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Selecting and Managing Lawn Grasses for Shade

By: Arthur Bruneau, William Lewis, L. T. Lucas, M. A. Powell, Rick Brandenburg, Ronald E. Sneed, Joseph M. DiPaola, Charles Peacock

Turfgrass, trees, and shrubs are desired in most landscapes because they are attractive and useful. Unfortunately, growing turfgrasses in the presence of trees and shrubs can be a formidable task because each plant group competes with the other for the light, water, and nutrients that are essential for survival and growth. The desired effects of trees sometimes make it difficult to grow turf. When trees and shrubs are used to provide screening and privacy, the reduced wind movement and sunlight often increase the chance for disease. Even so, homeowners can take steps to improve the performance of a lawn growing in shade.