I have a steep shady hillside. The grassy spots have become very bare. I...

Asked July 1, 2013, 1:28 PM EDT

I have a steep shady hillside. The grassy spots have become very bare. I would like to plant new grass and some wild native flowers to cover the area and help to avoid erosion. Any suggestions? Thanks

Howard County Maryland lawns and turf fine fescues

1 Response

If you have shady conditions, you should you should consider sowing fine fescue grass seed. In general fine fescues are comprised of creeping red fescue, hard fescue, chewings fescue, and sheep fescue. They do not perform well under frequent foot traffic, wet conditions, or high rates of nitrogen fertilizer. They also do not require a lot of mowing. The best time to sow seed is late summer to early fall (mid-August to mid-October). Begin with a soil test. See our publication on Overseeding steps hgic.umd.edu/content/documents/HG102LawnEstablishment_Renovation_Overseeding_3_2012sm.pdf

Native wild flowers grow best in full sun and would not be a good choice for a shady hillside. Consider ferns. A native fern that is aggressive and easy to grow is Athyrium asplenioides, Southern Lady. For other selections see our publication Native Plant of MD http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG120_NativePlantsof...
mh