How to Plant Grass Seed in a Shaded Area


Growing grass in a shaded area can prove challenging, but if the proper grass seed is chosen and maintenance is provided, it can be done. The most important factor is selecting grass seed that will tolerate shade. Lawn areas that receive less than five hours of direct sunlight each day will be cooler and damper during wet times and drier during periods of drought. Therefore, the best grass to choose is a fine fescue variety. Each type of fine fescue may require specific climates, so be sure to pick one that is suitable for the area in which you live. Plant grass seed in the late fall or early spring.

Step 1

Purchase a shade-tolerant fine fescue grass seed suitable for your area.

Step 2

Borrow or purchase a seed distributor from a garden supply store. Although hand seeding is effective, a seed distributor allows for more even distribution and will waste less seed.

Step 3

Remove leaves and debris from the area where grass seed is to be sown.

Step 4

Using a hard-tined hand rake, rake the area where you wish to plant grass seed, to loosen the top-soil.

Step 5

Fill the seed distributor with fine fescue seed and distribute it evenly over the area where you are planting grass seed. Go back over the area a second time, distributing seed the same way as before.

Step 6

Apply a light application of low-nitrogen fertilizer.

Step 7

Keep leaves and tree debris off the new growth by using a leaf blower.

Step 8

Mow grass when it reaches the proper height for cutting, and make sure to remove any grass clippings or use a bagger.

Step 9

Trim branches of trees and shrubs that tend to reduce or limit sunlight.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine fescue grass seed
  • Water
  • Fertilizer (low-nitrogen)
  • Seed distributor
  • Hard-tined hand rake
  • Pruners
  • Leaf blower


  • What's the Best Lawn Grass for You?
  • Growing Grass in Shady Areas
  • Growing a Lawn in Shady Places

Who Can Help

  • Grass Information for Shady Lawns
Keywords: plant grass in shade, grass seed for shade, grow grass in shade

About this Author

Patricia Hill is a freelance writer who contributes to several sites and organizations, including, Associated Content and various private sectors. She is also the managing debt examiner for the Charlotte Examiner.