growing grass in shade
St. Augustine grass is the best choice for shade, but if too much shade is a problem, St. Augustine will struggle, thin and eventually fade away. If shade is a problem, prune trees to allow more light to enter in the morning or afternoon. This is done by removing lower branches not thinning out the canopy. Unfortunately, thinning the canopy will actually stimulate more growth if not done by an expert arborist. Consult an arborist and listen to their expert opinion. Prune only if more direct light is the result. If pruning the trees is not an option, planting a groundcover is a better use of your time and money. Select a groundcover from the many choices available to grow in this area. Drive through any older neighborhood with large shade trees or visit the Fort Worth Japanese Garden is how some of the wonderful groundcover planted in large areas. Go to Texas SmartScape to see pictures, http://www.smartscape.com One other turf grass is available for shade areas with 4 or more hours of direct sunlight, Zoysia palisades. Zoysia palisades once established is drought tolerant, grows deep roots and is more cold tolerant than St. Augustine. The grass blades are not as wide as St. Augustine but not as narrow is Bermuda. Zoysia palisades grows into a thick lawn comfortable to walk and sit on. The runners growing into planted areas are easy to control with a string trimmer. Call the Tarrant County Extension Master Gardener help desk at 817-884-1944 or email me if you have more questions.