How to Get Grass to Grow In the Shade

5 Powerful Tips on How to Get Grass to Grow in the Shade

Are you struggling with how to grow natural grass in the shady areas of your garden? Undoubtedly, shaded areas are the best place for resting during the summer season. They allow you to enjoy a cool breeze.

Unfortunately, how to get grass to grow in the shade is a hard tackle. You will find bare patches of dead or discolored grass on these spaces. Also, shades offer a suitable room for pests and disease-causing fungi to thrive. Lack of enough sunlight makes the grass have weak shoots and stunt roots.

For this reason, many homeowners turn to artificial grass for their canopy gardens. You should not follow suit. It is possible to get natural grass growing under the tree shades. But how do you do it? Keep reading to learn more.

Here Are 5 Excellent Tips on How to Get Grass to Grow In the Shade

1. Go for shade-tolerant grass seeds suitable for your zone

Some grass varieties are shade-tolerant. They will grow well with filtered or limited access to sunlight.

However, the type of grass you will plant depends on your zone. Some varieties will grow well in warm areas, while others require cool regions. Also, there is a grass variety for the transition zones.

If you live in the Midwest and North region, you can go for the cool-season grass varieties. This grass performs well during the winter and summers. The best grass seeds for this region are Fescues, perennial ryegrass, and rough bluegrass.

The warm-season grass varieties such as Zoysia and St. Augustine are the best grass for shade in the south region. These varieties will thrive in the shade during the summer season. However, they remain dormant in winter. For transition zones, you can opt for either of the above varieties.  

2. Prune your trees

No doubt, some grass varieties are shade-tolerant. But, grass will require at least 3-4 hours of sunlight daily to thrive. Sunlight helps the grass process its food via photosynthesis, strengthening its stems and roots.

It is important to note that denying your lawn enough access to direct sunlight can make the grass weak and have stunted roots. So, you must offer the grass an opportunity to enjoy some sunlight for a few hours each day.

Prune your trees to allow sunlight to penetrate and reach the grass. Trim branches that are thick and hindering light penetration. If you do not know how to do it perfectly, you can consider hiring a professional lawn care expert to take up the task. This way, it will be easy to have a turf lawn under the shade areas.

14550043516 a36466ca41 o 1 1

Also read: How to identify the type of grass

3. Mow your lawn regularly

Mowing your lawn is crucial to avoiding bare patches in the shaded regions. However, how you mow the grass can have a positive or hurtful effect. The rule for maintaining grass in these spaces is keeping it high and mowing regularly.

Do not cut the lawn to less than 3 inches. Also, do not let it grow beyond 4-5 inches. This height creates a sufficient surface area for the grass to make enough food and remain strong.

Again, it helps you avoid stressing your grass by allowing it to grow long and suddenly cutting it short. Alternating the mowing direction each mowing time can also help maintain the grass in the shade. 

Also read: Ride-on mower for lawn striping reviews

50562420407 fd0da5baf4 c 2

4. Feed your grass

When other plants such as trees and shrubs cause shade, competition for nutrients is a norm. As each plant try to maximize its nutrient intake, the grass is likely to be the victim. This aspect answers why you will find thin and decolored grass in such gardens.

The best way to feed your grass is using composite layers during planting. Spread a light layer of compost utilizing a rake. You should not cover the new grass completely. The composite will provide additional nutrients to your grass.

Also, you can consider some fertilizer but not regularly. Remember, grass under shade requires half the amount of nitrogen that its counterpart grows in full sun areas. So, you must be cautious when feeding the grass with fertilizers.

Also read: Which rakes are best for sticks?

5. Aerate the soil in the shady patches

 Limited sunlight means that shady areas will retain high moisture levels. Such condition is not suitable for growing grass. It will lead to soil compaction and drainage issues. But you can resolve these issues through aeration.

Aerating the shady spots increase oxygen and nutrients in the soil. Also, it forms a suitable place for grassroots to grow. You can consider using an aerator to carry out this task.

Also: Plug aerator machine for lawns

FAQs on How to Get Grass Growing In the Shade

Which grass varieties can grow well in the shade?

When you want to plant grass in the shade, you need to pick the shade-tolerant grass varieties. Some of the suitable varieties for such areas include Fescues, Zoysia, perennial ryegrass, and others. However, you need to consider your weather zone to ensure you pick the perfect variety for the area. 

Can grass grow without sunlight?

Grass requires some sunlight to grow healthy and strong. Even though some shade-tolerant varieties, they will need exposure to sunlight for 4-5 hours daily. So, grass can’t grow without partial or full sunlight access.

Why is my grass in the shade thin? 

Grass can grow thin due to several reasons. However, lack of enough sunlight is the main reason. Like other plants, grass requires sunlight to make its food. The shade hinders it from getting essential elements for food processing leading to starvation.

Having some bare patches on your lawn can be demotivating. You desire a place to experience a cool breeze during a hot afternoon. A shade under the tree can be a perfect choice. However, most of them can have patchy or zero lawns. 

If you have been struggling with how to get grass to grow in the shade, you now have the idea. Applying the above tips will help you get dense and turf lawn in every place of your garden. Remember to take care of your lawn.

You can also work with a lawn care expert if growing the grass in the shade becomes a nightmare.


  • Ricky

    Hi, I’m Ricky. I’ve been involved in lawn care and landscaping from when I was 15. To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of pushing mowers, collecting grass clippings, and maintaining flowerbeds at the time. But having seem the passion my parents had for gardening and outdoors and the effort they put in maintaining the health and beauty of our landscape, I couldn’t help but not only admire their hard work but also I became a part of it. As someone who loves to spend time with nature’s best, I find myself learning a lot more about gardening and outdoors on a daily basis. Not to mention I love to share the knowledge I’ve gathered over the years with my readers at We Mow Dallas. To be clear, I don’t have a Master’s degree in gardening or anything like that. Everything I’ve learned about gardening, landscaping, and lawn care spring from passion and engagement with my parents. And with a ton of free information out there, plus the ability to run tests and determine what works best for lawn care and landscaping, every day is an opportunity to learn and implement something new. My goal with We Mow Dallas is to teach you exactly how to maintain your lawn and landscape. And since I walk the talk in reality, you shouldn’t hesitate to join me in this wonderful world of landscaping and lawn care. K Beatrice

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *