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Old 09-25-2003, 08:29 PM
cloey cloey is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 5
Help growing grass in dirty shady spots.

Hi, I recently purchased a home in Jackson Mississippi. I have some areas in the back yard that are dirty and dusty with very little grass growing. The grass is very patchy. I dont think it was very well cared for. The areas where the grass is not growing are kinda shady... 2 big trees and a few smaller ones. The ground is kinda dry and dusty..... Slightly hilly. Grass grows great in the front yard and sides. Just haveing problems with the back where i have hills and trees.

I am Very new to lawn care and dont have alot of resources. I would REALLY like to get grass growing in these areas. Any ideas/suggestions on where i should start?

Im guessing the shade is causeing the problems...

Please help.
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Old 09-27-2003, 10:51 AM
redbull redbull is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Springfield, MO
Posts: 182
What kind of tree? If it is an Oak you probable need to work some lime into the soil (oaks have a lot of acids). You also may need to do some pruining first to help get some sun in. Than get some fertilzer work it in the soil, find some shade type grass - seed, water, cover with straw - you will need to keep it watered. Depending on how big the area, this shouldn't be a hugh expense. Good luck. I'm sure others will post more replys, this is the basics
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Old 09-27-2003, 09:58 PM
Green in Idaho Green in Idaho is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 833
IF you absolutely want grass find out the best shade variety for MS. Different regions need different grass types. A fescue for shade in one area of the US may not do well in a different region.

A free source is your local county extension office. I believe every state has an extension university (spec. in agricultural, horticultural studies) and they will know the best shade grass for YOUR area. And yes, be sure to be able to tell them the type of trees in the area

Alternatively, consider something other than grass. It may be that the shade, tree, water, and other condition are going to make growing grass an impractical wish. It might be possible, but you will be babying it so much it may not be worth it. Work with the area not against the natural direction of the

Consider groundcovers instead of grass. Keep the trees in mind though for WATER and the trees health. Or other landscape types like flagstone with moss in between. Or just mulch with some smaller shrubs or flowers under the tree with a sitting bench by the trunk. I can picture you sitting there with an icy lemonade and a good book already.
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Old 10-06-2003, 08:44 PM
m2pc m2pc is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Mass
Posts: 10
I have a lot of shade and have many trees, Pines, Oaks, Cherry, nut.....previous owner liked to plant whatever tree he could get his hands on. Anyways, I was able to get my lawn going by pruning and cutting a few of the unhealthier trees down. That was 5 years ago, now I need to prune back some more and remove some other trees. I do not want to cut all of them down, since trees give shade and are nice to have around, but doing it gradually seemed to help the healthier ones thrive.
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Old 10-09-2003, 11:07 AM
cloey cloey is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 5
Thanks for the replies. I do have a followup question tho. If I go to lime the soil... Do i need to till it into the soil or would it be ok just to wet down the soil and put it on top. Then keep the soil good and moist?

thanks again.
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Old 10-09-2003, 03:17 PM
CT John CT John is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: CT Zone 6
Posts: 90
Don't put lime down without a soil test. Its ok to just spread it on top of the soil, but working it into the soil would be the ideal practice.
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Old 10-09-2003, 04:38 PM
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ElephantNest ElephantNest is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: La.
Posts: 1,878
St. Aug is all that will grow under trees around here. Usually. Also, try to water more in the areas with trees. They suck up all the water that the grass needs.
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