Rick B
Rick B
  • Hometalker
  • Monroe, GA
Asked on Feb 20, 2012

I have a sloping back yard. How can I get grass to grow?

AllisonErica GlasenerRick B
+10

Answered

I have sowed the area repeatedly in fescue, but it is still very spotty and uneven. The entire area is good old Georgia red clay and gets a lot of shade in the summer. I have thought of sodding with Bermud, but I am afraid the area is too shady. Any ideas?
13 answers
  • Douglas Hunt
    on Feb 20, 2012

    Rick, fescue is the most shade-tolerant grass there is for your area, but if it (or any grass, for that matter) does not get at least six hours of direct sunlight, it is not going to do well. You will be much happier if you just embrace the shade and accept that you need to grow something other than grass there. If you have a sloping wooded lot, that seems like a prime opportunity for woodland-inspired plantings of azaleas, camellias, hellebores and hostas, to name just a few. If you want to maintain the look of turf, there is dwarf mondo grass.

  • Ricardo B
    on Feb 20, 2012

    If it's shady as you say... Bermuda sod may be a dead end, literally. I say, break up the clay soil and include amendments to keep it from compacting then sod those sloped areas with fescue or Kentucky Blue grass. Unfortunately, they both require lots of water and occasional re-seeding. You could un-shade that area and then bermuda, zoysia or centipede would work great. Good luck to you Rick!

  • Miriam I
    on Feb 21, 2012

    There was a similar discussion here recently that may help: http://www.hometalk.com/activity/132635

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Feb 21, 2012

    I have to join with the chorus on this one. Any grass needs at least 5-6 hours of sunlight to grow. The words 'shade tolerant' is a bit of misnomer as no grass really is 'shade' tolerant. You can do as Douglas suggests and 'embrace' the shade, or as Ricardo suggests and reduce the shade and use a 'shade tolerant' grass such as Zeon or Emerald Green Zoysia or Fescue (but be prepared for heavy maintenance on the Fescue starting with an irrigation system). And yes you will do yourself and your grass a great favor to add as much good soil as you can afford. Good luck and let us know what you decide to do and how it turns out.

  • Erica Glasener
    on Feb 21, 2012

    What about groundcovers, dwarf mondo would work well in your situation.

  • Rick B
    on Feb 21, 2012

    I really appreciate all the thoughts and suggestions. I am not familiar with Dwarf Mondo, so I will have to check this out. We may end up sodding the places that get more sunlight and planting azaleas, hellebores and the like in the others areas.

  • Rick B
    on Feb 21, 2012

    We need to evaluate what our yard will look under different circumstances. Some suggestions have offered ideas we have not yet considered. Still in the idea/planning phase.

  • Charlene S
    on Feb 21, 2012

    You will probably have to cover it with a good top soil, then use Kentucky Bluegrass to plant. It grows fast & is very hardy. It also grows well in shady areas.

  • Pat G
    on Feb 21, 2012

    Sounds like a good spot for native plants... plan on notebook and keep so you can add to it as you have the money... dig and amend each hole as you get ready to put you have today. Have never regretted doing this on my side yard.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Feb 22, 2012

    A mix of sod where the sun will support it and shrubs where it won't sounds like the right strategy, Rick. If you have additional questions, we're here!

  • Rick B
    on Feb 26, 2012

    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas. We have decided to give up on grass in some areas, sow fescue in others and sod bermuda in the one area that does get enough light. I would like more ideas about native plants for a flower/shrub garden.

  • Erica Glasener
    on Feb 26, 2012

    Rick, I think you are making a good choice to use native plants. A mixture of groundcovers, ferns and shrubs would help stablize your bank and work well. Shrubs like the Virginia sweetspire, would work well. Christmas ferns are evergreen and very tough. For a photo gallery of native plants for Georgia check out this site. http://www.gnps.org/indexes/Plant_Gallery_Index.php

  • Allison
    on May 10, 2015

    Slopping yards are a toughie. I live in Denver, (water is always in short supply here) and I am totally in love with artificial grass. Not the old fashioned kind, but the new brands that look so real you have to touch them to tell. No water, fertilizing, mowing etc. somewhat expensive but a more permanent solution to all kinds of problems.

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