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Old 03-23-2010, 10:22 PM   #1
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Lawn Help - Growing Grass in Shade


We purchased our house (in DC suburbs) a couple of months ago and the front lawn is in need of a lot of help. There are several large trees in the front yard and there is little direct sunlight on that side, so there is a lot of shade. At this point the grass is almost non-existent, there is more dirt and mud than grass. We would like to plant grass seeds to get a decent looking lawn, we're not looking for perfect, but don't know where to begin. We are particularly looking for advice on when the best time would be to plant the seeds, what type/brand of seeds to use, and what type/brand of fertilizer would work.

Thank you.


Last edited by Mikhail; 03-23-2010 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:17 PM   #2
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Lawn Help - Growing Grass in Shade


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Originally Posted by Mikhail View Post
We purchased our house (in DC suburbs) a couple of months ago and the front lawn is in need of a lot of help. There are several large trees in the front yard and there is little direct sunlight on that side, so there is a lot of shade. At this point the grass is almost non-existent, there is more dirt and mud than grass. We would like to plant grass seeds to get a decent looking lawn, we're not looking for perfect, but don't know where to begin. We are particularly looking for advice on when the best time would be to plant the seeds, what type/brand of seeds to use, and what type/brand of fertilizer would work.

Thank you.
The best time to plant grass seed is during the fall, which gives the grass several months to take root before the heat hits.

With your shady area, you can still probably have some success during the spring time, but it will take a few seasons before it will get thick, if at all.

I would first recommend you hiring an arborist to thin out some of the trees in order to provide light to the ground, unless you want one or more removed outright.

Success may depend on how much you water that grass, because those big thirsty trees will be competing with the grass for water.

Once you get the trees/shade resolved, I would recommend the Rebel brand of shady grass seed after you amend the soil with soil conditioner. You can find this grass seed brand at Home Depot.

http://www.fescue.com/info/rebelshady.html

The seed won't start to germinate until the ground temperature consistently stays over 60F.


Last edited by handy man88; 03-23-2010 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:56 PM   #3
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Lawn Help - Growing Grass in Shade


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Originally Posted by handy man88 View Post
The best time to plant grass seed is during the fall, which gives the grass several months to take root before the heat hits.

With your shady area, you can still probably have some success during the spring time, but it will take a few seasons before it will get thick, if at all.

I would first recommend you hiring an arborist to thin out some of the trees in order to provide light to the ground, unless you want one or more removed outright.

Success may depend on how much you water that grass, because those big thirsty trees will be competing with the grass for water.

Once you get the trees/shade resolved, I would recommend the Rebel brand of shady grass seed after you amend the soil with soil conditioner. You can find this grass seed brand at Home Depot.

http://www.fescue.com/info/rebelshady.html

The seed won't start to germinate until the ground temperature consistently stays over 60F.
Thanks a lot for answering my question! Do I have to use any fertilizers? What kind?
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:03 PM   #4
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Lawn Help - Growing Grass in Shade


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Thanks a lot for answering my question! Do I have to use any fertilizers? What kind?
I would use a designated starter fertilizer for new seed or sod. Any brand should be fine.

http://www.scotts.com/smg/catalog/pr...temId=cat70008
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:31 AM   #5
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Lawn Help - Growing Grass in Shade


I hope Mikhil won't mind me asking a question. Handyman, you said the ground temp has to be consistently over 60 degrees. Does that include night temps too?
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:30 PM   #6
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Lawn Help - Growing Grass in Shade


I have a similar problem in my garden, there is a shady patch that gets flooded in winter and dry in summer! We have heavy clay soil that doesnt help things much.

I found that dressing the lawn each autumn and spring with sharp sand has helped quite a lot.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:29 PM   #7
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Lawn Help - Growing Grass in Shade


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I hope Mikhil won't mind me asking a question. Handyman, you said the ground temp has to be consistently over 60 degrees. Does that include night temps too?
I think that means consistent day and night.

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