Solutions for Shade

Solutions for Shade

Wether its a beautiful 100 year old tree or the north side of your house or garage, there probably is too much shade for grass to thrive. We'll take a look at several solutions for shady spots from clover to sedges and more.

Part Sun to Part Shade: As long as the area gets half of a days worth of at least filtered sunlight then you should be able to grow most grasses but I would advise to stay away from Kentucky Bluegrass which desires full sun and can easily develop powdery mildew fungus in areas of shade where the moisture hangs around too long. A much better grass alternative would be fine fescue grass like our Mow Less mix which is a blend of multiple varieties of fine fescues and an even better option would be the Mow Less fine fescue grass mix plus either Micro Clover or Dutch White Clover.

Mostly Shade: You can still have color in mostly shade with the addition of Self-Heal which blooms light purple in summer and prefers part shade but will grow in full sun as well. Both Micro Clover and Dutch White Clover have very high shade tolerance so if you've attempted to grow the fine fescue grass seed in a shady spot and it eventually thinned out and died, an all clover solution would be the next best thing to try. Before going all in, it's best to seed a test strip from the trunk of the tree or the shadiest spot outwards into a sunnier spot about two feet wide. In a few weeks the clover will start to grow in where it gets enough light and it will struggle to grow where there isn't enough light. You can then seed the areas where it grew in well and look to a dense shade option for the rest of the area which will discuss next.

Dense Shade: We're talking dense shade like directly under a sugar maple, or actually in the woods, or between two multi-story buildings where the sun don't shine! Unfortunately, if you can't get clover or self-heal to grow there then the best option is going to be sedges or an ornamental ground cover like pachysandra, lamium (aka dead nettle) or vinca (aka periwinkle) which all tolerate dense shade. Areas of dense shade usually aren't being used as a soccer field but if you do use the area often for foot or paw traffic, a landscaping solution might just be the answer such as a mulch ground cover or a stone or paver pathway through some of the full shade plants we talked about.

Founder of Flawn Seed Kits Anthony Nied has a landscape design degree and would be willing to talk through your particular situation and help you find the best and most cost effective solution for your property. Contact for more info.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.