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Grass in deep shade

Posted by whip1 z5 ne Ohio (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 31, 07 at 16:56

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.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Grass in deep shade

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


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RE: Grass in deep shade

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.


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RE: Grass in deep shade

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.


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RE: Grass in deep shade

Plant a lot of ENCORE azaleas.....


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RE: Grass in deep shade

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.


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RE: Grass in deep shade

  • Posted by whip1 z5 ne Ohio (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 2, 08 at 18:59

Will clover grow in shade?


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RE: Grass in deep shade

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


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RE: Grass in deep shade

  • Posted by whip1 z5 ne Ohio (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 11, 08 at 15:54

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.


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RE: Grass in deep shade

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. :-)


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RE: Grass in deep shade

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.


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RE: Grass in deep shade

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.


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RE: Grass in deep shade

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?


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RE: Grass in deep shade

  • Posted by gryd CT (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 20, 08 at 10:01

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:
Shady Nook3


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RE: Grass in deep shade

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


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RE: Grass in deep shade

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?


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RE: Grass in deep shade

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!


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RE: Grass in deep shade

  • Posted by gryd CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 28, 08 at 15:58

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?


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RE: Grass in deep shade

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.


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RE: Grass in deep shade

  • Posted by gryd CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 28, 08 at 19:11

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.


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