If you were under the impression that growing turf under your trees is a challenge, you wouldn’t be completely incorrect. Maintaining your lawn does require a certain level of hard work and persistence. Thankfully, the task isn’t nearly as daunting as it may seem! By following a few simple steps, you can expect your lawn to flourish, even under the shady cover of trees.
There are a few factors that make it tricky to keep grass growing under a tree. The primary reason is that most types of grass survive best in sunny spots, and therefore struggle under the shade of trees. The leaves can also provide an “umbrella”, blocking necessary rainwater needed by the grass to grow.
To combat this, prune back the lower branches of the trees regularly. Thinning them out will allow both more light and rainwater to fall through onto the grass, helping your lawn to grow.
Whether you’re dealing with deciduous or evergreen trees, you’re likely to have some amount of leaf litter that falls onto the surrounding grass. Keep on top of this by regularly raking away the fallen leaves. Combining this with keeping the branches pruned back will help ensure your lawn gets the sunlight it needs.
Grass under a tree will naturally receive less rain than open grass, due to the leaves acting as a cover. Help your lawn along by keeping it watered. How often you need to do this will depend on the time of year, climate, and the particular turf you have. Generally, it’s best to water for a longer period of time, less frequently, than watering a little each day. This ensures the water reaches deep into the soil and helps maintain a solid root system. However often you’re watering your lawn, consider watering a little more thoroughly under trees.
When mowing your lawn, cut the grass under your trees a little higher than the rest. Longer blades will help shade the soil underneath, meaning less water evaporation, and healthier grass overall.
Choosing a shade tolerant turf is one of the best ways to ensure success when growing under trees. Opt for something like a Sapphire Buffalo grass, which is incredibly robust and can tolerate up to 70% shade in an area with low wear, and up to 50% shade in moderate to high wear. Not only this, but it requires less watering than others due to its deep root system.
Growing grass under trees can be a challenge, but with proper care and regular maintenance, is definitely a goal that’s well within reach!
If you’d like any more advice the best way to keep your lawn thriving, contact us at Rivers Edge Turf on (02) 4579 9009 and one of our friendly team members will help you out!