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Shade and wear - any options?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by bassplayer7, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. bassplayer7

    bassplayer7 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    I think I'm asking a question that has been asked before, and I think I understand the ultimate answer to this, but I'd really like to figure out all my options.

    I have a customer who has a very shaded back yard, and wants to deal with the dirt/mud problem. They have two dogs (small and large), and a couple kids that like to play in the area. Simply put - high traffic, low light.

    Here in Kansas, the summers can get pretty intense. The winters, on the other hand can cool down quite a bit. Right now the yard is tall fescue.

    I think the main "options" are fine fescue, and zoysia. My understanding is that particularly fine fescue handles the shade part well. I'm not sure on zoysia. The customer recently asked me about the zoysia, and before I listed off reasons why not to, I wanted to check on it. He wanted to plug a somewhat small part of the backyard.

    My concern with zoysia is that it will take over the yard, look bad in the winter (and possibly be damaged in the winter when it's dormant), and not handle shade well.

    With the fine fescue, even if it gets started, I think it will be destroyed with wear in a few weeks. I also am a little reserved on if it will handle the summer heat.

    I don't think there's enough light for bluegrass.

    What are my options? They are willing to put a lot into it.

    Thank you all so much for the help!
     
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    With dogs in the mix, I wouldn't expect that seeding any kind of grass seed would be a good investment.

    We're too cold for zoysia up here, so I don't know if it would be a good idea or not... but, the notion of 'plugs' would be better than 'seed', IMO...
     
  3. bassplayer7

    bassplayer7 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    That's a good point that I forgot to mention. The HO mentioned zoysia plugs.

    If I plugged it and the zoysia did survive what about all the TTTF in his yard. Would the zoysia take over?
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  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,250

    I don't think you know how slow zoysia grow's. You might get 8 inch's a year in full sun, in shade i don't think your going to get any. Forget about grass with dog's,kid's and shade. Gravel for the dog's, mulch for the kid's. I am totally serious.
     
  5. bassplayer7

    bassplayer7 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    Thanks for the tip. I was thinking hard scales will be their only option. My biggest concern was the zoysia taking over. I've thought about letting them try zoysia but obviously giving them the facts about any grass growing there.

    Thanks guys for the help.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,440

    The customer must read about Zoysias miracle properties in the Sunday Parade magazine. It will not do what you want in the area you want to put it in. I've had luck with perennial Ryes, but it requires regular overseeding. Dogs are a real issue with any turf.
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  7. bassplayer7

    bassplayer7 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    Perennial rye is an interesting idea. I think it would really struggle over the summer. But with some fungicide, I suppose it may pull through (enough). Do you know how it handles shade? It wouldn't be a big deal to reseed every fall (maybe the spring in addition).

    I'll check out the article you mentioned.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,440

    The article is actually a marketing hype for Zoysia. Perennial Rye is one of the few that tolerates dense shade even in Florida heat. Check the ingredients of a bag of Scotts Dense Shade mix.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. bassplayer7

    bassplayer7 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    Ok. Thanks for your help.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,405

    Would they consider artificial turf? It doesn't rot and can be hosed off when the dog uses it. You prep the area the same as if you were installing patio bricks.

    I prefer my Fender Jazz over my Precision or my other basses, although the Pre has a nicer tone.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012

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