there looks good, but it's very sparse. Are there ways to make it thicker? Is there a grass that grows better in shade? I'm thinking about trying wintersowing in Feb. Will fert help? Removing the trees isn't an option.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
texas-weed(7A)

Grass doesn't grow in deep shade period, no matter what you do.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 5:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
quirkyquercus

It may be in need of an overseeding with a shade mix. Look into fine fescue for good shade tolerance. Give it several months to establish in shade. If it's too shady it won't grow but it can probably be thickened up some. Spring would probably be a good time to overseed since the sun wil be more overhead and probably give you better germination.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 8:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

You might consider 6-9 inches of mulch and placing pots, statues, large rocks, dry stream beds, picnic table, etc., to make your yard interesting.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 10:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Plant a lot of ENCORE azaleas.....

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ajer16(z5b MI)

Encore azaleas in NE OH? Probably not a good idea. Up here we have to be pretty selective when it comes to evergreen azalea varieties.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 8:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

Will clover grow in shade?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 6:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joepyeweed(5b IL)

Trim the trees... to open up the canopy a bit... aim for dappled shade rather than deep shade.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 5:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

I'm going to trim the trees a little. I got a couple of estimate to have them trimmed professionally, and that's not happening. The lowest estimate was $2,200.00! I'll trim what I can reach with a ladder, and see how that works.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 3:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
morpheuspa

Forget the Encore azaleas. They don't do that well even in protected Zone 6 weather unless you're very willing to winterize with inverted bushel baskets. Your weather is way too brutal in January and February, on average.

I'll trim what I can reach with a ladder, and see how that works.

That may work, although it's possible you'll end up wishing you had spent the cash--or done one tree a year. Most of what you can reach probably won't thin the canopy that well, and improper pruning can damage or kill a tree.

On the other hand, you may know exactly what you're doing and I'm just blowing smoke. :-)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 5:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joepyeweed(5b IL)

If you know what you're doing go ahead and trim your own trees.

But a professional can trim a tree and the casual observer will not even know that its been thinned. If its obvious that a tree has been trimmed.... then it wasn't done right.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 2:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

If you are going to trim trees yourself, be sure to visit the trees forum for advice. There are more ways to do it wrong than right.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 9:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bob64(6)

I have grown creeping red fescue in pretty heavy shade. Maybe some kind of sedge or something else would work as a substitute to true grass?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 8:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gryd(Trumbull, CT Z6)

Poa trivialis. Works for me in deep shade where fine fescue can't survive. It is considered by many to be a weed due to it's growth habit and the fact that it will die out in the sun. If you use it, be sure not to plant in the sun. It does, however, grow well in compact soil.

Here's one of my Poa Trivialis deep shaded areas:

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 10:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
quirkyquercus

I bet your neighbors are going to love you for growing that.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 12:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gryd(Trumbull, CT Z6)

Quirky,

I live in a Poa Trivilais neighborhood. I have at least 4 neighbors whose lawns are almost exclusively Poa Trivialis. They wonder why their lawns burn out every year and I don't have the heart to tell them that their lawn is cr*p. I renovated many sunny areas in my yard that had this type of Poa (as well as Annua) in it. Do you really think it will get into my neighbor's yard?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 7:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
morpheuspa

Do you really think it will get into my neighbor's yard?

Yes. My neighbor's invaded a weak spot in mine, but the weak spot was my fault. That's been taken care of.

A duly well-fed, healthy, happy lawn shouldn't have too many issues with invasion. That having been said, triv IS the right grass for shady and damp conditions, and yours looks great!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 7:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gryd(Trumbull, CT Z6)

I think it is the right grass for that area. I may have made a mistake, though. I threw down some more poa triv seed in some thin areas. I just hope the dog doesn't track any into my main yard! What do you think?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 3:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
quirkyquercus

Lord knows I've got plenty of it too :-)

I'm taking a new, rather extreme stance on what I grow. I don't put a lot of weight in "what will thrive", instead I select what will fit my lifestyle the best with regards to maintenance, the look I want and even how it behaves in cultivation. Thus I wouldn't grow poa T. But that's me. Its a bit of a touch subject for this forum since most popular turfgrasses are introduced that have become very weedy here.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 6:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gryd(Trumbull, CT Z6)

Quirky,

It's crummy soil, dense shade, and often flooded. Thus, I don't have much of a choice. I haven't had much luck with fine fescue there. Besides, we are only talking about some small areas of my backyard where the poa triv looks much, much, better than dirt. Maybe someday when I can reduce the shade, improve the drainage, and improve the soil I will try something different. Besides, I have a large front yard where I would rather spend my efforts at the moment.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 7:11PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
just bought hybrid bermuda sod will be here in a week. any tips? Socal
hello all I live in southern california and have tifgreen...
bnsand210
poor top soil
I had what I thought was top soil brought in to fix...
olusteebus
Synthetic rattan or Natural rattan furniture?
Guys, I would like to know your opinion. Which do you...
kevin497
New bermuda sod just installed
It is 30 degrees here and I was told to water every...
420benz
Poa Annua already making it's jump!
PA typically comes up here in April, we're mid Feb...
gsweater
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™