Tips on Planting Shady Lawn Seed

Whether you have a shaded lawn caused by a larger tree or because of the angle of your house, there is a way to still grow a lush, green, healthy lawn. It just takes a little more time, patience and effort on your part. Some important factors go into planting grass seed on a shady lawn. These include picking a grass seed variety that is suitable for more shade, re-planting the seed several times if necessary and properly caring for the seed.

Grass Seed Variety

Use a grass seed variety that is suited for shade. This is something that you should invest in, as the more expensive seed is filtered better for great growth (which you need with sunny lawns, let alone shade). Avoid seed varieties labeled as "winter mix" or "quick grow". It needs to be labeled with "shade". Some of the most common and popular shade seeds are in a mix, including fine fescue and creeping red fescue.


Buy enough seed so you can re-apply it three or four times over a four-week timespan. This is because not all of the seed will germinate, so thick layers and constant contact with the soil will grow the healthiest, most full-shaded lawn possible. Use your hands to lay the grass seed.

Watering and Fertilizer

Water the newly seeded lawn immediately after planting. You want to get the the root system established. Water it for about 5 minutes to soak the ground, then 10 minutes later, water it for another 5 minutes. Once the grass is 3 inches tall, begin to mow it on the highest possible setting. Use a fertilizer with a higher concentration of phosphorus to promote root growth, rather than nitrogen, which promotes blade growth.

Keywords: shady lawn care, planting grass seed, grass seed for shaded areas

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.