A shaded lawn can make for a lovely setting to relax on a hot summer afternoon, but it can also present some unique lawn-care challenges. Most grasses require between six to eight hours of prolonged sunlight in order to thrive. Without enough light, grasses will thin, wither and have trouble recuperating from seasonal damage. By making smart choices for the care of your lawn, however, you can promote healthy grass growth in spite of your shady yard.
Prune Overhanging Branches
Even the most shade tolerant grasses will have trouble surviving in deep shade. By thinning low-hanging tree branches, you can allow more sunlight to penetrate the canopy while still retaining some shade for you and your family to enjoy.
Plant Shade-Tolerant Grass
Cool-season grasses such as rye and tall fescue require less sunlight than other species. Some of these grasses only require about four to six hours of sunlight, rather than the usual eight. Consider planting a blend of shade-tolerant grasses in order to give them the best chance at surviving.
Once you’ve planted your shade-tolerant grasses, raise your mower deck about a ½ inch before you mow. Allowing grass to grow higher in shady areas lets the grass blades gather more sunlight and grow stronger over time.
Consider Ground Cover
If even your shade-tolerant grass species are struggling to survive, it might be wise to plant shade-loving ground cover such as English Ivy or Ajuga instead. These ground covers will conceal patchy grasses and add an aesthetically pleasing touch to your shady lawn as well.
Be Wary of Overwatering
Sometimes, when people notice their grass struggling in shady areas, they’ll overcompensate by watering more than they usually would. Because water will evaporate more slowly in shady areas, this additional water can actually compromise the root systems of grasses. As a general rule, it’s better to water infrequently and deeply to promote healthy grass growth.
At Suburban Lawn Sprinkler, we’ve been keeping grass healthy and green for over fifty years. Give us a call today to find out how a new irrigation system can keep your shady lawn looking great all season long.