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Best Shade Grass

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by White Gardens, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    If there is such a thing.

    Our local supply company has a decent creeping red-fescue mix that I generally use for moderate to heavy shade conditions.

    I've got a customer with extreme dense shade under Oak trees. Took a couple of soil samples and everything looks good.

    I was going to try and talk him into landscaping the area, but he said he likes to have a bit of grass in his lawn (75% of it is trees and landscaping) for himself and the grand kids.

    Has anyone used a certain type of grass in extreme shade situations that yielded moderate to good results.


  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,215

    In my heavy shade situation in my own yard--I have seeded with several varieties including blue, fine fescue and perennial rye in various varieties. Not much fescue remains except in the sunny areas--the most common grass in the shady areas is perennial rye. That and bare dirt.
  3. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,541

    I use creeping red fescue/bluegrass I re done areas under oak trees I always bring in extra top soil After growth them areas are high maintenance areas I use lots of lime and some fert Thatch plug every year keep it clean But if one year don't do anything it will go to hell

    If your customer don't want high maintenance best talk them in doing landscape around the trees
    Good luck on this project
  4. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,583

    Jonathon Green Pro-Green Shady Mix.
  5. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Posts: 1,899

    For warm-season areas, I use TifGrand Bermuda or Zeon Zoysia sod.
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    It's the only designated "lawn/turf" area they have in the back yard. I'd say the property is close to 3/4 acre with nothing but trees. They've done minor landscaping to the "woods" so to speak so he really wants to try and get grass there for the grand kids to play on occasionally.

    So, I'm going to do what he's asking. Soil samples have been taken and is at 6.5 ph (good to go) and high on potassium and phosphorus. Super surprised as all the samples I took this year on normal lawns all needed sulfur to bring the PH back down.

    I'll do it this year, and if it fails, I'll try to sell him on astro-turf.........

    Thanks for all the seed suggestions so far. If anyone else has a suggestion, keep them coming.

  7. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,058

    My lawn is similar to your cutomers place. I can get grass to grow till the heat of summer then its gone. The best I can figure is not to over do it with fert and lots of water, most larger trees can pull more than 100 gallons of water a day from the ground.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    The simplest thing to do is plant AR along with a 'standard shady mix' of grass seed for your area... don't be afraid to rough-up the top few inches of soil, seed it down, soak it down and don't use much water at a time after that...

    In heavy shade the ground may never dry out and all you'll get is moss and compacted surfaces, so you must regulate water differently than with normal lawns... same with fertilizer which can often be cut in half or ignored completely...

    We are looking pretty good this Spring with our Poa Supina coming back in the denser/darker areas, so that might be an option to work with for you as well, but I'm not sure of its ability to handle occasional kid traffic...

    Be sure to mulch mow only,,, but the important thing to note is that it can be done... and if you're growing moss then you know you've over done it with the water...

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