Which types of turf are best for shady areas? | Shade Tolerant Turf

Which types of turf are best for shady areas? | Shade Tolerant Turf

If your yard doesn’t get much direct sunlight, you may want to consider a shade tolerant turf variety. Choosing grass that can withstand low light increases its chances of survival and keeps your mind at ease. 


If you’re unsure whether you need a shade-tolerant grass, consider: 

  • The amount of tree cover on your lawn 
  • If there are surrounding buildings that routinely block direct sunlight 
  • If you’re living in an area that has a naturally cloudy climate 
  • How the light changes depending on the time of day 
  • How the light changes depending on the season 
Shade tolerant turf

Once you’ve established whether or not your lawn might require a shade-tolerant grass, you can start thinking about which varieties would suit your home. 

These varieties have many other benefits beyond being shade-tolerant, so don’t discount them even if your lawn gets plenty of sun! 

Palmetto Buffalo Grass 

All varieties of Buffalo Grass are incredibly shade-tolerant, but Palmetto is especially robust. Palmetto grass has a 70% shade tolerance. This means it can handle up to 70% shade per day and requires sun for at least 30% of the day. Palmetto grass works well in areas of dappled light or in a spot that gets around 2-4 hours of full sun per day. 

Sapphire Buffalo Grass 

Sapphire Buffalo Grass is another great shade tolerant turf option, needing only around 3 hours of sun per day to survive. Sapphire grass is both soft and sturdy and is a great choice for anyone with kids or pets who love playing on the lawn.  

Nara Grass 

Nara Grass is an amazing variety of turf and is an Australian native. As it’s been bred on our home soil, it’s incredibly robust and can withstand many of Australia’s harsh natural elements. 

Nara is 40-50% shade tolerant, so is suited to an area that gets full sun for about half the day. In addition to its shade tolerance, Nara grass also has excellent salt tolerance and is a great choice for coastal areas. 

Mowing shade tolerant turf

Lawn Care for Shade Tolerant Turf 

Ultimately, all turf needs at least some sun to survive. If your turf has been laid in a relatively shady area within its shade tolerance percentage, there are a few things you can do to help it out. These include: 

  • Trimming trees, shrubs and other plants that may be shading the lawn 
  • Water the grass in the shaded areas less often and more deeply than the patches that receive full sun 
  • Keep your cutting height to around 50 to 60 mm in shady spots. When in doubt, never cut more than one third off the blade 
  • Fertilise with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser in early spring, then again in early autumn 

If you need any advice on choosing the right shade tolerant turf variety for your yard, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Rivers Edge Turf. Give us a call on 02 4579 9009 and we’ll be happy to help! 


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