Tips for growing a lawn in a shady garden.

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How to grow a lawn in shade

Grass grows best in sun. No grass will grow for long in dense shade, but a reasonably nice lawn can be grown in partial shade using special shade lawn seed or turf and following the tips in this article.

On this page

  • Mowing grass in a shady area.    
  •  Increasing light by selective pruning helps a lawn grow in shade.    
  • Over watering and feeding can harm grass growing in shade.    
  • Maintenance for a lawn growing in shade.    
  • Shade tolerant seed suppliers.
  • Sowing or laying shade resistant turf.

Turfing, Seeding and maintaining a lawn growing in shade. 

It's possible and fairly easy to grow and maintain a lawn in partial shade using special lawn seeds and shady area turf that have been developed for this purpose.

A healthy lawn will grow in shade, providing you use lawn seed or turf specially formulated to grow in shade and the area gets roughly 50% sunlight. 

Watering shady lawn grass. 

Don't over water, this not only wastes water but could drown your lawn, normally one heavy soaking a week during summer will keep the lawn green. Lawn care

As the weather cools in late August and September, a soaking every 14 days should be fine for lawns in a more shady area.

Shade slows down the evaporation of surface water causing dampness that can encourage diseases in grass growing in shade. it really is best to water only when absolutely necessary and water deeply


Increasing light in a shady area. 

Pruning out branches to thin trees and reducing low branches helps light get through, even dappled light is better than complete shade. In extreme cases you may need to remove some of the trees. Pruning tips

Solid panel fencing reduces sunlight, Replacing the panels with trellis fencing will allow some sunshine to filter through.

Feeding shady area lawn seed or turf. 

Special grass produced to tolerate shade, grows slower and does not need as much fertiliser or water as a normal lawn grass. If you can, use a feed especially formulated for shade grass.


 Over watering and feeding doesn't help a lawn growing in shade. 

Over feeding and watering any lawn encourages the roots to stay near the surface. Why should they search for nutrients when you are providing convenience food. This can cause dependence, especially in dry weather. green lawn tips

Mowing Shady grass seed or lawn turf. 

These special shade resistant grasses need more leaf surface for photosynthesis.

It's good practice to keep your shady lawn grass a bit longer than standard lawn grass, about 3" is fine. Cut the grass before it gets 5" high because fine shade grasses are thinner and wispy and they tend to lie down in front of the mower, so keep your mower blades sharp. 

Shady lawns are easily smothered by heavy leaf fall. 

Remove the leaves several times in autumn and again in the early spring to allow as much light as possible to reach the grass.

Shade grass grown from seed or turf may also thin over the years.

And can be seeded or patch turfed from late August to mid September or in early spring before the trees get leafy. But weed seeds may be actively competing with seedling grass though Many annual weeds pose much less of a problem in shady lawns, and don't forget that weeds also prefer the sun.


Preparing the ground, sowing shady area grass seed and laying turf is the same as for a normal lawn, details here  laying lawn turf 

SHADY AREA LAWN GRASS SEED SHADE LAWN 10KG  20% Amenity Perennial Rye-grass 45% Creeping Red Fescue 15% Hard fescue 10% Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass 5% Rough Stalked Meadow Grass 5% Highland Bentgrass Sowing rate: 50 gms per square metre (COVERS UP TO 100 SQ M)
This grass seed will tolerate shade and the poor soil conditions found under trees.

Two important points to remember with shady areas,

  • Always adjust your mower so that the grass is longer in shady area.
  • give it some extra feeds throughout the year.
Full instructions to sow and maintain a shady area lawn come with your purchase