Grass Seed and Lawn Seed for Shade

Shade tolerant grass seed and lawn seeds mixtures. As with all plants, grass needs enough light and moisture to grow, which are obviously both prevented by shade. This means that establishing and caring for a lawn in shady conditions requires a little more planning and effort.

Firstly, when selecting a grass seed mixture, look for one specifically designed for shade tolerance if much of the area is covered by shade. These are formulated with the best selection of species to withstand conditions of reduced light and moisture. If there is just a small area covered by shade, there is no particular need to have a shade specific mixture, but the area will require slightly more upkeep.

When preparing the seed bed for a new lawn, shaded areas may need a little more attention as the area is more likely to have dried out and have poor structure. Ensure this is well rotovated and that a pre seeding fertiliser is applied…this is more important with shaded areas as large trees for example will extract a significant amount of nutrients from the ground.

It is advisable to water any new lawn while it is establishing, but this is absolutely essential in shaded areas and may need doing more regularly. Any seed without sufficient moisture will not germinate and therefore the lawn may be patchy. You may also want to consider removing some of the cause of the shade…could some of the branches of a tree be trimmed back for example.

We also advise that grass in shaded areas is left a little longer for a greater surface area for the grass to absorb moisture and sunlight. The soil temperature in shade is likely to be lower than in other areas which may ultimately leave the plants weaker. Overseeding once or twice a year is a good idea to keep as consistent an appearance as possible in the shaded areas.

See also our general advice on preparing the seed bed.