How To Grow Shade Grass


Turf grasses need a minimum of four hours of direct sun per day and do not grow well in shady areas. Grasses grown in the shade are more susceptible to disease as well as heat and cold stress. Horticulturists with Clemson University suggest that choosing shade-tolerant turf grass varieties is a good first step toward mitigating some of the problems encountered when trying to grow shade grass. These varieties include fine fescue in the cool-season grass category and St. Augustinegrass if you are looking for a warm-season grass.

Step 1

Admit more sunlight into the shady area by cutting overhanging tree limbs.

Step 2

Mow the shade grass 1 inch higher than recommended for the variety you are growing. The taller the grass, the more it will absorb sunlight.

Step 3

Water the lawn deeper and less frequently than recommendations for your particular grass variety. Use a soaker hose and allow it to run for several hours, once each week, during dry periods. Check the moisture content of the soil with your finger. If it is moist to within 2 inches of the surface, don't water.

Step 4

Fertilize the shade grass with half the amount of nitrogen recommended for your type of grass.

Step 5

Rake up fallen leaves and grass clippings weekly to cut down the chances of disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Tree saw or loppers
  • Soaker hose
  • Fertilizer
  • Rake


  • Clemson University: Growing Grass in Shade
  • ‭"‬Landscape Management:‭ ‬Planting and Maintenance of Trees,‭ ‬Shrubs and Turfgrass‭"; ‬James R.‭ ‬Feucht and Jack D.‭ ‬Butler‭; ‬1988
Keywords: grow shade grass, grass in shade, grow turf shade

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.