Black Beauty® Dense Shade Grass Seed
- Proven to grow where other shady lawn seed mixtures have failed
- Perfect for use around the base of mature trees and shrubs where sunlight is limited
- Germinates and establishes quickly
- Improved turfgrass varieties possessing beneficial endophytes for natural insect and disease resistance
- Spreader Settings
- Reviews (270)
Jonathan Green Black Beauty® Dense Shade Grass Seed contains shade-tolerant Black Beauty® varieties for lawns with big shady trees, large shrubs, or areas shaded by houses or other permanent structures. Black Beauty® Dense Shade contains turf-type tall fescue, perennial ryegrass and fine fescues which create great versatility in shady to partial sun lawns. This seed germinates in 14 to 21 days.
For the best results, follow the directions below for establishing a new lawn or overseeding an existing one.
- Mow – Mow the lawn at the lowest mower setting before seeding to allow the seed to reach the soil.
- Rake – Rake over the existing grass with a metal rake to remove the thatch layer and any debris to loosen the soil. Add additional topsoil to fill in holes and level the ground.
- Check soil pH level – Have a soil test taken to check your soil’s pH level. Optimum soil pH should be between 6.2 to 7.0. For a pH below 6.2 use Jonathan Green MAG-I-CAL® Plus for Acidic & Hard Soil to rapidly increase pH. If the pH is above 7.0 use MAG-I-CAL® Plus for Alkaline & Hard Soil to rapidly decrease the soil pH.
- When to apply – The best time to apply seed is mid-August to mid-October while the ground is still warm and the nights are cooler. Mid-March through mid-May is the next best time to plant when the soil temperature reaches 55º+ Fahrenheit and the temperature of the air stays consistently warm.
- Spread seed – Apply half of the seed with a rotary spreader in one direction (north to south) and the remainder in the opposite direction (east to west). It is beneficial to spread a new seeding fertilizer that is high in phosphorus at this time as well.
- Rake seed – Rake lightly into the ground with a metal rake. Walk with light, even footsteps on the seedbed to firm the soil around the seed. Do not bury the seed more than one-fourth of an inch deep.
- Water – For best germination, water daily to keep the seedbed moist. Continue watering regularly for a few weeks until the grass plants reach a height of 2 – 2.5 inches.
- Mow – Begin mowing when the new grass has reached a height of 3 – 4 inches. Make sure the mower has sharp blades. Be careful not to scalp the lawn, low mowing will stress the root system and encourage the growth of weeds.
- 1 lb Bag
- Overseeding – Seeds up to 600 sq. ft.
- New Lawns – Seeds up to 300 sq. ft.
- 3 lb Bag
- Overseeding – Seeds up to 1,800 sq. ft.
- New Lawns – Seeds up to 900 sq. ft.
- 7 lb Bag
- Overseeding – Seeds up to 4,200 sq. ft.
- New Lawns – Seeds up to 2,100 sq. ft.
- 25 lb Bag
- Overseeding – Seeds up to 15,000 sq. ft.
- New Lawns – Seeds up to 7,500 sq. ft.
Grass Type: Tall and Fine Fescues, Perennial Rye
Grass Color: Dark green
Recommended Planting Months: For cool season grasses
- Mid-August through mid-October
- Mid-March through mid-May
Sun Tolerance: Good
Shade Tolerance: Excellent
Light Requirements: Partial sun to shade (4 – 6 hours of sun)
Drought Tolerance: Excellent
Insect & Disease Resistance: Good
High Traffic Tolerance: Good
Planting Depth: ¼ inches
Germination Time: 14 – 21 days
The spreader settings listed are approximate. Spreader condition, rate of walk, and humidity are just some of the variables that can affect the rate of application. Please refer to the product label link on this page, or the back of the bag, for further details along with application rates and precautionary statements. You may need to adjust settings for proper coverage if circumstances described on the label are applicable. In all cases, the user should read and follow label instructions before applying any product, and assumes all responsibility when using this spreader settings tool.
I used this the dense shade mis in areas of my lthat gets about 70% shade as the directions indicated. Its true I tried using it under areas that only gets 20@ shade and while it came up nicely it died in the summer when the tress became full with leaves. I alo mix it with shady nooks and use it to overseed in the really shady areas. It works because the shady nooks acts a buffer. Dense shade has primarily fine fescue and its needs some some sun to thrive. Done use it in areas that gets 20% sunlight or less. You will b e dissapointed.
After tilling, laying down 50/50 compost, seed, seeding straw and lots of water my family now was a backyard. Thanks Jonathan Green!
Used it to seed some shaded areas in my yard. It works like a charm. Made a mistake though by not adding starter fertilizer but corrected that. Also made sure that I cover the seeds to ward off birds. Now the shaded areas looks great.
I use it in an area that never gets sun from April to September. Grass is small and grows slowly, but it is nice and green. Excellent customer service, very knowledgeable and gives great advice. Survives with little water.
Field conditions: Seeded: June 1, 2020 Geo Location: South Nassau, L.I. NY Install location: Deep shade, 1/4″ high-quality topsoil on top of BACKFILL. Area 3.5′ x 35′. Fertilizer added. Weather: 55 – 75 some clouds, some rain. Seeded DENSE SHADE per directions on 1/4″ of high quality top soil. added fast start pellets. Kept moist daily. Sprouted on 6th day following steady, gentle rains and warm weather. SO far So good!
I purchased Dense Shade for large patches in two very shady areas (I\’d estimate 70-80% shade) of the lawn, in addition to the Ultra sun and shade for over-seeding in the entire yard (total 11,000sf). I only got very sparse germination in the two shady areas I was most concerned about (have photos I could send). I followed all preparation instructions: aerated, limed soil to bring pH between 6-7, applied Jonathan Green\’s starter fertilizer after the seed and raked it all in gently, made sure seed was well and evenly distributed; then watered about 2x day to keep moist (sometimes 3x if needed). We had cooler-than normal temps the first two weeks of May — high 50s/low 60s, but steadily in the high 60s-low 80s in the last two weeks. Now, most of the yard is lush, thick green, but just over 4 weeks after planting, the shady areas are still mostly bare. Not sure what else I could have done? Frankly, I\’m surprised by all the 5-star ratings here!
JG: Photos requested by email.
Spent a lot of time and energy preparing the ground as instructed. Watered as directed…no growth at all. Waste of time and money.
Jonathan Green response: We are having an unseasonably cold spring. Until your soil temperature is 55° consistently, grass will not grow. Right now in NJ, it is only 45°. Please email us for further assistance.
I live in the back of a large apt. complex, the area behind my apt. is very shady, the landscapers ignore it because management doesn’t come back there very often. It’s been many years since sine there has been any grass because it’s so shady. I just threw the seed out , no prep work, used a gallon jug to spread it the best I could. It started growing in about 9 or 10 days, I have green grass behind my apartment for the time in many years, The landscapers can’t ignore it anymore , now they have to mow it.
Grass is growing like a champ!!! There has been no grass in this area for about 5 years. I highly recommend this grass for shaded and not so shaded areas!!!
As I put the seed down mid October due to such hot weather in September followed by a vacation it is difficult to determine at this point how the seed will do. There is some seed that has come up but we are have temperatures below 60 degrees at night – not the ideal conditions to have planted seed. I will keep you posted in the spring. I may over seed in the early spring which of course is less than ideal. With all of that said I really did not give this seed a fair shot so it is difficult for me to give a fair review.
Planted the grass seed in an area of my yard where no grass had grown for several years because of the trees, but this is working.
Put down early October in Cincinnati, Oh. Kept it watered, came up well. So far, so good!
I’ve used this for a few years every fall in dense shade areas and it works very well and I overseed to thicken up existing shaded grass
The seed germinates very quickly and does a great job covering the area seeded. One word of caution. If this grass gets even any indirect sun in the northeast Texas climate, the grass finally dies. It must be in total shade ALL the time to do well in Texas. I am hoping the grass that is in total shade stays healthy. I know it says DENSE SHADE grass and that is why I am giving it a five since it does what they say but again I am not too sure it can take the Texas heat even if it is in total shade.
I bought this locally and just ordered more on Amazon. It was planted last week and is growing quite well in the Chicago area. I’m using it to overseed and repair a lot of empty spots under a big river birch tree.
One tip: don’t waste time making the lawn perfect for grass seed. I mowed to a shorter than normal level, I leave the grass clippings (all year), and I throw the grass seed by spreader and water lightly for a few days, more if it is dry. My lawn in back will never be great because of dogs, but at least it won’t be a mud pit.
My front lawn is beautiful under a maple tree. Leave your grass clippings— best thing you can do for your lawn.
Really works to grow beautiful grass in Densely Shaded Areas! I highly recommend this product as it really has given me very nice grass, relatively quickly on my very very shaded property.
Got this for a dense shaded area within a week the grass is coming in nicely. Will order more for sun/shade for the rest of my lawn. I tried another well known brand and had not one seed sprouted. Hopefully black beauty will be just as successful with the sun/shade mix as I was with the dense shade mix. A little on the higher price but if it works than its’ worth it to me, instead of wasting money on seed that doesn’t ever sprout. I would give it 5 stars but I don’t know yet how it will continue to grow and hold up yet.
Picture was taken exactly 1 week after planting seed. Looks to be coming along quite nicely. Just be sure to water at least once per day, twice for good measure.
Will update after 2 weeks.
2nd pic is after 3 weeks since planting. Appears to be thriving, planted some more just beneath original area. A+
This seed germinated quickly with twice-daily watering. Visible grass blades in about 7 days. Application was for new grass area. Approx 1in of new topsoil. Applied lime, new seed fertilizer, dense shade seed, and covered with straw. I believe my rotary spread application was not even and I would recommend perpendicular passes with the spreader for more even distribution.
Thing to know. Use a lot of seeds. After seeding once and experimenting, I found best results where I seeded pretty thickly. I raked then then threw seeds out and then watered about 5-10 min a day depending on heat/weather. Bag says 2-3 weeks to sprout but I saw green in about a week. Super green when it’s sprouting. We’ll see how it does long term, but I’m pleased with the start. I bought a second round to fill in my lack of spread consistency in my first try. I was trying to seed a pretty big area. My yard is super shaded and completely treed and this grass is still growing. I’m about 3 weeks into the process and I’d say my shoots are about an inch and a half maybe 2 inches. I just threw out the second batch of seed so we’ll see how that does. Will update this review as I see how it does. I gave presentation 4 stars because I want to see how it does longer term and whether it holds at the first mowing, etc.
The grass was planted in May (not ideal) under an oak tree. Most of it survived Oklahoma’s brutal summer with minimal watering once established.
I had grass shoots within 6 days in a heavily shaded area. Outperformed Scott’s Sun & Shade! Grass is now 4 in high in 8 days!
This seed is amazing!! I replaced the gravel inside the retaining wall with this seed. The entire area is all rocky clay so I was sceptical that I could get anything to grow without a ton of work. However, I did nothing else other than spread the seed and cover it with a thin layer of leftover potting soil to keep the birds from eating it. Picture #1 is day 3 and picture #2 is day 8. The entire area gets no sun at all. Thank you Jonathan Green!! Highly recommended.
Grew fast in dense shade and has held up to georgia heat and drought
No sign of grass please refund my money!
After just a couple days I can see the seeds forming into grass!!! Very shaded area under big trees that unfortunately haven’t let my grass grow till now!
Grows under a dense 20′ red jap maple. Basically was pure dirt/mud.. area was heavily tread. Did the trick. Used peat moss and lightly incorporated water gel crystals. Never even watered it w/ 2019 rain in CNY.
It’s August and the grass in the shade looks great
it never came up
Never used grass seed before and cannot believe it grew so fast and grew so well. Amazing. Planted it around base of my big fir tree where is in total shade and also other areas with the leftover seed. Grew everywhere.
Expensive but it grows where others didn’t.
I have an area in the back of my house that literally gets no sun at all, I moved in two years ago and nothing has grown there… not even weeds.
I tried this on a whim because it was a fair price and the reviews were pretty good. I am not disappointed in any way. This product Surprised the crap out of me! The photo attached is about a week and a half or so.
I ordered another bag.
I did blend this product with another brand, so I can’t say – with certainty – that these seeds germinated. But the lawn under a huge shade tree came up nicely – so I’ll have to say, overall, it was a success. The seed did take almost 2 weeks to start to germinate — I thought it should have came up quicker considering the ideal weather conditions and that I sowed the seeds before the shade tree leafed out to give them optimum sun – along with watering daily. They came up quite thin and sparse at first — I’d say it took a good month before it could be safely mowed without damaging the baby shoots. Even now (early summer) I’d have to say the lawn did not come up as thick as I had hoped for — but I’m ok with the result, considering I could never get a blade of grass to grow in the bare spots for almost 10 years. So this year I turned over the soil with a tiller early in the year, added peat moss and other nutrients and started from scratch with a new lawn — definitely the best lawn I’ve had in 10 years.
Once again, Jonathan Green has scored a great product. The seed germinated and started growing within two to three weeks. I have a partially shaded area to contend with that does not hold up well during heavy rainfalls. In spite of the wetness, the new seed grew very well and my bare areas are now covered. I did over seed – and it worked!
Grass is lush and green under the giant oak and maple trees now. Looks beautiful
I live in the Dallas area, hope it survives the summer. Time will tell
I have three big trees in my yard and it is hard to grow grass in the shade. I used Johnathan Green Deep Shade seed and grass started growing right away. Time will tell if it continues to grow and will stay strong all summer. I am pleased how quickly it started growing.
Used to seed very shady area. Germination happened quickly and easily
It’s a liiiiitle pricey, but it makes for beautiful lawns. It took me some work to get it going, but once it took it changed my lawn. I love you Mr Green.
Outstanding performance. Product delivers stated outcomes.
the grass is growing well and I will buy again if needed
easy grow, best grass seed ever
I have tried for more than a few years with “Big Box Store” shady-area seed and no grass would grow in my Northern Virginia yard. I planted Jonathan Green Dense Shade Grass this last fall (Nov) and the few areas that didn’t fill in by spring I replanted. You see in the pics that it is now about 6″ high (May) with no bare spots. This is in a VERY shady area under a large tree. I even planted some extra seed in a sunny spot and it also grew quite nicely. Could not be happier and cannot recommend this seed highly enough!
It works good
Grass is growing so far so good.
Sprouted in about 12 days last Fall. Nice dense fine blades. Local stores all run out of dense shade seed every Fall.
Frequently Bought Together
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Love Your Soil®Soil food that stimulates microbes to build topsoil while loosening hard, compacted soil.
Mag-I-Cal® for Lawns in Acidic SoilConcentrated calcium soil food with humates that rapidly raises & balances soil pH.