types of grass prefer open sunlight and do not grow well in the shade.
All varieties require sunlight to produce food through the
photosynthesis process. Plus, grass competes with the trees for the
moisture and nutrients in the soil. Trees also have less air movement
underneath them, so there is a greater chance for disease to occur.
are determined to grow grass under and around trees you need to use a
shade tolerant grass. In the Edmonton area, Fine Fescue is your best
bet. However, Fine Fescue does require at least a 50% exposure to
sunlight to thrive. This sunlight does not need to be direct, any light
is fine, but the less light the area receives, the less the grass will
Under Spruce and Pine
homeowners have noticed, grass growing under conifers (trees with
needles) does not do as well as it does under most deciduous (trees
with leaves) trees. Along with the shade, a lack of moisture, nutrients
and less air movement, these trees have one extra weapon, needle cast.
When these trees drop their needles, the soil around the tree increases
in acidity. Grass does not grow well in acidic soil. Once again, it is
just another form of defense trees will use to compete with other plant
Grass in the Shade
thing you can do to grow grass in the shade is to use a shade tolerant
grass such as Fine Fescue. Removing lower branches and a light pruning
of the inner growth would allow more sunlight to penetrate the lawn
below. If you are mowing under the trees, keep the grass longer to
leave more leaf blade available to increase the grass' chance at
photosynthesis. These areas also require more water during dry spells
to compensate for the amount the trees will be using. Fertilization is
recommended as generally the grass is under stress for most of the year.