Shady Grass Area needs to be fixed

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by recycledsole, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,231

    Hey gentlemen
    ive got a yard that is very shady. There is a good mat of moss there and a bit of weeds and grass also.
    I read in my Maryland co-operative extension that a the best shade grass is fine fescue. I was thinking to stripe the area, mix sand into the soil for better drainage, then either seed it or install strips of fine fescue sod if i can find that. i was also considering a soil test.
    please let me know what you would do, what you think
    thanks alot
     
  2. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,231

    anyone knows?
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Fescue is generally considered the best cool-season shade grass, but typically people kill it with advice from full-sun cultural practices... When you treat a forest lawn with the same methods as a full-sun lawn you lose...
    Poa Supina, may be your best option...
     
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,104

    Small is right. First correct the reason for the thin grass. Moss is an indication of insufficient sunlight. Poa supina is a good bet.
    Otherwise, you should go with a shade-tolerant ground cover. Such as: myrtle, pachysandra, ivy, Lamium, euonymous, goutweed, ferns, hosta and more. A statue, bird bath or fountain would help to distract the eye from the lack of grass.
     
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    If the shade is due to trees, I would suggest clearing the low limbs (to 15 feet or so) so that you will at least get some sun on the lawn when the sun is at lower angles...a little light can make a big difference. You can likely get things to look good for a little while by re-seeding with fine fescue but it will just decline again over time if it remains heavily shaded.
     
  6. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,231

    thanks alot for the input i really appreciate it. where can i buy Poa Supina other than in home depots shade mix?

    thank you!
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Poa Supina is hard to find... internet or professional feedstores may be your best bet... it's expensive but a little goes a long way, in that it spreads well once established... takes time to establish so be patient and remember, overfertilizing in the shade may cause you to loose even that...
     
  8. lilmarvin4064

    lilmarvin4064 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 757

    Poa Supina might not be the best choice for most parts of MD. I don't believe it has enough heat and drought tolerance, especially without irrigation. What works in Wisconsin or Michigan might not work in Maryland. Hard fescue and creeping red fescue are good choices IMO.

    Don't amend the soil with sand. Turface MVP Pro League or Turface Allsport Pro would be a much better choice.
     
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,104

    Marvin is right. I could be wrong--but probably tall fescue is a better bet for shade in the transition zone. Local advice is best for this situation. Add organic matter to improve soil. Adding sand to soil will not improve drainage much--the pore spaces between the sand particles will fill with clay particles--the soil may become harder still. Better to recontour the area to ensure adequate slope and surface drainage.
    If you use a fescue seed--be sure to read through all the seed company tech sheets and get one that claims to be shade-tolerant. If you can find one that also claims to be disease resistant, and falls in the top ten in your state university tests for NTEP.com --that is even better.

    You do not want a low-growing "dwarf type", as they lack vigor and are slow to take hold.
    http://www.pickseed.com/usa/proTurf/turf/index.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  10. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,231

    hello
    i got the job next week
    i would appreciate any advice
    thanks
     

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