How to Grow Grass in the Shade

Who doesn't want thick, beautiful grass covering their yard? We don't know many people who don't want that. However, there comes a dilemma that many people run across…how to grow grass in the shade. It can seem impossible, but your grass's future is about to get a little brighter (literally and figuratively). Get ready to learn some tips and tricks for getting your grass to grow – even if it's in the shade all day long! 

1. Choose the Right Type of Grass Seed 

Two of the most common types of grass in Georgia include Fescue (cool-season grass) and Bermudagrass (warm-season grass). When it comes to sun requirements, Fescue tends to be the most tolerant to shade. If your yard is primarily shaded, Fescue would likely be the most effective grass seed to plant. 

2. Aeration

We highly recommend having your lawn aerated no matter what, but it's especially important for the areas that are shaded. The small holes in the soil allow for nutrients, air, water, and fertilizer to reach the roots of the grass more effectively. This is a prime opportunity for your grass to get everything it needs and is a great first step to reviving your grass in the shade. 

3. Prune Trees 

If the shade on your grass is caused by trees, create space for light to get to the grass by trimming and pruning your trees. This way, you can keep your trees while allowing light to make it through the thinned areas. 

4. Water Heavily 

Like most living things, grass needs water to survive. If the grass is shaded by a tree, this means that the grass is competing for access to water. The canopy of the tree may be preventing the full amount of water to reach the grass, but even if rain gets through the canopy and to the grass, the tree is likely absorbing the majority of the water. To prevent this issue, water your grass heavily. 

5. Reduce Foot Traffic 

To further encourage grass growth, reduce foot traffic on the growing grass as much as possible. This will help relieve some of the stress on the grass and minimize overall damage. 

6. Use Less Fertilizer 

Grass in the shade only needs half of the nitrogen that is given to the rest of your grass in the sun, so make sure you're using the correct measurements of fertilizer! 

7. Cut Grass Higher 

If your shaded grass is finally growing enough to be cut, it's important that you cut it higher than you would your other grass. This allows for it to receive more of the limited sunlight. Be very careful not to scalp your lawn or else you may have to start the grass-growing process all over again! 

If All Else Fails 

We hope that you find success by implementing the above tips for growing grass in the shade. However, if you don't have any luck, you can always plant shade-tolerant ground cover plants that will provide a nice aesthetic without having to wrestle with growing grass in the shade. 

If you would like to commit to one of our lawn care programs, contact us to learn more about our programs, services, and prices! 

Top Lawn Watering Tips
How to Nurture a Healthy Lawn