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Shaded Lawns

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With all this sunshine we have been having recently, you may have noticed your shaded garden areas more than usual. Lawns in shade require special attention, most turf grasses require 4-6 hours of full sun each day. Without this turf can deteriorate, becoming less resilient and prone to disease.

Specific measures may be required for turf under trees with dense canopies, such as oak, beech or conifers that block out nearly 95% of the sunlight in summer; turf rarely does well in such dense shade. In addition, tree roots compete for water and nutrients and the dripping of water from their canopies can be damaging. 

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. However, bear in mind that even shade-tolerant grasses need some light.

What can I do?

  • Consider removing selected trees to improve light levels. Where this is not possible, prune overhanging trees to increase light levels. It is actually 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.
  • Cut lawns in shade less frequently and to no lower than 6cm (2½ in). Preferably, keep the height of cut as high as 7.5-9cm (3-3½ in) - always remove the clippings.
  • If lawns beneath trees require watering, irrigate heavily and infrequently to encourage the trees to root deeply. This will reduce the extent to which they compete with the lawn.

Source: www.rhs.org.uk/advice


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