Lawn Problem: Shade

Is my lawn is too shady for grass?

To see if shade is a problem on your lawn you will need to engage your powers of observation. Clearly large trees and shrubs within and surrounding your lawn will be casting shade, but what about the summer house, the fence or even the house.

You can see in the picture above that nearly the entire lawn is in shade at certain times in the Summer, but light levels are sufficient for a great lawn. In the winter on the other hand, this lawn fares less well with the areas to the left and right of the steps and directly around the tree trunk thinning to almost bare earth.

In the height of Summer we have around 16 hours of daylight and in the winter only 8. With high trees and fences and the sun low in the sky, it soon becomes obvious that not all areas of grass can survive. Those keen golfers will have seen the greenkeepers at their course diligently over sowing shaded out areas and of course most stadia staff are re seeding after every home game.

How to deal with shade

Keep shrubs, trees and hedges well trimmed and back off the lawn area. This include herbaceous plants overhanging lawn edges. Thin out large trees regularly to allow more available light. Keep the lawn free from leaves and debris to allow maximum light. Lastly add seeding of the worst areas to part of your annual lawn maintenance, accepting that the lawn will deteriorate during the winter months but that you can enjoy it from April to October.

Key points to remember

  • Keep hedges and trees well trimmed.
  • Add  over seeding to your annual lawn maintenance programme.
  • Keep your lawn free from leaves and debris.

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