If your grass is struggling to grow thick, green, and healthy, it is likely that you have too much shade in your yard. Symptoms that indicate excessive shade include long, thinning grass leaves, elevated moss growth, deteriorated plant vigor, and turfgrass disease. If you are aware of how shade affects grass growth, you can give your yard the care it needs to thrive.
Ways that shade affects turf growth
In order for photosynthesis to work best, sunlight and airflow need to be consistent. Below are several ways that shade can affect grass growth:
- Trees with a large canopy tend to steal the sunlight from the grass;
- trees with shallow roots compete with grass roots for nutrients;
- grass on the north side of houses do not receive enough sunlight;
- yards surrounded by low bushes, large canopy trees, and buildings do not receive steady air flow.
When a portion of your yard lacks consistent sunlight and air flow, moisture gets trapped in the grass, leaves, or low growth and which can result in moss growth and turfgrass disease.
How to reduce shade to improve turf growth
- Clear any leaves or debris that would trap any moisture in the grass.
- Remove any underbrush and low growth that would impede airflow.
- Trim tree branches a minimum of 8-10 feet off the ground. This will allow for more air circulation.
- If the options above do not improve your turfgrass health, the next step is to remove trees. Carefully select trees that have shallow roots or trees that are blocking the sunlight and airflow that is essential for optimum grass growth.