3-type seed blend?

Asked March 1, 2019, 8:45 PM EST

Hello and thank you SOOO MUCH for your *AMAZING RESOURCE*! I live in the Silver Spring/Woodmoor area and there are many very tall trees. I hope I am following your recommendations by seeding with a high-quality 80% tall fescue/20% bluegrass mix. But with so many tall trees I'm worried there will be too much shade in some areas (this is my first spring living in the house, but I do know there are some shade areas. Since neither tall fescue nor bluegrass does well in shade should I be seeding with a fine fescue also? If so, what ratio should I use? Or should I change the blend of 2 varieties: 1 for the sunny areas and 1 for the heavily shaded areas?

Maryland lawns and turf seeding

1 Response

Growing grass under large shade trees is difficult. Fine fescues, such as hard fescue, creeping red fescue, and sheep fescue are best suited for shady areas. Hard fescue is the best performer of the group. However, fine fescues do not handle foot traffic well, should be infrequently mowed, need at a bare minimum 2 hours of direct sunlight, and generally are planted on low maintenance sites. Consider pruning the trees to allow more light into the yard. Take a look at our page on growing grass in the shade http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/growing-grass-shade

Turf type tall fescue will grow best in areas that areceive about 6 hours of direct sunlight and holds up better to active families. You can seed with a tall fescue bluegrass mix about 95% fescue and 5 % bluegrass or you can use a blend of tall fescue. See turfgrass cultivar recommendations. http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/Non_hgic_pubs/TT-77%20Rec...
Test your soil to check the pH before beginning a lawn renovation project. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-testing

Plant a shade loving groundcover in areas where turf will not grow. Mulch around the base of the trees.
Here is our website on lawns http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lawn-care