University of Maryland Extension

Shade - Lawns

shady lawn

Back to Common Problems - Lawns

Turf grasses are full sun plants that grow best with a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight. Grass growing near shade trees must also compete with tree roots and shade-tolerant weeds for water and nutrients.

Turf-type tall fescues and fine fescues, such as hard fescue, creeping red fescue, and sheep fescue are best suited for shady areas. To improve growing conditions, take a soil sample from the shady area and apply fertilizer and lime according to the test results. Consider switching to a suitable groundcover in densely shaded areas where the fescues will not grow.

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