Groundcover replacement for grass of shaded lawn

Asked February 18, 2018, 7:04 PM EST

Hello. Please help - I have given up on growing grass in our shaded townhouse backyard. The sunflower seeds/shells from our birdfeeder have taken a toll and we no longer have grass in our sloped backyard. The lawn does not have heavy foot traffic. We do have landscaping approx. 3ft wide/10 feet long - azaleas and hydrangeas - along the side of the yard. Trying to find something to fill the now muddy middle part of the yard. I would welcome something to encourage bees or butterflies. What type of groundcover replacement would you recommend we try? I did not include a photo as there is not much to see. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

Here are some options. If you want to try growing grass select a fine fescue. In general fine fescues are comprised of creeping red fescue, hard fescue, chewings fescue, and sheep fescue. Hard fescue is recommended. 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. Begin with a soil test. Results give pH. liming, and fertilization recommendations.
Here is our publication on seeding

Otherwise, You may want to turn the area into a woodland garden with mulched pathways. Plant some shrubs and groundcovers.
Shrubs - itea, fothergilla, clethra

Groundcovers - phlox stolonifera, helleborus, ferns, foam flower