Photo by Cheryl Reynolds
Click on image to enlarge.
Turfgrass growing in shady conditions has thin, spindly leaves
and reduced shoot and root growth. There is more upright growth
causing turf to thin out or become bare in spots. Weakened turf
becomes more susceptible to disease and drought.
Prevention and management
Prune back tree branches to allow more light to reach the turf during
the early morning and late afternoon. Raise your mower height 1/4
to 1/2 inch (0.6 - 1.2 cm) above the normal recommended
height for your turf species to improve the turfs ability
to compete with trees for water and nutrients. Avoid frequent, shallow
watering and avoid watering in the early evening or at night. On
shaded turf, the nitrogen requirement is
only half of what is required for turf growing in sun. Maximize potassium
fertilizer on shaded turf as potassium increases shade tolerance.
If planting a new lawn in an area with shade, choose
a turf species that is adapted to shade. In existing lawns, consider
overseeding with a shade-tolerant species. In areas of the landscape
that are too shady for a healthy lawn, consider planting other groundcover
or creating a patio of paving stones or bricks.