Working on a slide show with tips on working with a shady lawn
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In deep shade areas, such as woods or near the north side of a building, there may not be enough light to sustain any growth of grass. Save your efforts for those areas where you are likely to have some success. In heavy shade, it would be wise to consider a ground cover such as myrtle, ivy, or trailing euonymus that grow well in shade.
Tree roots compete with grass for moisture in the soil. The grass doesn’t grow well if not enough water is provided. Periodically check your lawn in shady areas to see that it is kept moist, especially during the drier summer and early fall months. Despite rain, the canopy of the trees may keep moisture from the lawn below and a sprinkling might be necessary. Trees also take nutrients out of the soil. Therefore, shady areas may need extra fertilizer to allow the development of stronger grass roots.
Overseed shady areas to increase the grass population. In very heavy shade, this may need to be done each year. Make sure to use a quality shade grass seed mix. The best time to plant seed in the shade is the early spring, before the leaves come on trees. This allows them to get maximum sun for germination. There is also no problem from falling leaves to smother young grass seedlings.
The next best time is August. This will allow seedlings to become established before leaves begin to fall. Be sure to provide adequate water.
In shady areas, mildew diseases may be more prevalent. Reduce shade and increase air flow to combat mildew.
Moss can also be a problem in shady areas. Moss is present due to shade, acidity, poor drainage, or lack of nutrients. You may not be able to reduce the shade but working on the acidity, drainage and fertility may be enough to combat moss.