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TechDawg2007
New Orleans Saints Fan
Bawville
Member since Nov 2007
31011 posts

Best grass to have in a shaded area
I live in middle Tennessee. Front and side yards are bermuda and it's beautiful. However, my backyard gets about 3-5 hours of sunlight a day. What would be the best grass seed for backyard. Right now it's all those damn half dollar looking weeds. It's about 2500 square feet


rilesrick
Member since Mar 2015
6430 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
St Aug has been the most shade resistant forever. Mine was so bad I put rings of cast iron plants around all of the offending trees to decrease the sq footage of dirt and weeds. Cast irons thrive in the roots of big trees and look pretty good/


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CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
674 posts
 Online 

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
St Augustine is the most shade tolerate of the 4 warm season grasses, is that widely used in your area? But 3-5 hours still might not be enough light. I’d suggest speaking to your county cooperative extension agent/specialist. If you’re not familiar, University of Tennessee, TN Cooperative Extension Service, search for your county, there should be contact information for personnel in your county. Each county will usually have a Extension (outreach) specialist for lawn and gardens.


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notsince98
Missouri Fan
KC, MO
Member since Oct 2012
10560 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
The problem is you probably won't find anything that will provide some consistency with the bermuda. Anything that is shade tolerant will likely look much different.

If it wasn't a bermuda yard, tttf would be a good grass as it has a nice color and relatively thin blade. It would be a stark contrast from bermuda, though.

Rye also works well in shaded areas that hold moisture but again, it would look drastically different.
This post was edited on 8/13 at 12:16 pm


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weadjust
Member since Aug 2012
8365 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
quote:

I live in middle Tennessee.


Too far north for St Augustine



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Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
24571 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
quote:

grass seed


Like others have said St. Augustine variety "raleigh" is the most shade tolerant. But 3-5 hours probably inst enough light. I always recommend a ground cover in the shadiest areas such as liriope, asian jasmine or a sedge such as Pennsylvanian sedge, but you won't be able to walk on these plants like a lawn. Ornamental gravel is another option. Decomposed granite is cheap and looks good.


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21
bbvdd
Alabama Fan
Memphis, TN
Member since Jun 2009
17149 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
with 3-5 hours in Middle TN your best bet is fescue.


someLSUdoosh
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2016
767 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
quote:

with 3-5 hours in Middle TN your best bet is fescue.



Would St Aug work in NC with around 6 hours of light?



Coater
LSU Fan
Madison, MS
Member since Jun 2005
29788 posts
 Online 

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
would geo zoysia work?


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Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
24571 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
quote:

Would St Aug work in NC with around 6 hours of light?



Yes....also, St Augustine is only available as a sod, no seed.


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Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
24571 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
quote:

with 3-5 hours in Middle TN your best bet is fescue.




Does it go dormant in the heat up there?


Art Vandelay
LSU Fan
LOUISIANA
Member since Sep 2005
8206 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
Probably not so much in the shade


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notsince98
Missouri Fan
KC, MO
Member since Oct 2012
10560 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
quote:

Does it go dormant in the heat up there?


Fescue doesn't go dormant like KBG. It will just die if it gets too hot/dry. In KC, we have many summers with many 100F+ days. Watering every 3 or 4 days is more than enough to keep fescue alive in summer droughts.

This post was edited on 8/13 at 3:37 pm


Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
24571 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
quote:

Fescue doesn't go dormant


It certainly does in Texas in the heat which is why people don't like it here. It will green up if you water it or it gets rain.


nerd guy
LSU Fan
Grapevine
Member since Dec 2008
8771 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
quote:

It certainly does in Texas in the heat which is why people don't like it here. It will green up if you water it or it gets rain.



I thought this was the case, too. I covered a smaller shaded area that kept getting muddy with tall fescue. Looked good and died back when the heat came. Figured that would happen. It'll bounce back when it cools off, i'm guessing?


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Cracker
Montana Fan
in a box
Member since Nov 2009
9412 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
Grass won’t grown in the shade


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notsince98
Missouri Fan
KC, MO
Member since Oct 2012
10560 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
quote:

It certainly does in Texas in the heat which is why people don't like it here. It will green up if you water it or it gets rain.


are you sure it is going dormant and not getting brown patch? brown patch will make fescue look dead/dormant. I have had fescue die from heat and seen it get very brown in high heat due to brown patch. It recovers from brown patch fairly quickly when temp or humidity drops.

I know fescue in rare situations can go dormant but I can't say I have personally seen it in my 15+ years with fescue lawns.


Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
24571 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
quote:

I know fescue in rare situations can go dormant but I can't say I have personally seen it in my 15+ years with fescue lawns.


I'm not going to claim expertise when it comes to fescue. But a quick google check confirms it is a cool season grass that goes dormant in the heat if not watered quite a bit in the summer. I planted an experimental patch about 15 years ago to see how it did in Dallas and I was able to get it to go dormant and then resurrect it by watering. The problem with growing it in Dallas is the amount of water it takes to keep it green in the summer, even in the shade. We have irrigation water rationing/restrictions here so you are not able to water it enough to keep it green. And its a slow grower here since we have about 5 months where night temps are above 75. I know the OP is in Tennessee which is why I asked if they had dormancy problems up there.
This post was edited on 8/13 at 10:10 pm


bayou choupique
LSU Fan
the banks of bayou choupique
Member since Oct 2014
1181 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
fescue sucks. it has no root structure so any little thing will uproot it. it cannot take the summer heat unless you water it multiple times per day. but it does stay green in the winter if that is your thing.


RollDatRoll
Atlanta Braves Fan
Who Dat. Roll Tide.
Member since Dec 2010
11921 posts

re: Best grass to have in a shaded area
The cold, hard truth here is you are going to have issues with any grass type with that little sunlight a day. You can make it work by sodding and then replacing it every few years. Once you sod though, it's going to start thinning out if it doesn't get enough sunlight.

I would personally look into a shade-tolerant zoysia like Geo Zoysia. There are several different varieties that are better in shade than others.


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