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How to deal with Shade


How to deal with Shade 

Shade can prove a real nuisance for your lawn. This is because lawns need light to grow and, in some cases, survive. Without sunshine, your lawn can deteriorate and become more prone to disease, resulting in an unhealthy lawn. Here’s our top tips to help with shade on your lawn so your lawn can look its best. 

What are common causes of shade on your lawn?

Shade can be caused by houses, trees, shrubs, and fencing; in any case, it’s important to reduce as much as possible for the benefit of your lawn. 

What impact can shade have on my lawn?

Plants need light to grow. When plants don’t receive enough light from the sun, this will cause the grass to start thinning. This is because it will use its own energy resources to survive. 
Shady areas can get wetter more quickly as there is less evaporation and little to no thatch making the water pool on the surface more. This is due to less grass in the area because the grass plant is weaker and can be more prone to diseases.

What can I do?

Although it can be impossible to remove all shade, it’s important to take small steps to reduce it.

•    Consider removing selected trees to improve light levels. Where this is not possible, prune overhanging trees to increase light levels. It is beneficial to have a turf-free zone of at least 1m (3ft) around the base of trees, to avoid grass competing with trees for moisture, and vice versa.

•    Never mow off more than one-quarter of the leaf at a time – always remove the grass clippings from the lawn to allow sunlight to reach the grass plants.

•    Water your lawn less frequently in shaded areas – water only when necessary but deeply. As shade prevents the quick evaporation of dew or surface water – continued dampness encourages diseases. 

•    With leaves falling, it is also important to remove these as often as possibly to allow light to get to the grass.

•    Regular feeding will encourage the grass to develop and mature, this will reduce the likelihood of damage to the lawns caused by shade. Using a specialist program for growth control can help, as the plant no longer reaches out for light as much and will live more happily in a shaded area. As a recovery measure seeding and top dressing early in the spring and/or mid-September should help to re-establish the lawn, this may need to be done over a few years until fully established.


Are there any ‘shade tolerant’ grasses? Can we use them?

Not really, however our own unique grass seed includes fescue grasses which are better at coping with shade, drought, and poor nutrient levels. All our GreenThumb Lawn Makeovers benefit from this blend of grasses – GreenThumb Diamond Green. However, bear in mind that even shade-tolerant grasses need some light.

Contact your local GreenThumb branch if your lawn is struggling: www.greenthumb.co.uk/branch


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