Shade Damage To Your Lawn

What is shade damage?

All grasses have minimum sunlight requirements needed to thrive and reach their full potential. When areas of your lawn are not receiving adequate sunlight, the grass will begin to thin out until completely bare unless action is taken to increase sun exposure.

How Much Sun Does My Grass Need?

  • Full Sunshine: Bermudagrass
  • Full sunshine to very light shade: Hybrid Bermudagrass (Includes Tifway419, Tifway II, TifSport, Patriot)
  • Full sunshine to light shade: TifGrand Bermudagrass
  • Full sunshine to partial shade: Emerald, Zeon Zoysiagrass (Of the Zoysiagrasses, Zeon is the most shade tolerant)
  • Full sunshine to light shade: Meyer, Empire, other broadleaf Zoysiagrass
  • Light shade to partial shade: Tall Fescue

Most shade tolerant grass in Atlanta requires six hours of direct sunshine or eight hours of filtered light under tall trees.

Definition of Sunlight Levels

  • Full sunshine: Eight hours/day (or more) of unfiltered sunshine
  • Very light shade: Seven hours/day of sunshine filtered through high pine foliage or very scattered hardwood trees or seven hours/day of unfiltered sunshine
  • Light shade: Six hours/day of sunshine filtered through high pine foliage or scattered hardwood trees or six hours/day of unfiltered sunshine
  • Partial shade: Eight hours/day of sunshine filtered through high pine foliage OR five hours/day of direct sunshine
  • Shade: All-day sunshine filtered through scattered hardwood trees OR direct sunshine only four hours/day
  • Dense shade: No direct sunshine touches the lawn all day. Examples: shade between two houses whose shadows prevent sunshine from hitting the lawn all day or turf under a heavy canopy of mature hardwoods

What are the Options for Shady Areas of My Lawn?

  • No turfgrass will grow well in shade or dense shade. For shady areas along existing plant bed(s) consider expanding your plant bed lines with mulch and/or planting shade tolerant plants.
  • For shady areas under tree canopies, consider creating a mulch bed. Mulching under a tree canopy will not only improve the appearance of your landscape, it will benefit the tree’s overall health by removing turf which competes with the tree for nutrients.
  • For shady areas caused by low-hanging tree limbs, consider pruning the tree limbs to increase the amount of sunlight available to the turfgrass.
  • For shady areas caused by your home or other permanent structures, consider installing shade-tolerant plants and/or a stone walking path.
  • Use Suncalc to see how much sunlight you get

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V. Alber

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Y Cho

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Y. Cho

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J. Williams

I just had another comment this morning on how good our fescue lawn looks, which happens several times a week. I walked out in our back yard this AM and couldn't believe it was the same yard as what I dealt with last year. We have a good lawn maintenance crew that takes care of mowing and edging, and we have a good company that takes care of weeding, feeding, and shrubbery & trees. I enjoy telling friends and neighbors about your service. Thank you and keep up the good work!

M. King

Happened to be home and Ben treating the yard. He took meticulous care in the treatment. Please convey my thanks to him.

M. Vincent