Growing Grass In A Forest

justme4now(7)July 18, 2014

I live in a forest type setting and have a lot of trees (tall oak) and with the trees .. I have lots of shade.

I have always had a difficult time in getting grass to grow because the trees suck up all of the water and shade out the grass.

I have tried every grass type known to man and 'even' when I get growth .. it (the grass) dies away pretty quickly.
(no water, lots of shade)

Here is where I need some help ..

My back yard, which has the majority of trees and shade has what looks like patches of grass .. grass that gets zero water (except rain) and almost zero shade!

The thing is, this grass grows very heartily without any help from me or without sun and shade!?

It looks like there may be two different types and I am posting pictures of both (two each) in the hope that someone can confirm that this is grass and what type(s) they are?

Thanks Everyone

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My guess is its some kind of carex which will grow in shade. There are usually local types growing wild in every state. I found some native type of a light green carex in an area that was being cleared to make way for a gated community and dug a few up to rescue.

Also, there were lots of clumps of a very thick, tussock like grass which was deep green that formed big clumps and it was attractive, some clumps were quite massive. I dug about three smaller ones. I don't know what kind of carex I got but I finally ID'd the deep green tussock type grass and its Western Wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii) so you might want to try it, you can buy seed online. It will easily take dry full shade and its a good spreader, extremely drought hardy, easy to move and bullet proof.

In the same area I also found some tiny wild juncus, very cute clumps with hairlike stiff stems & tiny brown seeds on top, they are about 4" tall and multiplying here now in a little miniature group. I looked further into rushes because some will take shade and am thinking of ordering some Juncus inflexus for a part shady area.

I've had luck with blue fescue too, it resents summer moisture and the spot I am growing it is full sun in winter, spring and fall, shade in summer. I am going to plant more of it from seed I collected off my plants.

This post was edited by TexasRanger10 on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 12:32

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 11:07PM
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Thank You TexasRanger10 for your response.

I don't know why it is so hard to get responses on this forum but it is.

I am now going to do some research on carex which I have never heard of before!

Someone told me that one of my pictures was of nutgrass?

Again .. Thank You !

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 8:09PM
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Yea, the forum has been pretty dead lately.

It doesn't look like nutgrass to me. Nutgrass is stiffer and very shiny, it comes up like a prong with the blades coming out the center and it blooms prolifically + its ugly. The native carex I found looks a lot like what you have in the picture, I haven't seen any sort of blooms on them. I'm in Oklahoma zone 7 so it might be the same kind. I'm totally guessing but it might be Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pennsylvania) which is fairly common but I'm not too familiar with sedges and I find the green ones hard to ID. Some of sedges like moist soil but others will tolerate dry shade. Check out Santa Rosa Gardens online, they sell a lot of varieties. In Oklahoma I noticed they seem to grow more commonly along the roadsides on the eastern side of the state where there is more rain, here in central Okla we see more prairie grass.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:45PM
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Yellow Nutsedge is easy to ID when it blooms. Nothing else looks like it. You can also easily ID it before the bloom, by looking at the stem. Nutsedge has a triangular (cross section) stem.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 12:59PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Cedar sedge ( Carex planostachys Kunze) grows in shade under oaks and cedars here in Texas 8B. Muhlenbergia lindheimeri grows in shade in its natural habit , also in sun. Its habit is much floppier and wispier. It never gets irrigation here. ON a hill with oaks and cedars near by.

I don't chime in much because many of the grasses mentioned will not grow in my unirrigated area of super alkaline Texas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cedar sedge

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 2:24PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Ran into this article when I continued googling . It had some nice info that might be useful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Native sedges fit for gardening

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 5:32PM
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Why would you want to? Wouldn't it be better to just plant ferns or clover under the trees?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 10:20AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

There are many types of grasses that grow in shade and are a great counter point to ferns , mosses and clover. Especially where their are issues about dryness.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 12:08PM
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For texture and interest, they add motion and softness.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 1:50PM
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