Return to the Lawn Care Forum | Post a Follow-Up

shade grass seed mix

Posted by ranger481vs WI (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 15, 11 at 10:12

Hello. I am planning to do dormant grass overseeding soon on my residential lawn. I've lived here about a year, and the turf is in decent condition, but not very thick at all. I don't think the original owner ever reseeded in the last 36yrs. I have a few areas where the grass isn't growing very well because of shade. Overall, I would say I have a shady lawn because of the mature trees surrounding it. I cut back many of the trees a bit this fall to allow more sunlight.

I've found a local turf/landscaping supply company here in Madison, WI that has their own seed mix for shade grass as follows:

30% Winward Chewings Fescue
30% Jasper II Creeping Red Fescue
20% America Kentucky Bluegrass
10% Dark Horse Poa Trivialis
10% Fiesta III Perennial Ryegrass

I'm not familiar with grass seed at all, so I was hoping to get an opinion or two on this particular mixture. Thanks, Matt

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: shade grass seed mix

I wouldn't use it. The perennial ryegrass will last one season in shade, then it will thin out due to its low shade tolerance. It is only 10 percent of the mix however, and I suspect it is only in there for it's quick germination time, and it will help stabilize bare soil while the other grasses establish. America KBG will do ok as long as it gets at least 4-5 hours of direct sun, but it will struggle with less. The Fescues are a great choice of shade grass and can do with little direct sun. The main issue I have is with the poa trivialis. I planted poa trivialis (some of it was darkhorse) in my backyard due to shade issues. It is a nice looking grass when it is by itself, but in a mixed stand it will stand out due to its light green color and it's fast growth rate. It is also sensitive to 2,4 D based weed killers. There are plenty of better shade mixes out there, Bonny Dunes fine fescue mix is one that I have heard good things about.

RE: shade grass seed mix

Thanks for the quick response Tiemco. I will look into Bonny Dunes mix. I may end up having to wait until spring to spread the seed, as there's potential for snowfall at any time these days. Is there much of a difference in benefits between dormant seeding vs just dropping the seeds in spring? In both cases, the seed germinates at the same time it seems.

RE: shade grass seed mix

Dormant seeding is a bit better because the seed gets worked into the soil which is better for germination, you will use less water, and the seed will germinate at the absolute earliest possible time in the spring, giving it the most time to get established before the summer. The only thing to remember is that if it is a very dry spring you will need to irrigate.

RE: shade grass seed mix

Got it, that makes sense. Thanks again.

RE: shade grass seed mix

I've been looking for Bonny Dune or Bonnie Dune grass everywhere...but to no avail :( Anywhere I can buy this online? Preferably the Dormant Seed version...
Clearly I'm a newbie :)

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Lawn Care Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here