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Best Grass Seed for Shade

4 min read

Tall, branching trees and grass don’t always mix well. When you are looking for the best grass seed for shade, look no further than Black Beauty® seed blends from Jonathan Green.

Jonathan Green is a leading supplier of grass seed, organics, and turf products that are preferred by homeowners and sod growers alike.  Our name has represented genetically superior grass seed, innovation, integrity, determination, and a commitment to excellence since 1881. Today, six generations later, we remain committed to producing superior lawn and garden products.

We breed genetically superior turf grasses, such as those found in the Black Beauty® grass seed mixtures we develop in our own grass seed breeding program in Oregon. Our genetically superior grass seed and soil food products will transform your lawn and help it thrive.

Growing Grass in Shade & Under Trees

Some amount of sunlight, irrigation, and nutrients are required for grass, including shade-tolerant grass, to grow properly. Too much shade can be a major stress on turf and lead to weaker root systems, susceptibility to disease or pest damage, shade-loving weeds, and less drought tolerance.

By pruning non-essential branches from your tree(s), you may be able to increase the sunlight your grass needs. Removing lower branches helps to raise the canopy of the tree and allows more sunlight to filter down the ground. A certified arborist can help you find the best way to safely prune or cut back branches.

It’s also important to remove fallen leaves and other debris from under trees and in shady areas as quickly as possible so the grass can receive as much light and air as possible.

Our Shade-Tolerant Grasses

Growing a lawn in the shade can be challenging. If you can’t trim or remove trees to allow more sunlight in the area, we highly recommend using a grass seed mixture designed for the shade, such as Jonathan Green Shady Nooks or Dense Shade.

For dense shade areas, Jonathan Green has developed our own Black Beauty® Dense Shade Grass Seed. This blend consists of several different shade-tolerant grass seed varieties, including Black Beauty® turf-type tall fescue grasses, and naturally insect-resistant varieties that deter pests. It can thrive in medium shaded areas and in areas with up to 70% shade. It is able to establish in dry or sandy soils where other grass seeds have failed, but grows best in drier soils. 

Our most shade-tolerant turfgrass mixture is Black Beauty® Shady Nooks Grass Seed, the most shade-tolerant turfgrass mixture on the market. It survives well in either damp or dry soils, of up to 90% deep shade, where other grasses fail. Shady Nooks seed grows well right up to the base of trees, and requires less fertilizer.

Because shady lawns receive less sunlight, they perform less photosynthesis. This means they require less food and do not respond well to overfeeding, especially with high nitrogen fertilizers. We recommend Jonathan Green’s Veri-Green Starter Fertilizer for Seeding & Sodding which contains phosphorus to encourage deep, dense root growth. 

If you are looking for the best grass seed for shade, visit jonathangreen.com or ask your local independent retail store, and they will tell you there is no better-quality seed for heavily shaded areas than Jonathan Green’s Dense Shade or Shady Nooks.

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