grass for shade, shallow soil

Asked September 11, 2017, 5:36 PM EDT

Under my front-yard maple tree, the soil is shallow (because of the tree roots) and heavily shaded during the summer. What grass should I try? Should I put down some topsoil?

Fayette County Kentucky fayette county kentucky horticulture soil and fertility issues

1 Response

Surface roots are a common issue, and complaint, with maple trees. However we do not recommend adding topsoil over top of the roots. Those roots have surfaced for a natural reason which is usually a response when they are looking for more oxygen. Adding soil over top of it would be an unnatural occurrence that could cause problems with the trees health. Tall fescue will be the best type of seed to use in any area, sun or shade. The key will be in keeping it watered since it will have severe root competition from the tree roots in addition to the heavy shade. But with persistent love and care, developing a turf under a maple can be accomplished. Please contact us at the Fayette County Extension Office for any further questions or concerns, (859) 257-5582. Thanks!