growing grass in shady area, too late to seed?

Asked October 23, 2017, 11:12 AM EDT

Hi there, we just had a big chunk of concrete ripped out of our shady backyard in S. Mpls. The area is mostly shady. Wondering, is it too late to seed ? We would be able to do this Oct 28th/29th. Am I right to assume that sod is a bad idea? It's a 24 foot square chunk so not too expensive for sod, and nice to have grass sooner! But wondering if it's too late in year for sod and/or available sod varieties require more sun? If we CAN seed the area, what sort of seed do you recommend? And should we cover with hay or something else? And if seeding (or sodding) is unwise this late in the year, when is the next best time to do it? Thank you for any help! Ben in S. Mpls 612-910-1499 c

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

It is too late to plant grass seed for fall growth or to sod at this point in the season. Ideal seeding time is mid August to mid September. An option you could try yet this year, however, is called dormant seeding. Later this fall, generally in November, you can put down seed. This is best done when the weather is colder, but the ground is not yet frozen. The seed will be ready for growth then next spring. Read more at the links below for additional information and instructions.’s-still-time-dormant-seed-your-lawn For shady lawn areas, fescue types of grass seed can do well. They can be drought and shade tolerant. See the link below for additional information about seed selection. Information on grass types is near the end of the page. You are correct that there are fewer sod choices for shady lawns. There is an excellent article at the website below that reviews the pros and cons of seeding vs. sod, in the event that you decide to wait until spring to work on your lawn. You can seed in spring, but there is more weed competition at that time of year vs. late summer/early fall, and depending on timing, the hot weather of summer can be stressful for newly seeded areas.