Growing grass in shady areas is the biggest challenge for lawn owners. Shaded areas in the present lawn challenge the growers to create lush green grass in their lawns.
This battle of patching these shady areas with thriving lush grass can only be achieved by improving the soil quality and choosing the grass varieties that can tolerate the shades.
Lawn grasses struggle for their vigorous growth and life in shady areas. You can overcome this problem by understanding the real needs of grass and the shade’s far-reaching effects on the grass.
In this grass seed guide, you will get the best knowledge about the grass seeds that can grow under shade.
How Shade Affects Lawn Grasses
Like all green plants, lawn grasses also require the optimal amount of air, water, nutrients, and light for growth and development. But the trees and shrubs growing in the lawns may disturb the grasses from getting these essentials.
The shading effect by the leaves of trees and shrubs prevents the reaching of light to the grass growing below them. The competition occurs among the grass and trees for water and nutrients also. The trees compete and absorb more water and take away the nutrients from the grass-root reach.
The soil under the shades remains saturated for more time which produces drainage problems for the growth of grasses.
Grasses start to stretch towards the light to reach the sunlight, and the results appear as thin and weak grass growth. This weaker and thin grass loses its attraction and increases the chances of pests and disease attacks.
The large tree effect goes beyond the shading effect in their roots growing up to seven times their shading area. Some large trees grow their shallow roots in the upper six inches of the surface soil, which is the main reason for the grass under trees.
Shade Grass Seed Buyers Guide
Before purchasing any grass seed, there are some come considerations you need to consider to ensure that you get a better result. Firstly consider whether you are going to patch a bare spot or aim to plant a new lawn.
It would be best if you also considered whether you want a low-maintenance grass seed or you have plenty of time to dedicate to your lawn. In addition, also consider the soil types if the soil is sandy or clayey and the soil pH.
All the grass seed products contain some weeds seeds, so be sure to read the ingredients carefully to know the exact mixture in the package. Furthermore, read the seed mixtures carefully to consider only the package having less than 2% fillers and dirt.
Lastly, make sure to consider the production date of grass seeds; the seeds should not be more than ten months past because the seeds past this duration are less effective to germinate.
Best grass seeds for dense shaded areas
1. Pennington Smart Seed Sun and Shade Grass Seed
This product is the best choice for the person seeking grass seeds to establish a lawn that can last for the long term. Pennington smart seed sun and shade grass seed have their name in producing high-quality grade seeds.
The best thing is its water-saving feature, as it will require 30 percent less water year by year. It requires four to eight hours of daily sunshine to achieve lush green grass.
This package by Pennington offers coverage of 2800 square feet by consuming 30 % less water than the standard grass. Its popularity is its feature of quick establishing in both sun and shade, which also offers excellent drought resistance.
As a result, this product ends with fine-bladed, thick, and dark green colored grass.
2. Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade
If you want to overcome the problem of no grass growing in shady areas of lawn, then the solution is produced by the Pennington Smart Seeds for densely shaded areas.
It is a superior perennial grass seed product that can tolerate dense shade, especially in the cool season areas. Even when your lawn receives a little two to four hours of daily sunlight, this grass seed can establish a lush green lawn.
The best thing about this product is the fungal disease resistance which is a common feature among grasses because grasses are considered among the plant species that require more water which causes molding.
This variety product of the Pennington company is produced after years of research to produce these seeds that can withstand drought, heat, and diseases. Sowing these seeds in your lawn will end up producing fine-textured and rich green grass under the shades.
Due to the drought resistance ability of these seeds, they can last lush green for three weeks without water.
3. Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun and Shade Mix
The people knowing the best grass seeds will see the value of the grass seeds by Scotta Turf Builder. Scotts produce this product with the name of Grass seed sun and shade mix, which is a perfect grass offering the fine balded texture and drought-resistant grass seeds.
The best thing about this product is its four in1 feature, which provides you the guarantee of its waterSmart PLUS coating to absorb twice the amount of water to seeds as uncoated grass seeds.
The other features are disease protection and the feeding material added in the package, which provides the essential nutrients to the lawn for longer times.
It is best for all areas and provides the coverage of 1750 square feet of lawn area and performs well in northern regions even you are establishing a new lawn or overseeding. It starts the germination in just 5 -10 days and comes to total growth within 30 – 60 days.
4. Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Dense Shade Mix
As mentioned earlier about the Scotts Turf Builder, the company is well known due to its high-quality seeds. The difference between this product and the above one is their growing ability.
These grass seeds can grow in dense shady areas to grow at full potential in the regions that receive just 3 hours of sunlight.
The best thing about this product is the self-repairing, shade tolerant, and medium bladed grass growing features that allow the establishment of grass under the shades of the trees.
This product’s 4 in 1 waterSmart PLUS coating feature with dense shaded growing ability is the main reason this product has become well-known among lawn growing communities.
The drought resistance feature helps the grass to remain lush green if you have to travel somewhere for some days. The best result of these grass seeds can be obtained by watering them twice a day for at least three weeks after spreading.
5. JRK Premium Dense Shade Grass Seed Mix
If you search for the best heavy shade tolerant mix, the JRK Premium Dense Shade Mix is your product. It is the best product that can thrive well in heavy to moderate shade in moist conditions.
The best thing about this product is its low fertilizer requirement for its need and best growth habit under the tree shades where the soil remains moist most of the time.
It requires fertilizer 4 times per year and grows just by using the irrigation supplied water to the area.
It can be used to establish a new lawn as well as for overseeding, but the seed rate for both of these differs; for new lawns, the seeds rate is 6 – 8 lbs per 1000 sq. ft., but for overseeding, the rate is the rate will be 5 – 6 lbs per 1000sq. Ft.
It is suggested to use under the pine trees trimmed up to mow under, overseeding problematic shaded areas and all shaded areas with the heaviest canopy.
6. Jonathan Green 10610 Dense Shade Grass Seed Mixture
This is the best product on this list, having the maximum ability to grow successfully in densely shaded areas. Jonathan Green is a quality grass seed mixture for special lawn care needs.
The best thing about this product is the natural resistance to insect attack—the endophytic varieties in this package help deter insect damage.
It grows well in densely shaded areas successfully where the other mixtures have failed.
It is the best quality product to tolerate acidic and infertile soils. The trees in the tree’s shades have the best result in the competition for essential needs.
It has value for the money due to the better results mentioned by the previous buyers.
7. Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Sun and Shade
Scotts EZ Sun and Shade Seed offer the best growth in sunny and shaded areas. This product by the Scotts is the premium product having the features of almost negligible chances of washing away and improved results even growing on the high traffic areas or hillsides.
It grows twice thick as common grass and can absorb water six times more than its weight.
The best thing about this product is that it is the premium product of Scotts for patching and repairing bare lawn patches and has a coverage of 420 sq. ft.
To grow the grass with these seeds, you will need to prepare the ground by raking hard soil and removing the dead grass. This work will help to germinate the tiny seedlings readily.
Water the area thoroughly after spreading the seeds to make the soil saturated. One thing to care about is to keep the children and pets away from these newly sown areas until it grows up to 3 inches.
8. Zenith Zoysia Grass Seed (2 lbs.) 100% Pure Seed
Zenith Zoysia Grass Seed is best for growing grass simply and easily. It establishes a high-quality lawn with a low-maintenance option.
It offers a coverage of 2000 sq. ft. with lush green colored grass, which is cold, hardy, and tolerant to heat and drought stress.
The best thing about this product is its 100% purity guaranteed by the company ensuring high-quality growth with zero mulch in the package and retention of the lawn.
This grass seed allows you to use it for the areas of high sunlight receiving areas and the light shade areas. It ensures the coverage of 2000 sq. ft. within just 14 – 21 days.
9. Jonathan Green 10323 Black Beauty Ultra Mixture
Jonathan Green Black Beauty Ultra Mixture is the perfect grass seed with 100 % purity.
The best thing about this product is its feature of a complete grass seed mixture which means that it does need extra to add any additional additives. This grass seed product comprises 30% Montana Tall Fescue, 30% Dakota Tall Fescue, 20% Tombstone tall Fescue, 10% Frontier perennial ryegrass, and 10% Blue-Tastic Kentucky Bluegrass.
This grass seed mixture by Jonathan Green offers coverage of 10000 sq. ft. of the area if used for reseeding and a bit less coverage area if you are planning a new lawn establishment.
It takes two weeks to germinate properly if it is watered accordingly.
How to grow grass in shaded areas
Most grasses only grow best in direct sunlight, but some grass varieties are tolerant to growing in the shades. The various grass mixes produced by Pennington and Scotts have the patience to grow in dense shadows and variable sun lawn areas.
In your daily life, if you ever noticed that noontime is the best time for the plants to get sunlight due to the intense sun rays at that time. The pattern of the sun and shades changes all day long by the sun’s movement.
All you need is to take close notice of the sun and shade pattern so that you can understand what your grass is up against. Then you can choose the best grass type according to the challenge.
The first challenge is to choose among the cool and warm-season types—the region where you live mainly matters. Cool-season grasses grow well in the northern areas, while the warm season varieties thrive in the southern and western regions.
Adjustments To Help Shaded Grasses
The competition for light and shading effects creates a stressful environment for grasses. These are some considerations you need to follow to improve the grass growth, health, and vigor:
The shade affects the grass growth badly, so try to make possible the light reach the grass surface by trimming the trees and shrubs when possible. This act will increase the sunrays and air circulation, which is a great benefit to the grass growth.
Increase mowing height
Always try to mow the grass so as not to cut the grass more than two-thirds of the blade length. In this way, by following best mowing practices, trimming higher than usual will give the grass more leaf area to capture more light for food making for the subsequent development.
Restore soil balance
The area under shade creates unbalanced soil pH and drainage problems in the soil. This poor drainage will promote the grass’s tenacious weeds and undesirable mosses growth. Aerating the compacted soil and dethatching the soil are the two best strategies to alleviate the drainage problems.
Adjust fertilizer and irrigation schedules
The grass grows more vigorous in the sun than in shades. The fertilizer speeds up the growth, and only the healthy grasses take the full benefit of these fertilizers. In the same way, the slow-growing grass needs less water.
So after keeping in mind all these conditions, you should monitor your lawn closely and adjust the fertilization and irrigation schedules.
Limit lawn traffic
Weak and stressed grass is more susceptible to traffic across the lawn by humans, pets, and kids. By limiting foot traffic, you can improve lawn grass health and growth. These areas try to combat this problem by patching these bare areas by reseeding the shade-tolerant grass seed. Use any weed removal tool for better growth and aeration.
What is the best grass for shade?
Zoysia grass is considered best for the warm areas for shades, while the bahiagrass and centipede grass are best near the experts for the moderate shades areas. The bermudagrass does only grow well in direct sunlight.
When should you seed your lawn with shade?
The best time for planting the cool-season grasses is late summer to early fall, when the soil temperature is between the range of 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The second best time for planting is in the early spring season, when temperatures warm to the same optimal extent.
Should I water more in other shady areas?
Grass in shady areas does not require water as quickly as its sunny counterparts. If a building causes shade, you do not need to water more frequently. Water only when it looks necessary.
Do I fertilize the lawn in shady areas the same as the rest of the lawn?
Grasses growing in the shady areas needs one-half to two-thirds as much nitrogen as the sunny lawns. For lawns beneath the trees, fertilize them lightly in the early spring season before the tree leaves out, then do not fertilize again until early fall.
How do I grow grass in the heavy shade?
- Monitor the sunlight amount and timings. The rule of thumb considered worldwide for shade-tolerant grass verities is that they require at least 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight or 4 to 6 hours of dappled sunlight for proper growth.
- Choose the best shade tolerant grass seed
- Plant the Grass Seed. …
- Watered them Well, and monitor their Growth
The best way to grow a healthy grassy lawn is by management by choosing the right spot for the yard when you are going to establish a new property. They prune the trees and shrubs for the proper sunlight for initial growth.
Then choose the grass seeds wisely according to your habitat and requirement, as their features are mentioned in our listing. The best thing to manage the lawn is to remove the anxious weeds timely by using proper tools to remain well managed.
Before adding the fertilizer to the lawns, the best strategy is the proper aeration of the soil by using lawn aerators and watering the grass properly. By following the method mentioned above, you can establish a lush green thick grassy lawn.
We tried to add the best available grass seeds products for shades on our list. We hope that you find our article quite compelling, and it may help you choose the right grass seed for your lawn.