Maintaining a shady lawn doesn't need to be difficult. The key is choosing the best grass seed for shade and following good lawn maintenance to improve the soil, avoiding too dry or wet conditions.
Low Moisture Content
Found when growing grass under trees
Shady lawns which are sheltered by trees often dry out and have low nutrient content in the surrounding soil. This is because the trees leech the water and nutrients from the soil. Therefore, grass has to contend with low light levels as well as drought conditions and low nutrient levels.
High Moisture Content
Found when growing grass shaded by buildings
Lawns shaded by buildings or walls can have poor air circulation and drainage which causes that grass to be constantly damp.
How to repair:
Cut back low and overhanging branches to increase the amount of sunlight which reaches the lawn.
Allow the grass to grow longer (25mm); this allows morning dew to collect on the longer blades of grass and helps to water the lawn.
Repair bare or damaged patches by reseeding the area and overseeding thinning areas using a drought resistant grass seed which can tolerate shade, such as our Shady Place Lawn Seed. Before reseeding, apply a pre-seed fertiliser to restore the nutrients levels in the soil.
If you are trying to grow grass under oak trees, pine trees or conifers, it is important to consider the soil pH. These trees tend to increase the acidity of the soil and so it may be beneficial to add lime to neutralise the conditions. Beware however that changing the acidity of the soil could have an impact on the surrounding trees and vegetation.
How to repair:
Damp lawn conditions are common in clay soils. It may be beneficial to aerate the soil using an aerator and incorporate sharp sand. This will improve drainage and reduce compaction in your lawn.
Reseed bare areas using a shade tolerant grass seed mixture which combines a variety of grass species suitable for a range of soil conditions such as our Childsplay mixture.
Use a lawn treatment or lawn fertiliser in spring and autumn to improve the durability and health of the grasses in the lawn.
In any situation where conditions are not favourable, some grasses will become weak. Therefore it is best to occasionally overseed the lawn to restore the balance and create a healthy lawn.