Identifying The Best Grass For Shade

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If your backyard has a little less sun than average, then it’s important to know which is the best grass for shade in order to avoid a lacklustre lawn. 

Balancing the right amount of sun vs shade is something that just about every gardener grapples with. While a healthy dash of Vitamin D via some sunshine can feel great on a winter’s afternoon, it doesn’t have quite the same appeal in the peak of January. In comparison, shade can provide a safe area for both kids, pets and grown ups to play in, but can make a garden feel colder when the weather isn’t as cooperative. 

For many homeowners, there isn’t that much choice. For those who have found themselves with an abundance of shade, cutting down large trees that may have resided in your garden long before, can be expensive and even dangerous. Having an abundance of shade in your yard is also common for those who have large dwellings on small blocks, which of course doesn’t give homeowners a lot of options to work with either. 

Too much shade isn’t good for some plants, including particular varieties of turf. If you find yourself grappling with such a conundrum, what is the best grass for shade areas in your garden that can cope with such conditions?

Turf Varieties That Can Cope With A Lot Of Shade

Contrary to popular belief, there are actually many different types, species and even brands of turf to choose from when selecting a variant for your new or existing lawn. While of course they are all generally green and leafy, there are a few key points of difference to consider when making your selection, such as which require a lot of sun, and which can tolerate more shelter or shady conditions. 

Before you start shopping for turf varieties, it’s important to calculate just how much sun your grass can expect to receive per day. Even the most shade-tolerant grasses do need at least three to four hours of direct sun per day, or four to six hours of infrequent sunlight a day. Once you’ve got this information ready to go, as a general rule, the most shade tolerant grass varieties in Australia include the following. 

Buffalo Grass – Widely recognised for it’s very wide leaf blade, buffalo grass is also very durable and relatively easy to maintain. In turn, this has made it arguably the most popular turf choice in Australia, but if not cared for properly it can turn ‘scratchy’ and irritate the skin. Buffalo grass is one of the best grass for shade varieties, as it only needs about three to four hours of direct sunlight each day, and even speckled sunlight from trees will do the job. 

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Zoysia Grass – This variety has a fine leaf blade slightly wider than couch grass that tapers along the blade to the tip. It also has a dense growth, providing high wear resistance. It’s quite popular in hot or arid climates, as zoysia grass is known to be salt and drought tolerant. However, it’s also great for shaded gardens, and can usually withstand up to 40% complete shade coverage per day. 

Weeping Grass – Weeping grass is an Australian native grass that is widely distributed throughout the damper zones of eastern Australia from Cape York to Tasmania, meaning that if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain or has a cooler climate, this turf could be your winner. It’s also a great choice for those on the hunt for a turf variety for highly acidic soils, and even though it is a native, it’s soft blades make for a great choice for residential lawns and gardens. 

All turf varieties enjoy a good watering but it is important to remember that water evaporates slower in the shade. Making sure you are giving your shaded lawn the required amount of water without over watering is key. It’s a good idea to add sand before planting to allow better drainage in shaded areas. If it is already planted, think about coring and top dressing with sand to allow for better drainage. 

Before you start shopping, it’s also worth measuring the soil pH levels of your lawn or garden. Some species are much more sensitive to others, and the quality of your soil has quite the impact on the overall health of any plant variety you introduce to it, including turf. However, if this practice goes slightly over your head, then it’s always worth speaking to the professionals – but where do you find them?

How To Optimise Your Lawn Soil With Nutrients 

Do your plants – and yourself – a favour, and give them a head start by optimising your soil prior to planting. By adding a natural plant food like Biotic Booster, this will help your garden to: 

  • Provide essential nutrients and microbes 
  • Act as a liquid fertiliser to unlock your soil’s potential 
  • Drought proof your plants and lower water consumption
  • Increase and speed up the germination process
  • Assist in protecting your plants from pests and diseases 
  • Provide a natural solution that’s safe to use around your herbs, fruit and veggies

If you’re ready to take the leap into improving the health of your plants while minimising the use of chemical based fertilisers, then it may be time to try plant probiotics and plant food. Our Ultimate Garden Health Pack includes our Biotic Booster, FP-60 Probiotic Spray, RE-250 Soil Energiser, plant food and plant probiotics. In each concentrated bottle, millions of natural bacterias are waiting to find a new home in your garden.

Here at Bioweed, we specialise in environmentally friendly gardening products, including herbicides, plant food and plant probiotics, and natural alternatives to traditional gardening solutions. Should you have any questions about how to improve the sustainability of your garden, get in touch with us today.