Grass seed for shade

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by BostonBull, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    I have small, 30x30 area on the side of my house that gets peaks of sdun through trees till 9 a.m. then nothing again till 4 p.m. and after. at that time its only MAYBE half the area that gets sun.

    What seed should I plant here that will germinate and spread? I also have dogs so it needs to be a tough species of grass.
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,162

    Good luck! Enjoy your dogs, that's what I do. :)
  3. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    its either more grass or I plant some shade loving shrubs/perenials
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Fescue is your best bet for shade and durability, however plan on over seeding yearly. If it is under trees, I would just skip the grass, mulch it, and use some appropriate understory plants, or nothing at all.
  5. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    Not under trees, about 40' away. Just the sun is low in the morning, and coming through several large trees before it hits my lawn. The morning sun isnt known foir strength anyways.

    What shade tolerant SMALL, i.e. less then 4' mature height, would you recommend? I was thinking of doing a mulch bed along the house where it is the darkest, and stays the wettest. This is the are I have the most problem with. I was thinking some simple Rhodi's, but they will mature large than I would like.

    What company has the best seed for shade applications? I have been using smartseed, but i see LOTS of companies across the country online that sell different varieties.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    If you are looking at the lawn option, given your situation I would be looking at durability first, then shade tolerance. Most all turf type fescues will tolerate shade, if not all of them, however some are more durable than others. Fact of the matter is, lawns in shade need more care and will need to be over seeded on a regular basis if you want to keep it looking good.

    As far as good plants/shrubs to use, you would need to decide based on the natural conditions of the site (soil structure, water status, pH, light, etc...) and look at what plants grow native in your region under those same conditions.
  7. mrkosar

    mrkosar LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 680

    i like teammates from lesco (turf type tall fescue). like everyone has said though you will have to overseed every fall. sounds like you are better off going with mulch or a shade tolerant ground cover.
  8. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Here's something you really can't go wrong with, in shady or wet areas (assuming it's not planted in the hole too deep initially):

    The red twigs of this dogwood are quite striking in the wintertime.

    Yes...Red twig dogwoods can INDEED get above 4'!
    BUT.... if you learn from a wise someone locally how to selectively & internally prune this type of plant, it'll be exponentially less likely to spur on rapid & ferocious top growth, like what's typically witnessed after Jim Bob gets done using his electric (or manual) hedge shears! :rolleyes:
  9. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    Red twigs are beautiful. If I do go the perennial bed route i will most likely use these and Quercifolia's.

    The pruning isnt a problem.....:waving:
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Coppicing in the dormant season is also an option which helps to produce the red stems if that is what you are after.

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