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Grass for Very Shady lawn in NE GA

Posted by jdawg682 none (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 6, 14 at 9:40

Hey, I'm in desperate need of some advice for grass for my back yard. The previous owners of the house put in bermuda sod right before we bought the house and after a few years of living here it is almost completely gone. It is a very shady lawn that gets a lot of rain. Best I can tell it gets about 4 hours of sun a day, and that's after I cut back the trees as much as I could. On top of that I have 3 young boys who play baseball and various other outdoor activities and are in our back yard a LOT, so it would need to be a very durable grass. If there is anything out there that would work with that PLEASE let me know. What would be our best options??? Thanks in advance!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Grass for Very Shady lawn in NE GA

Look around your neighborhood to see what you see more of, fescue (fine bladed and dark green this time of year) or St Augustine (coarse bladed and dormant brown this time of year). Those are your only two true grass options. Go with the option you see more of because that is what everyone will be familiar with. It apparently works. There might be some ground cover options depending on what the area will be used for.

RE: Grass for Very Shady lawn in NE GA

Thanks, most people in the neighborhood have Bermuda but that's what is failing right now because of the amount of sunlight and use it's getting. One of my neighbors said that they used to have some fescue down a while ago and that it did pretty good and don't know why they ever changed it. Is there are reason fescue would not be a good option?

RE: Grass for Very Shady lawn in NE GA

Fine fescues grasses of Red, Chewings, Sheep, Hard, and rough bluegrass are the most shade tolerant grasses there is. Rough bluegrass (Sabre) performs best in shaded areas that are constantly moist; fine fescues prefer drier soils and do not tolerate constantly wet soils. Tall fescues may be used in areas of moderate shade,

In the warm season grasses Saint Augustine does very well especially:


There are a couple of Zoysia varieties that have fair shade tolerance:


Forget Bermuda, Centipede, and Bahiagrass as it would be a loosing battle.

RE: Grass for Very Shady lawn in NE GA

The only real option, if you want a dense stand of turf, considering all the wear/traffic is to cut down some trees and use bermudagrass. Bermudagrass is most aggressive and wear/traffic tolerant turfgrass. You will also have to maintain the bermuda at a high level. This means core aerification a couple of times during the growing season and keeping the fertility relatively high. The other turfgrasses mentioned, St. Augustine will not hold up to concentrated traffic, fine fescue will never hold up to the traffic, zoysia is a slow grower and probably won't be able to recover fast enough. Tall fescue maybe an option it will most likely look terrible by the end of the summer, but if you can keep the boys off the lawn for three weeks in the early fall. You can reseed the worn areas and anything that gets taken out by disease and have your yard looking good by the end of the fall. Just read your last post jdawg, the reason why fescue is not ideal is the amount of traffic your yard is getting. Tall fescue is a cool season bunch type grass. That means when you lose some grass from traffic or disease the tall fescue is not going to fill in the area, and over time that leads to bare ground.

RE: Grass for Very Shady lawn in NE GA

Thanks for the help, at this point I am not able to trim any more trees back because a lot of the trees that are blocking sun from my lawn are not on my property. It sounds like tall fescue might be my only option for right now.

RE: Grass for Very Shady lawn in NE GA

There is Shadow Turf, a very shade tolerant form of Zoysia. It would be very expensive and a year before it spread enough to use it. It's only available as plugs. I bought one flat 3 years ago for a shady area. It looks really good now.

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