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Old 04-04-2011, 02:08 PM   #1
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Mostly Shaded Grass.


With spring coming, I would like to reseed the a portion of our backyard lawn because it is sparsely covered with grass and any sort of the mowing makes me look like pigpen from charlie brown. The trees covering the area are mostly oaks, maples and a few birches, so it can be pretty densely shaded in the middle portion. I would say the area in need of work is approx 2000 square feet, but the backyard itself is about a 1/4 acre.

I'm not looking for a perfect lawn, but would like to try and get something to grow. I don't think the soil quality is bad underneath the trees, but it is dryer most of the time due to sandy soil to begind with and the lack of much vegetation and I imagine I would need to aererate the lawn among other things, but unsure what exactly.

Can anyone offer some suggestions? I live in Minnesota and would consider some alternative ground covers if they would work. I know that clover and micro clover is an option that some people have started using, but I have not read much about it working in shaded areas. I've also recently read about Pachysandra as an alternative ground cover.

We also have two golden retrievers which run around the yard a lot.

Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated! If i forgot to mention any specifics I apologize and will promptly answer any questions.


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Old 04-07-2011, 04:44 PM   #2
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mostly shaded grass

Hey, medelman. Ken here with The Home Depot in the Chicago area.
Forget about growing grass in that area. Between the heavy shade of the oaks
and maples and the aggressive surface roots of the birches, it’s nearly
impossible. Groundcovers are a good idea. The Sunset National Garden Book
divides Minnesota into two halves, north (Duluth) and south (Minneapolis). The
plants that work in the northern half will also work in the southern half.

Aegopodium podagraria (Bishop’s Weed) – moderate water
Glechoma hederacea (Ground ivy) – regular water
Vinca minor (Dwarf Periwinkle) – moderate water
Pachysandra terminalis (Japanese spurge) – regular water
Galax urceolata – regular water
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) – regular water
Pulmonaria (several) – regular water
Anemone nemorosa (Wood anemone) – regular water

I hope this helps. Let me know what you decide. Take care.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:03 PM   #3
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Find a good arborist to thin out your shade trees. Then, put down some shade seed.
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