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There are a lot of lawns that have plenty of trees that put shaded areas on their lawn. This isn’t always a bad thing if you have your landscaping set up for a shaded area. But if

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it is just grass the shade is surrounding, it may cause that area to be thin.

This is simply because it is not getting what is needed to keep it as healthy as the rest of the lawn. How to deal with grass in shaded areas will be discussed here in this post.

Steps to Assist Your Grass In Shaded Areas  

  1. Pruning Trees – Pruning back the trees will help in removing some of the shade in the particular area. Of you can prune back the lower part of the tree that will help a
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    bit. Try not to prune more than you need to by standing on the ground and pruning only what you can reach. If the tree is very mature I would suggest consulting with an arborist before doing so.
  2. Aeration – We have discussed what aeration will do in another post. Do this to make it easier for water, fertilizer, and air to reach the roots. It is best to do this before your grass reaches the time of its peak growing stage. Warm season grass should be done in late Spring while cool season grass should be done in early fall.
  3. Add Compost – The grass in shaded areas don’t need as much fertilizer as the rest of the lawn. But what will help is to put a thin layer of compost on it in early spring. Do this after aerating if you decide to aerate the area, Also if you plan to over-seed, make sure you put compost down over it. You should still be able to see grass after covering with compost. Then spread it out with the back of a rake.
  4. Proper Seeding – The type of seed you use is helpful in shaded areas. Most turf grasses need 4 hours of direct sunlight. Because of this specialized shade-tolerant grass is available that is designed to thrive in partially shaded areas. Cool season shade-tolerant grass would be rye, fine & tall fescue while warm season would be Zoysia & St. Augustine.
  5. Watering – Shaded area grass don’t use water as fast as the direct sun grass does. So this will call for cutting back on how frequent you water the area. Because of the
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    trees, the grassroots are in competition with the tree roots for the water that is there. Also, the trees may block a lot of water in that area during rainfall that the soil needs. So this will call for watering deeply and less frequently to even it out.
  6. Cutting – When you cut the lawn, you want to cut it a little different than the rest of the lawn. For shaded areas, you want to cut it 1/2 inch to an inch taller than the rest. What this does is is give the blades a better chance at photosynthesis which is the process that fuels the growth. Whatever you do don’t scalp this area because it rarely recovers.
  7. Fertilizing – You don’t have to fertilize as much as you would the sunny areas. It is recommended to give 1/2 to 2/3 less nitrogen per year on the measure of 1 pound per 1000 sq. ft. and in cold weather regions, apply winterizer fertilizer at half of its recommendation.
  8. Fighting Weeds – If there are weeds present, you want to pull them out by the root or spot spray them. The grass is already deprived of the sunlight and the herbicides can be stressful to the grass.

I hope the information in this post will help you deal with your shaded area grass if you should have any at all.

Thank you for visiting & please leave any comments or questions in the comment area. If you like receiving these tips please sign up to receive this information as it is published.

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8 Replies to “How to Deal With Grass In Shaded Areas”

  1. I have recently laid turf in my back yard, there’s a big tree smack bang in the middle. It was a patch of dirt before. The grass seems to be growing better under the shade of the tree and I can’t figure out why. There are also a lot of weeds that look like little trees, and they seem to grow better under the shade as well. Any ideas what this might be about, and how I can even things out?


    1. Maybe whoever laid it for you put a shade tolerant blend there. You still want to follow the care procedure for shaded grass such as the watering less but heavier and don’t cut it the same length as the rest of the lawn like about 1/2 inch to an inch taller. The weeds you are going to have to start pulling or spot spraying them. I hope this answered your question. Feel free to check in from time to time.

  2. Thank you for the tips. I have a few shaded spots. So though are around Fir trees.. But some are not and your tips will help.

    1. I think the main thing to concentrate on Chappy is to make sure you are not cutting the same length as the rest of your yard. And don’t water as often but water heavy less. Remember if you scalp it the chances of it recovering are slim. Good luck with it.

  3. Excellent tips! I will definitely be visiting your site again in the near future. This will be very helpful to me this summer. I know very little about lawn care and my girlfriend is always on my case about taking better care of it.

    1. Thanks, Mark. When I decided to add lawn care tips on my site I was hoping to help people understand what problems they may be facing. Sometimes it isn’t as bad as it seems. What you could do is sign up for the lawn care news and receive this information as I post it. This way you won’t miss anything. Thanks for visiting and you are always welcome.

  4. Hi Ronnie

    Thank you for this information.
    What spray do you recommend for the weeds that grown out in the shady areas?

    Will I be able to find it at Old School Lawn Supplies?


    1. I would recommend that you pull them out by the root and make sure you remove them completely out when you pull them so it won’t cause another growth area. You can also spot spray them if they are not too bad. I would say use some roundup. And it is available on this site at Old School Lawn Supplies. Thanks for Visiting Kamil and I hope my answer was helpful.

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