Question on ype of grass to sew or sod.

supafuzzApril 15, 2007

Our backyard has multiple personality disorder. It was originally Bermuda, but has not thrived as the front has. It's a fairly new house (8 years old), but we do have about a dozen medium sized trees scattered about the perimter that create some shady areas where Bermuda won't grow. Our east side has a whole row of 25ft evergreens for example. The west side of our yard gets a good deal of evening shade from our neighbors full-sized trees. As a result, crabgrass, some fescue and other things have taken over the bermuda on that side.

Ok here's the rundown:

*The lady before us had a "meandering garden" down the middle (about 300sq feet) that we want to seed/sod. This area is in the middle and the least-shaded area.

*We have patches of fescue on the fringes that seem to do pretty well in the shady areas

*We have 1/3 of our back yard where the Bermuda is really struggling due to shade in the evening hours??? Lots of weeds and crabgrass.

Questions we are struggling with:

Should we start filling that area in with Bermuda? Fescue? Something else? Can we overseed the areas where Bermuda isn't doing so well? Will fescue ever prosper in this environment, with Bermuda already there? Landscapers are amazed that our Bermuda is getting choked out. Anyone else have issues like this before?

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Dear Supafuzz

Thank you for the inquiry. Believe me, you are not the only one with this problem. Bermudagrass does not like shade, period. Zoysiagrass is more shade tolerant, but will not be great in the dense shade, and is best to be established by sod. The best bet is to establish tall fescue back there (and put in ground over under evergreen trees). You can put down seed now, but the most ground will be gained in the fall as leaves begin to turn. You will want to seed the shady areas at this time to maximize the number of days of full sunlight (ie no leaves on trees). Also, this summer cut way back on fertilizer on grass under the shade, save the fertilizer for the fall-spring periods. My book, Lawn Geek, further details the shade establishment procedures.

Again thanks for the inquiry.


Trey Rogers
The Yard Doctor

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 5:54AM
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