Shining a Light on Shaded Lawns: Tips and Tricks for Growing Healthy Grass in Low-Light Areas

If you have a lawn, you know how much work it takes to keep it healthy and lush. However, when your lawn is shaded, it can be a whole different story. Can a lawn actually grow in the shade? This a common question that homeowners ask. In this article, we’ll answer that and provide tips on how to handle shaded areas on your lawn.

Can Lawns Grow in the Shade?

The short answer is yes, lawns can grow in the shade. However, it can be more difficult to maintain a healthy lawn in shaded areas. After all, grass is a prairie plant, not a woodland one!

Grass needs sunlight to grow and thrive, so the less sunlight your lawn receives, the harder it will be to keep it healthy. This is because grass needs sunlight for photosynthesis, which is the process that allows it to create energy. Without enough sunlight, grass will struggle to grow and may become thin, weak, and patchy.

This often happens in lawns over winter as sunlight hours reduce from the mid-summer 16 hours to 8 in the winter. The sun is also lower in the sky over winter meaning even less available light.

Tips for Handling Shaded Areas on Your Lawn

If you have shaded areas in your lawn, there are several things you can do to ensure that your grass stays healthy. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Choose the right type of grass for your lawn considering the amount of shade.
  2. Trim back any trees or shrubs that are blocking sunlight from your lawn.
  3. Consider planting shade-loving plants in the shaded areas of your lawn, if grass will not grow there, to add some variety.
  4. Water your lawn regularly to ensure that it stays healthy. Shade can be caused by plants which also take moisture from the soil and this can sometimes be the cause of thinning areas rather than the shade. So seed and water frequently to see if this helps.
  5. Avoid over-fertilising your lawn, as this can lead to weak, patchy growth.


While it can be challenging to maintain a healthy lawn in shaded areas, it is possible with the right type of grass and proper care. Often it is necessary to reseed areas each spring meaning your lawn is thick and grows well from May to October but recedes over winter. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can help your grass thrive in even the shadiest parts of your lawn.

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