Best grass for shady areas.

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by carcrz, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Looking for a good seed to put down on a very shady lawn. The genius board thought that they could solve the problem by installing irrigation. I guess they never thought the real problem was the ~40 trees on a 5000 sq ft lot. I've tried overseeding heavily a couple times w/ just a little success each time. I just had a meeting this morning & they were less than pleased w/ me. They were starting to understand why they weren't getting the expected results, but thought there was more that I could have done. It's a VERY good account so I want to do what I can if there is anything at all I can do. I can't really thing the trees out for more sunlight so I have to figure out some kind of seed.
     
  2. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,580

    Creeping red fescue??
     
  3. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Is it pretty tolerant to all weather extremes? I think that is another thing that may be hurting me. Our weather is crazy here. We get a bit of everything - extreme hot & extreme cold. I know that I'm going to need a specialty seed on this one because I've tried everything I can get off the shelf here.
     
  4. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,580

    I'm not really a seed pro, but when I was looking for seed for a really clay, really dark shade lawn, our local seed dealer (Only sells seed, been in business more than 50 years), recommended a mix consisting mostly of creeping red fescue. I'd bet our weather up here is pretty consistant with yours.
     
  5. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,217

    Carcrz: I'm old and seen a lot and there's no such thing for that situation. Grass needs three things: water, soil, and light. Shade deprives the grass and what does live is thin trying its best to get the light. Light is essential for photosynthesis, chlorophyll production (Green) and general growth. I'd consider lots of mulch beds and in places where there is a little light--put down some fescue SOD and replace it every 4-5 years. Your're only talking about 4-5 palettes at about $600, Use a good liquid fertilizer with lots of potassium and iron when it is hot. You already have irrigation and IF it stays or can spread--well that's a bonus.
     
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    A blend of creeping red and tall fescue. Issues about lack of sunlight are well noted. Turning that area into beds is a good idea as well with myrtle or pacysandra as two options.
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    Fescues seeded in the fall and annual rye in the spring. So far that is the only thing I've seen work in dense shade. In amongs the trees on the north side of the house fescues are thin but surviving and the annual rye fills in.
    We also lime alot in the forest particularily with pine and oak.
    Yes, the fescues handle all temperature extremes. I have one hill that recieves very little sun until the afternoon when the sun is baking down and reflecting off the lake at the same time. I cut as high as I can get away with and it does very well. Good luck.
     
  8. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,217

    Another thing or two that I forgot to mention: 1. Limb those trees really high, the morning low angle sun will get to the grass for a little while, and 2. incorporate some bird-bath or fountains into the scheme with walkways.
     

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