I have a big space under my tree where grass will not grow

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q i have a big space under my tree where grass will not grow
  17 answers
  • Annie Annie on Feb 03, 2018
    Certain trees create a very acidic environment around them. Your best bet may be to use an acid loving ground cover in that area or use raised planters around it where you control the soil. There are ways to amend soil that is too acidic but I don’t know if that might harm your tree. A good question for your local extension service or a nurseryman. Another possibility is it’s just too shady. Have you played with different types of seed?
  • Beverly Lewis Beverly Lewis on Feb 03, 2018
    I made a circular boarder of the curved brick you can buy at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Put down weed barriver And filled it in with white marble rock. Which you can also buy at both those stores.
  • Rebecca Alford Rebecca Alford on Feb 04, 2018
    Build a raised bed around the tree after laying down landscaping fabric. Fill with purchased garden soil and plant shade loving plants like hosta, cast iron plants and for seasonal color, hydrangea and impatience.
  • I had a place like that and my husband built a planter around it, a large one and we planted hostas, That was years ago and they are thriving. There are also shade loving attractive mosses that spread and look nice.
    • KO KO on Feb 05, 2018
      And I believe they are very hardy in most zones. :-)
  • Sdo11166465 Sdo11166465 on Feb 04, 2018
  • Connie Connie on Feb 04, 2018
    We have the same problem. We put landscape blocks around in a large circle, added compost that we made (if you don’t compost, then just put dirt in it!), planted liriope, and let it fill in as it spreads. It spreads pretty fast, is drought tolerant, and beautiful. It grows most anywhere & in almost any soil. I live in SC so our soil is mostly red clay & our climate very dry.
  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Feb 04, 2018
    Yes and yes. Few things grow under large shade trees. You are lucky your foundation is not cracked! As to the problem, I'd use a boarder (brick, metal, plastic) and make an area to enclose the dead zone. Cover it with landscape cover and add mulch or rocks. If you really want plants, you can use a low light ground cover. If you want decoration that requires no maintenance, try a decorative metal sculpture or pile large, interesting rocks into a cairn. You can also hang things from the tree like colored bottles and chimes.
  • Ba Ba on Feb 04, 2018
    I would put down some pretty river rock and use raised beds or container garden.
  • Jalolo Jalolo on Feb 04, 2018
    I had the same problem and had asian jasmine planted a year ago. It has completely filled in and looks so much better. You would need some sort of border to separate it from any grassy areas.
  • Kyralee Kyralee on Feb 04, 2018
    I see this as a golden opportunity for a fabulous shade garden full of a variety of hostas!
  • Melanie Czoka Melanie Czoka on Feb 04, 2018
    I would cover that area in mulch
  • Deanna Nassar Deanna Nassar on Feb 04, 2018
    Check online for gardening sites. Look for shade loving plants. There are some grasses that like shade. We had a lot of shade in front of the house but had a slow growing thin bladed grass there. My grandfather planted it so I don't know exactly what it was.
    Many types of trees create toxins to discourage other trees from taking up space near them. PLEASE DO NOT PLANT IVY. It can strangle the tree. Will also take over the rest of area around it.
  • Schelley Kay Kurle Schelley Kay Kurle on Feb 04, 2018
    I have several oak trees on my acre and nothing but weeds will grow there. I love the idea of using the rocks like many people suggested. You would have to know what the tree was before you planted anything. Check with your local nursery to get their opinion of whether anything will grow under that type of tree before planting.
  • Moly Moly on Feb 05, 2018
    Hi Jill. I had the same problem in my back yard. It would turn to mud whenever it rained and was an eyesore all the time.

    First, as a temp fix so the little feet and hands didnt find it a great place to play, I put up a small, CHEAP, wire fence. Then I scrounged some flagstones & made a walk room through the space so I could walk across it to carry out trash.

    On the side of the walkway opposite the tree I planted marigolds. Large ones, standard ones & small ones to give some variety to the area (marigolds are great for keeping the bugs away). On the back side of the tree and walkway I placed Hens & Chicks. These multiply fast but are easy to thin out. Once every thing established I took down the little wire fence to be used again somewhere else.

    As I aquired more flagstones, I filled in around the tree, replacing the plants and leaving space around the base of the trunk. We found a garden bench, wood and wrought iron, and put it in our small, shady patio. I found a small, tile top table to add to my out door get away.

    As the flowers were replaced with flagstones, I started placing potted plants, typically the marigolds I had removed, & also sweet peas with a small trellis in the large pot, around the area & bench. I like potted plants because I can move them around if I don’t like how they look or easily change the color scheme.

    Here in Woming, shade is at a premium in the summer & fall & water is scarce. Flowers/plants can be scorched easily. The flower’s were able to get a lot of morning sun but were shaded during the hottest parts if the day. Also, I tend to react intensly to mosquito bites etc. so the marigolds were a must! This way I could be outside and enjoy the time I was there.

    I agree wholeheartedly with all those that gave advice to contact your local City Forestry or Extension Office for advice on placement of anything. Its free & they know your area. It is vital to check how close to the trunk to place anything, what is safe to use on the ground around the roots and advice on ground cover if you want plants. This way you wont have to redo it or cause harm to the tree. Deep rooted plants are likely not a good choice.

    Shade tolerant grass is available and might work.

    Another idea would be to fill the area with potted plants. You can water them and any over watering will simply water the tree. You can create a wonderful space with potted plants & flowers, garden spinners, other garden decorations. I had a small wooden wishing well I placed among the potted plants. Again, you can change colors for spring, summer & fall.

    Planting in large pots you can plant bulbs to bloom in spring, perennials or annuals for summer and fall. In the winter you can put in silk greenery to brighten the area & poinsettias for holiday decoration. The pots also give a great place to put staked decorations, spinners, silk flowers, etc.

    I hope this isn‘t too much info. Ideas take more room to write down than think them Up!
  • Mel22867749 Mel22867749 on Feb 05, 2018
    I'd build a rock garden and forget about trying to grow anything. I'd make it look like a feature piece



  • GBK GBK on Feb 05, 2018
    Definitely get the soil tested for acidity/alkalinity. Then decide what to plant.
  • Yes mine die in the winter come back very thick and full in the spring. I need to thin them out and move some!
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