Asked on Dec 4, 2011

grass for shade

The Landscape Guy-Atlanta & North GADouglas HuntAnna K


5 answers
  • That would be some tall grass. Trees make for better shade ;)

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Dec 4, 2011

    Roy you need at least 5 hours of sun for any grass to grow. The more shade tolerant grasses are Zoysia, Fescue and a new variety of Bermuda 'Tift grand'. Fescue is a cool season grass meaning it grows in the winter and stays green. The down side to Fescue is is that it requires a lot of water and maintenance in the summer months here in the Atlanta area. Zoysia such as the Jamur, or Emerald Green or the new Zeon, are warm season grass, going dormant in the winter, all beautiful grasses and each with its own merits. I have heard both positive and negative concerning the new shade tolerant Bermuda. Grass does not do well under heavy shade canopy because not only is it not getting the sun it needs but it is usually competing with what ever is creating the shade (usually big trees) for the water and with the roots for the nutrition in the soil. Consider your area, can you use an alternate plan for the area, such as a mulched shrub bed, or can you limb up the trees that cause the shade, or can you use a mounding grass such as mondo grass which does not even require mowing? So the questions are How much sun do you get? What shades the area? How much maintenance are you willing to do to keep it healthy? Can you get water to the area?

  • Anna K
    on Dec 5, 2011

    there are fine fescues that do ok... and there is an annual that does great-if you are willing to overseed every year. i personally would say boo to turf and go for a lovely groundcover... does carex do well in GA? there is one called blue zinger that spreads well but not horribly, and has that grassy look you way want...

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Dec 5, 2011

    I always look at shade as an opportunity to have less grass. Think of it as a way to create a shady retreat, filled with wonderful plants like ferns and hellebores and heucheras. If you want to still have the look of turf, dwarf mondo is probably the way to go.

  • "Jamur" is a "somewhat" shade tolerant Zoysia..but as 4 Seasons says you need 5 hours of sun to grow decent turf- Sometimes that can be achieved by having the tree canopy raised with some professional pruning. Fescue is the most shade tolerant grass we can grow in N Ga but it has issues with the summer heat/drought.

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