How to Grow Grass under Trees (Shade Tolerant Grass)

Growing grass under trees can be difficult to gardeners because as the tree grows it causes more shade and competition for nutrients. Grass also require adequate sunlight in order for it to produce its own food and nutrients for growth. Tree leaves and branches also prevents rain water from reaching the ground where it is highly needed by the grass for growth and development. This brings us to the question below:

Can grass grow under trees?

Yes, grass can grow very well under tress but under very special care. First of all, you have to ensure that the shade is reduced by pruning the trees so as to avoid competition. You can also plant shade tolerant grass that adapts to the condition as you increase the water intake and sunlight, by doing this your grass will grow well and it will never dry up.

Shade Tolerant Grass to Grow under Trees

There are different varieties of grass that one can grow under shade condition. Whether there is shortage of sunlight or not they will still flourish in whichever surroundings they are in. They include the following:

  • Ryegrass. This is a species of grass that is classified as cool seasoned grass that does very well in shady area. It’s easy and quick to germinate thus creating a very beautiful lawn. Ryegrass usually takes 3 to 5 days for it to germinate. Its Endophytes in nature hence keeps off insects that may try to feed on it, this grass reflects light hence giving it an attractive sunshine as compared to other types of grass.
  • St Augustine Grass. This grass is also known as Charleston grass. It’s a course textured grass in nature that has spread all across the warmer regions. Good thing with this grass is that it requires five to six hours of sunlight for it to flourish well, even though when there’s limited amount of sunlight it will still does well.
  • Centipede Grass. It’s a warm season grass and it tends to be more sensitive to cold environment. Centipede grass does well under tress due to its shallow roots system it’s able to absorb water more faster and it requires low maintaince.Centipede grass requires 6 hours of sunlight for its lawn to lay off perfectly.
  • Zoysia. Zoysia grass is a thick cultivar that is resistant to drought and heat hence defined as a warm season grass. It does perfectly under tress and it requires less water to stay green hence mowing and irrigation is less needed. For its survival it requires at least six hours of sunshine daily.
  • Bluegrass. Blue grass is adapted well in both cool and wet areas it perfectly does well in shady areas where nutrients and sunlight are limited. Rough bluegrass requires four hours of sun daily.
  • Fescue Grass. This is type of grass that is categorized under cool seasoned lawn grass that does well in shady areas. Tall fescue and fine fescue are the two main species of fescue grass.Fescue grass does very well in regions where the soil is less fertile and also in very dry condition. It requires at least 4 to 6 hours of dappled sunlight.

How to Grow Grass under Trees

As we all know growing grass under tress can be very hectic and stressful but here are very simple steps that will guide you:

  1. The first step is to prune and thin the lower branches of the tress so as to allow more sunlight to penetrate into the grass beneath.
  2. Aerate the soil so as to allow air and water to penetrate into the grass roots, you also need to add fertilizer on your grass so as to add more nutrients on it and for faster growth.
  3. Applying a thin layer of organic compost in your aerated area will help in boosting the growth because grass grown in shady areas requires less fertilizer as compared to those grown on open places.
  4. Select your different types of quality seed  that are tolerant to shade and sow them in the soil, It is always advisable to overseed your lawn when sowing as this helps cover-up the spaces where grass failed to grow.
  5. Due to competition, grass in shady areas receives less moisture and it is good for one to know when to water the lawn because this will help in the formation of deep roots.
  6. It is also good to keep your grass long about a half to one inch tall as this will help it trap sunlight more as compared to those exposed on full sun.
  7. Landscape of about one and a half to two thirds of nitrogen should be given less per year in the shaded area as compared to those exposed to sun but in cold region fertilizer is applied at half the rate.
  8. For one to successfully grow grass under shade, it’s good to reduce any kind of stress and foot traffic to the grass by creating physical barriers like installing stepping stones and introducing mulching to protect the grass.
  9. Always consider to plant grass that are shade tolerant in shady areas on your garden as this will help keep off soil erosion that is usually formed during rainy seasons or during dry seasons.

Final Thought

One can never go wrong if the above steps are followed, always remember to select quality type of seed that can grow well in shady areas as this will help you save your time. It’s also good to consider the drought resistance seeds as this requires very little patching since they can tolerate heat. You can always find seeds in whichever type of climate one is in that is sunny, hot and cold.

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