How to Grow Grass Under a Pine Tree

Overview

Growing grass can be difficult depending on the conditions. One situation where grass has trouble growing is under pine trees. Many lawns have grass problems where pine trees grow. There is a way to get grass to grow under a pine tree. With some effort and care, it is possible to have green grass and pine trees in the same location.

Step 1

Create sunlight under the tree. Cut back branches on the pine tree up to 15 feet. Cut the smaller branches under the older growth. This allows sunlight to come through the tree reaching the ground.

Step 2

Rake up the pine needles. Remove all of the pine needles until only the dirt underneath remains. The amount of coverage and the acidic nature of pine needles is what keep anything from growing under a pine tree.

Step 3

Choose the proper grass. Use a grass type that needs little water and is tolerant to heat; grasses such as Bermuda or bluegrass are good choices. Pine trees use lots of water and are good insulators that hold heat to the ground.

Step 4

Use the rototiller to dig up the soil around the base of the tree. Be careful of the roots because pine tree roots are close to the ground surface and sometimes above ground. You can cut through smaller roots and remove these by hand if needed. Dig a depth of 6 inches into the soil to plant seeds.

Step 5

Wear a breathing mask and gloves to work with the lime. Pour the lime into the spreader. Spread the lime evenly over the soil. Use 25 pounds of lime for each 1,000 square feet of soil; another way to measure this is 25 pounds of lime for every 10 feet within the radius of the circle around the tree. Measure the radius by starting at the base of the tree and measuring out to the edge of the cleared circle.

Step 6

Fill the spreader with three pounds of grass seed. Spread the seed over the same 10-foot radius used for the lime. Repeat the process for each 10 feet of ground within the circle. Plant the grass seed in early autumn so the grass has time to establish a root system before frost.

Step 7

Spread mulch or compost over the seed. The mulch will hold the moisture and the seeds to the ground. It will also provide nutrition to the seeds and young grass. Use 10 pounds of mulch or compost spread evenly over the area. Spread 100 pounds of potting soil or top soil over the mulch to keep birds from taking the seeds.

Step 8

Water the area well down to 1 inch. Get the top soil to a dark brown, near black, color. Water evenly and regularly for ten days to keep the ground wet until the grass seed germinates.

Step 9

Allow the new grass to reach a height of 3 inches before mowing for the first time. Mow the grass with the blade set at 2 inches to keep the grass from drying out.

Things You'll Need

  • Saw
  • Rake
  • Garbage bags
  • Rototiller
  • Measuring tape
  • Seed spreader
  • Grass seed
  • Mulch
  • Lime
  • Work gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Compost
  • Topsoil

References

  • Clemson University Extension Service: Soil Acidity and Liming
  • Walter Reeves, Gardening in Georgia: Lawn: Growing in Shade
Keywords: grass growing problems, pine trees, growing grass

About this Author

Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.