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GROWING GRASS IN THE SHADE

Grass that is located in the shade will still grow; however, because it is not used to the sunlight, it will also have a lower tolerance level to heat, severe cold, disease and drought. With a little assistance from a fertilizer, however, you can easily grow grass in the shade and keep it looking fresh, healthy and ready for whatever weather comes its way.

There are plenty of benefits to growing grass in a shaded area. For one, it remains a lot moister due to the lack of sunlight. However, because it is not used to the sun, this means it also lacks the tolerance needed to handle the harsh climate conditions and weather changes many areas in the United States face.

Choosing Grass for a Shaded Spot

The first step to growing grass in the shade is to choose the right kind of grass. There are several different types of grass but the best ones for shade are those with a fine fescue rather than a tall fescue. Some of the types to compare include Bitterblue, Palmetto and Raleigh. Make sure your rental lease allows for growing grass and then ask your local gardening shop about the best types of grass to grow in your area. Some will be better in colder climates while others will flourish in warmer temperatures.

The best time to grow grass is during the early fall (think September). This means that there is enough time for the grass to mature before the leaves start to fall and the temperature takes a serious nose dive. You will need to give your grass the best chance to grow by keeping items off it. This includes children's toys, dog droppings and leaves.

Maintaining your Lawn

Make sure you rake the leaves on a regular basis. Put a fence around the area to help your kids and your pets stay away from this area. If you have cats, watch that they do not take this area as their personal litter box. If you have dogs, make sure they do not dig around this area, as tempting as it might be.

As your grass grows and grows and grows, you will need to start mowing it (most likely in the summer months). When you are mowing grass in the shade, mow it an inch higher than normal. Because grass in the shade does not have much sun, then it will grow a lot slower than grass that is exposed to sunlight for more than four hours a day.

In some instances, when you mow the lawn you may leave the cuttings on top of the lawn and just let them soak into the ground. Do not do this with grass in the shade. Dispose of the cuttings, either in the garden or in a compost to ensure that you are not blocking any light to the shaded grass.

A fertilizer will also help you grow grass in the shade. When you are fertilizing your lawn, you should only use half the amount of nitrogen for the shaded area than for the sunny patches. Look for a low nitrogen fertilizer for your shaded areas.

Finally, when it comes to growing grass in the shade, you do not need to water often. Because the sun is not directly hitting the grass, it will not get as dry or thirsty. When you do water, however, make sure you water deeply to penetrate the roots. All of these tips will help ensure that your grass in the shade remains fresh, healthy and growing, even without the constant attention of the sun.

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