Shade Advice

Q. Hi, Do you have a grass that will grow in full shade and underneath pine trees. I have tried Scotts shady seed as well as a few others and have not had much luck. It grows well for a couple of months but then starts to deteriorate and does not come back the following year. It seems that the moss grows better than the grass. Water is not an issue. The soil has been limed and also treated with a moss control fertilizer on numerous occasions. I probably should just go with a ground cover but I would rather have some kind of grass that a can just mow. Is there a miracle grass that will grow as well as the moss does? Thanks Mike

We carry a Shady Grass Mix that should work in that area. I might suggest a few things that will help keep grass growing there. If you don't have to mow, don't do it. Mowing puts stress on grass that is already competing with trees for sunlight, moisture, and nutrients. If you have to mow, do so at high heights and as few times as possible. Also, giving the grass extra moisture and fertilizer before periods of heat and drought will help. Restricting pet or foot traffic is another way to keep the grass growing there. Shady areas are tough spots and sometimes no matter what you do, re-seeding is needed. Thanks!

Q. I am looking to establish a prairie type landscape in a location that only gets 3-4 hrs sunlight/day. can you recommend grasses or other perennials that might look good year round in this application. thanks.

Some varieties of native grass that have more shade tolerance are: Canada Wildrye (cool-season), Virginia Wildrye (cool-season), Sideoats Grama (warm-season), and Blue Grama (warm-season). We also cary a wildflower mix that contains flowers that do well in partial sun. With the grasses and flowers morning sun is more important than afternoon sun. Thank-you!

Q. My backyard has 38 mature oak trees which create a canopy that lets in only filtered sunlight through the day. I do have a grass cover but it needs reinforcement. I was thinking of overseeding it with red fescue. Would you agree?

The Creeping Red Fescue is a good idea. Another idea would be to use our Shady Grass Mixture which contains Hard Fescue, Chewings Fescue, Creeping Red Fescue, and a shade-tolerant Kentucky Bluegrass.