Tips for Growing Grass in the Shade

Finding the balance between beautiful trees, thick shrubbery and a quality lawn can be tricky, considering maintaining luscious grass in the shade is a constant battle. However, this feat isn’t impossible as long as some sunlight still reaches the ground.


Here are some tips for helping your lawn thrive in the shade:

Turf Management Practices

The first step is ensuring that your lawn is being properly watered, mowed, fertilized and checked for weeds. Maintaining a lawn in the shade is going to require a little more attention to detail and will be handled differently than one in greater sunlight.



During dry periods, it’s ideal to water deeply but intermittently. This is because shady areas don’t take quite as hard a hit from the sun and therefore will not dry out as fast. However, there are cases where root systems on trees soak up all the water and cause draught stress, so pay close attention for those signs.


Cutting and Fertilizing

You may need to adjust the height of your mower when mowing the grass in the shade versus the grass in the sunlight. Grass growing in the shade requires a larger leaf surface to encourage deeper and more extensive rooting, so the turf can better compete with the tree for water and nutrients. When it comes to fertilizing, shaded areas require less. This is because the photosynthesizing process is impeded by less sunlight, so too much fertilizer could hinder the grass’s ability to manage nutrients.

Modify the Soil

The type of soil that you have can affect the way the grass grows. Any lawn will perform better if it’s topsoil is rich in organic material. For soil that is comprised of sand or clay, try to incorporate more OM into the soil. Make sure you are aerating and providing draining for the soil—this helps with the penetration of nutrients. Also, because the air movement is reduced and surface moisture remains in the soil longer, shady areas are more prone to diseases associated with high moisture; selecting a good cultivar and managing the soil properly should reduce the risk of acquiring these diseases.

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If you have any issues, you can call a grass seed specialist for assistance. They are well versed in  lawn maintenance and what it takes to help you reach your goals.