Best Grass for Shade Lawn in Georgia

Planting grasses for sod in your lawn not only add a green view, but also make your kids and pets happier than before. Because they can have fun in the yard daily. Moreover, having grass prevents wild grass from appearing particularly when the rain season is coming.

Before planting grass, you have to consider your yard, whether it is exposed by the full sun or shade area. Full sun spot is the best sparse for the turf grass, also it is one of the grass that can survive in warm season.

Yet, the shade spot is best for the cool season grass since the dense will grow fine although the sunlight is not fully exposed to the area.

So, the quality will not decrease.

Cool Season vs Warm Season Grasses

In Georgia, you can have cool season or warm season grass. You can adjust based on the area you live in. Or you can layer the warm season to cool season grasses as the winter comes, so that your grass will not go dormant.

1. Cool Season Grasses

best grass for shade in georgia
Cool Season Grasses

Just like the name, cool season grasses are the grass that can thrive in the cold season. When the winter comes, it is not something you have to worry about. But, in Georgia, planting cool season grass might take more effort than the warm season grasses.

Since it is not heat tolerant, then you have to water them regularly, especially in the summer. It is a slow growing grass too, so it answers the need if you don’t like to trim grass often.

2. Warm Season Grasses

best grass for shade in georgia
Warm Season Grasses

Warm season grasses are more common for the lawn than the cool type. It is the best one to welcome summer and hot weather. The warm season grasses, such as Bermuda and Carpet grass love full sun, although when the winter comes, they will go dormant.

The best tip to solve this issue is by layering the warm season grasses with cool season grasses. So that the grass will still thrive in the frost season. Carpet grass is considered as slow growing grass as well although it is one of warm season grasses.

Common Types of Shade Grass in Georgia

As the Georgian sun dips behind a canopy of leaves, a lush tapestry of shade-loving grasses comes into focus. In this opening act, we’ll unveil the verdant players that thrive beneath the state’s leafy domes. From the robust St. Augustine to the delicate Fine Fescue, each blade has adapted to flourish in the dappled light.

Join us as we explore these botanical marvels, and discover how they paint Georgia’s shaded landscapes with strokes of green resilience.

1. Zoysia Grass

Zoysia Grass
Zoysia Grass

If you like the grass that can thrive even after your pet or your kids have fun in the yard, then you can choose Bahia grass for the lawn. This has more textures compared to the others, so it is suitable for the playground. Guess this is the best grass for shade in Georgia.

best grass for shade in georgia
Green Zoysia Grass

Zoysia is a shade lover but still drought tolerant. Although Zoysia is identified as drought-tolerant grass, you should pay attention to watering them regularly, especially when the summer heat attacks. Or to avoid extra effort when the weather is changing, you can pair this favorite green with fescue grass.

2. St. Augustine Grass (Stenotaphrum Secundatum)

best grass for shade in georgia
St. Augustine Grass

You will love this grass even though you should pay attention to the maintenance step. St Augustine grass can do well in the mild winter season in Georgia. This one loves full sun but still goes well with the partial shade. So, you can place it under the area where the sunny light is exposed the most.

This kind of grass is the best grass for shade in Georgia, because it will beautify your lawn since the mowing height recommendation is 3.5 – 4 inches.

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3. Tall Fescue (Festuca Arundinacea)

best grass for shade in georgia
Tall Fescue (Festuca Arundinacea)

This can be included on your list for the best grass for shade in Georgia, because tall fescue or festuca arundinacea is a drought tolerant and shade tolerant grass. This grass can adapt to the temperature changing easily although it changes extremely.

best grass for shade in georgia
Tall Fescue

Moreover, if you are looking for a yard that can stay green year round, choosing tall fescue can answer your needs. You just need to water it regularly and mow it since it grows faster than the others. Keep it 2 -3 inches tall for the healthy look of your lawn.

4. Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa Pratensis)

Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa Pratensis)
Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa Pratensis)

Although the name is blueish which refers to Bluegrass State or poa pratensis, you still can have it for your own lawn. Especially if you live in cooler Georgia areas. This type of grass will live the best in a full shade and need to water regularly compared to other cool season grass. For the best appearance of your lawn, you can mow the dense for around 2.5 – 3 inches.

How to Grow Grass in Georgia Shaded Areas?

Growing grass in shaded areas can be a challenge, but with the right approach, it’s entirely feasible. The first step is to select the right type of grass. Shade-tolerant grass varieties, such as Fine Fescue or St. Augustine, are specifically adapted to thrive in areas with limited sunlight.

Before planting, it’s essential to test the soil’s pH and nutrient levels. Shaded soils often differ from sunlit ones, and adjustments might be needed. Adding organic matter like compost can improve soil structure, ensuring better water retention and nutrient availability for the grass roots.

Once you’ve prepared the soil, sow the grass seeds or lay sod, ensuring good soil-to-seed contact. Water the area thoroughly after planting and keep the soil consistently moist until the grass establishes. In shaded areas, grass might grow slower, so patience is key. Regularly check for signs of diseases or pests, as shaded areas can sometimes be more susceptible.

Lastly, mow the grass at a slightly higher setting than usual, as taller grass blades can capture more of the limited sunlight, aiding in photosynthesis and overall health. Remember, with the right care and maintenance, even shaded areas can boast a lush, green lawn.

Why Certain Grasses Thrive in Shade and Others Don’t in Georgia?

In Georgia’s diverse climate, the ability of grasses to thrive is closely tied to their evolutionary adaptations and the specific environmental conditions they prefer. Shade-tolerant grasses, such as Fescue and St. Augustine, have evolved mechanisms that allow them to photosynthesize efficiently even in low light conditions.

Their broader and thinner leaves can capture and utilize the limited sunlight available under tree canopies or in areas with consistent shade. These grasses have a competitive advantage in shaded areas because they can maintain their growth and vigor without the direct sunlight that other grasses might require.

On the other hand, sun-loving grasses like Zoysia have developed to maximize their growth in direct sunlight. Their denser and more compact growth habit allows them to absorb and utilize sunlight more effectively, making them ideal for open spaces that receive ample sunlight throughout the day.

However, when these grasses are placed in shaded areas, they struggle due to their reliance on high light intensity for photosynthesis. In essence, the specific adaptations and requirements of each grass type determine where they flourish best in Georgia’s varied landscapes.

Final Thought

In the sun-dappled corners of Georgia, not all grasses are created equal. If your lawn is more shadow than sunlight, consider the resilient and lush varieties like Zoysia or Fescue. These champions thrive where others falter, bringing verdant life to the coolest patches of your garden.

So, before you surrender to the shade, remember: with the right grass, even the shadiest nook can become a green haven. Let Georgia’s gentle shade be the canvas, and let these grasses paint it beautifully.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can grass grow in full shade Georgia?

Yes, there are some grasses that grow in full shade. So, it doesn’t matter if you have a yard but the sunlight exposure is not full. You still can have a beautiful lawn landscape for your family.

What grass grows best in full shade Georgia?

You can have Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue. Those two grasses are the best one to grow in full shade. Tall fescue is very adaptable in temperature changing, while blue grass will be happy under the full shade ground.

How do I grow grass in heavy shade Georgia?

Growing grass in full sun and heavy shade is quite different. For the heavy shade grass, you have to measure when mowing, because shade grass should be 0.5 higher than the full sun dense.

For instance, you can keep it for 2 inches to 4 inches tall, depending on the type. It is done because they should seek the sunlight too. Furthermore, although you have the best shade grass in Georgia, you better pay attention to the sun exposure and the watering time.

When should I plant grass seed in the shade of Georgia?

Start planting the shade grass in September or October. Yes, since most of the shade grass is cool season grass, you don’t have to worry when the winter comes. It can thrive in the cold season.

Hence, you should carefully choose the best grass for shade in Georgia. Because it will not only beautify and freshen the look of your yard, but also the favorite spot to spend together on the weekend with the families.

What is the difference between full sun grass and shade grass?

There is a height difference between full sun and shade grass. As for shade grass, the grass is higher than the full sun grass. Usually it is 0.5 inch tall higher than full sun dense.

Also, the water needs, the shade grass which is considered as shade grass often needs more water particularly during summer to keep them healthy and grow fine.

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